Spherly and Pixly: Blockly languages for Sphero and Media Computation

We would like to announce the availability of two new Blockly-based languages that may be of interest to CS educators:

  • Spherly is a web-based programming environment that allows programs to be written using a block language to control a Sphero robot.

o   Project URL: http://outreach.cs.ua.edu/spherly/

  • Pixly provides a block language for exploring topics in media computation; particularly, the manipulation of pixels within an image to support red-eye removal, chroma key, etc.

o   Project URL: http://outreach.cs.ua.edu/pixly/

Both projects can be run from within a browser (Spherly requires a provided server to be executing on a local machine for Bluetooth contact to the Sphero). Each project page has links to a demonstration video, a user manual, a Google Groups users forum, related links, and a “run” link for executing each environment.

Spherly and Pixly were created by Jake Trower and Kathy Hill, undergraduates at the University of Alabama (UA). Spherly was originally designed by Robert Smyly, a UA alum.

Both projects were developed under support from an NSF CE21 project (CNS #1240944) in collaboration with Google CS4HS.

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