Thanks to a donation from Google Chicago, the CPL now has 500 Finch robots in stock, available for any library card wielding citizen who wants to check them out. The Finch Robot, a tough, frog-like machine with wheels, lights and various kinds of sensors, is an experimental platform that kids and adults can use to teach themselves both about robotics and computer programming. The Finch is compatible with multiple programming languages, and by plugging it into your computer you can program it to do certain tasks or provide you with data.
But what can you program a Finch robot to do for you? As it turns out, several very cool and useful things. Here are four different ways you can use an Finch Robot for your day to day needs, either by running or modifying sample programs downloaded from the Finch website.
(The example programs cited in this article are all Python-based, due to Python being a commonly used and intuitive programming language. Younger or more inexperienced computer programmers may wish to start with educational languages like Scratch or Snap!™.)