The finch robot is a robot that you can give controls too through many programming languages. It has light sensors, motion sensors, an LED at its beak, temperature sensors, and a motor to make the wheels run.
What I Thought
Honestly, the finch was a struggle to work with. The sensors preformed very poorly and it was a major challenge to think of code that would work without messing up something else. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it though. Everyday I came to class i actually had fun playing with it because everything it was doing I was controlling and I thought that was cool. Even through all the struggles I had fun because it was funny to see the finch tweak out and get all confused and look like a paranoid little robot that can’t solve problems. If i had a choice I would probably not work with the finch again for the sake of my projects grade but I have plenty of suggestions for an updated version of the finch if kids were to want to use it in the future. I would suggest to the finch company to spend a little more money to get more advanced sensors and then sell them for more money and it would be 100% worth it. The finches would be awesome to work with and kids would be begging left and right if the sensors just worked the way they were supposed to. But still like i said they are still fun to work with.
What Helped Me
I had to look up a lot of the code I wanted to use for the finch and I spent countless on the finch API and other websites looking for ways to make things work.
My project was a maze that the finch had to follow by slightly turning right then backing up then slightly turning right while going forward again. The repetition of this process of going forward and backing up allowed the finch to slowly but surely go through the maze in a very insufficient way, but a way that got the job done. When you would cover the right side of the finch the finch would do a 180 degree turn and do the same process just going the other way and when you would cover the left side it would just stop.
Problems I Had
I faced many problems throughout the 10 weeks we worked on the project. My biggest problem was finding things that actually worked for the finch in greenfoot. For a solid 6 classes i was trying to do an istapped code and later found out that istapped doesn’t even work in greenfoot. I received a lot of help from Mr. Anderson which was really what got me through the project without smashing the frustrating finch with a sledgehammer.
This part of the code was the most challenging because both of the light sensors wanted to do something at the same time. It took me a couple classes to figure how it could work with them both doing different things.
if((((f.getLeftLightLevel())> 30) && (f.getRightLightLevel())> 30))//if both the light sesnors on the finch are uncovered
GreenFinch.get().setWheelSpeeds(92,72);// veer right at a slightly slower speed then full power
GreenFinch.get().setLED(0,0,255);// LED blue
else if((f.getLeftLightLevel())< 30)// left light sesnor is covered
//this will stop the program completely
else if((f.getRightLightLevel())< 30)// in the right light sensor is covered
GreenFinch.get().setLED(0,255,0);// changes LED to green quickly
long start = System.currentTimeMillis( );// gives current time
while (start + 2000 > System.currentTimeMillis( ))// lasts 2 seconds
f.get().setWheelSpeeds(-32,32);// spins in circle rotates left
f.get().setLED(0,150,150);//sets LED to tourquise