Robotics questions

Joaquin Sitte j.sitte at
Wed Nov 9 01:33:25 UTC 2005

Hi Paul,

1. Stephane's book, has nothing to do with real robots. It is a gentle
introduction, and a very nice one, to programming in Smalltalk aimed at
beginners (kids) that uses the robot metaphor to visualise the execution of
programs. It is very much in the spirit of learning programming with turtle

I too am trying to use Squeak for real robotics and I have also bought and
Stephane's book (although for other reasons). There is nothing in the book
that is immediately useful for real robotics, it was not meant to be and the
purpose if different. 

2. and 3.
I am using Squeak in my lectures on Computational Intelligence for Embedded
Systems for third and fourth year university students in Engineering and
Information Technology. Students are given a simulator for mobile robots
(the Khepera robots to be precise) running in Squeak where they can develop
robot behaviours (including autonomous robot soccer players). The simulator
also supports controlling Khepera robots from a PC via a wireless
(Bluetooth) link. The same (Smalltalk) behaviour code can be used
identically to control the simulated Khepera robot and the real robot. 

In another ongoing project we are adapting the Squeak VM to run on a bare
XScale processor without underlying operating system.

I am not aware of other current work on Smalltalk for Robotics, although
there probably are a few things being done. I remember some time ago seeing
someone mentioning on this list a robotic underwater vehicle controlled by
Smalltalk. Also Squeak has been ported to the Gumstix SBC. The Gumstix SBC
has been recently used in robotics projects (but not using Squeak, as far as
I am aware).



Dr. Joaquin Sitte,  Associate Professor.
School of Software Engineering and Data Communication Faculty of Information
Queensland University of Technology 
GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Q 4001 Australia 
Phone +61 7 3864 9325 
Fax +61 7 3864 9390 
e-mail: j.sitte at 


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