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LogoTurtle Curriculum

Page history last edited by Josh Burker 6 years, 3 months ago


The following are project ideas that you might use to lead yourself or others through learning how to program and create designs using the LogoTurtle floor robot.

Introductory Exercises


Calibrate the turtle.


After building the physical turtle and the electronics, the first procedure the turtle runs after downloading test.txt is square. This procedure helps you calibrate the turtle. You calibrate the turtle by adjusting the wheel base until the square it draws is nearly 90° at each angle. The easiest way to accomplish the calibration is to use a small wood shim between the stepper motor brackets on the turtle.





Design with Lines


Using lines, overlapping lines, and combinations of angles, what designs can the turtle draw?



Draw Your Initials


You might want to get out of your seat and try walking out the directions the turtle needs to move to write your name. TurtleArt or Turtle Blocks is another good place to work out the moves.


You could also work towards abstraction of the initials by repeating and overlapping them, perhaps in different pen colors.




Josh programmed a complete set of alphabet procedures and a kerning procedure. You can download the text file and write your own words in the startup procedure.


Draw a Polygon


The turtle comes knowing how to draw a square, a procedure included in test.txt.


repeat 4 [fd 100 lt 90]


What other polygons can you program the turtle to draw?



TurtleArt: 3 Shapes by Josh Burker


Intermediate Exercises


Repeat a Polygon


What kind of design can you create by drawing a polygon, rotating the turtle a little, and drawing the polygon again?



Experiment with Arcs


The turtle knows how to arclt and arcrt. By providing the angle and radius, you can program the turtle to draw arcs and circles.



Create a procedure that includes arcs in the design.



Draw Something Representational


Program a procedure or a set of procedures to draw a representational picture of something: a house, a flower, a rainbow, or whatever you imagine.




Geometry Everywhere: Hexagons by Josh Burker


Nature and TurtleArt by Josh Burker


Try Some Drawing Challenges


How would you draw these shapes? There are many ways to draw each one. Compare your solution with other people's solutions.




Sugarlabs has some wonderful designs that you can challenge yourself to program on the LogoTurtle as well. Daniel Ajoy collected some excellent geometric shapes.



Incorporate the Servo in the Design


The turtle is able to lift and lower its pen. Explore a design that uses the pen up state as well as the pen down state. For example, drawing Dreamtime-inspired art can be part of a more formal exploration of Aboriginal Australian culture.



Making Dreamtime Designs in MicroWorlds by Gary Stager


This hexagon procedure lifts the pen before the turtle turns 60 degrees, eliminating the "dot" that occurs when the pen rests on the paper. Using the servo this way creates a stencil effect with the resulting art.



Advanced Exercises


Experiment with Fractals


The Dragon Curve is a good fractal to explore using the turtle because of its simplicity.



Exploring Dragon Curves in TurtleArt by Josh Burker

LogoTurtle Fractal Designs by Josh Burker


Tiled Designs


Repeating a simple design that overlaps to create additional shapes.



TurtleArt: Islamic Tiles by Josh Burker


Explore Recursion


Use a loop [  ] function in your procedure instead of tail recursion. 



Generative Art


Erik has a wonderful overview with some great examples of using the turtle to explore generative art.



Generative Art with the LogoTurtle by Erik Nauman


Use the Photocell


Use the photocell to affect the inputs in your Logo procedures. In the example below, programmed by Erik, the sensor faced the light and as the turtle turned away from the light the curve radius decreased.



If you use the pin marked A0 you should be able to do the following from Logo:

print a0


repeat 100 [print a0 wait 100]


to startup

pd wait 1000

let [n a0]

repeat 200 [

arcrt 10 :n

make "n a0







Collaborative Drawing


Use two or more turtle programmed to collaborate on a design. Can the two turtles draw at the same time on the same piece without interfering with one another?



Draw with Light


Erin Riley added an LED throwie to her turtle. She built a darkroom for it to wander in and photographed the turtle with a slow exposure. Enclosed are her instructions for building a darkroom box, camera settings, tips and student examples:




Additional Ideas


Draw with different mediums

  • A hopper full of sand
  • Spray paint
  • Water colors 

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