Cimple thinking: IITB makes robot programming child’s play
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Robots are exciting, but complicated as well for their technology. However, if a group of enterprising engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IITB) are to be believed, then designing and building robots will, literally, be a child's play.
Robo.in, an IITB alumnus venture, and the institute's students have jointly developed a new language called 'CiMPLE', which makes concepts of robot programming much easier for children. Now, children as young as school-going can build their robot and programme it themselves.
"CiMPLE is a C based robot instruction language developed by Robo.in to enable kids to make autonomous robot behaviours. Using this language, kids can learn about the nuances of logic building, programming practices as well as different problem-solving approaches. CiMPLE is ideal for kids who have just taken their first steps in programming," explained Nipun Katyal, fourth year IITB student who works with Robo.in. Besides, the program is designed in a way that will help students correct errors in their program when the robot malfunctions, Katyal said.
Robo.in, a part of ThinkLABS — a company founded by IITB alumni — aims at introducing robotics to the very roots of education system. It has been conducting workshops at various schools across India, giving students hands-on training, and teaching them fundamentals of programming. "Unlike in Indian schools, the curriculum in many schools abroad comprises robot programming languages C, C++ and Java as mandatory subjects. We have tried to develop a robotics workshop that will enable us to teach the students in a fun way," said Varun Jhawar, another IITB student who is also a part of Robo.in.
Apart from CiMPLE, Robo.in has also developed the Visual Graphics language that acquaints students with programming and logic development using simple drag-and-drop based graphical user interface.