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1 May 2013

Learn Python - What is Logo?

Logo is an interesting computer language.

While its origins go back to the 1960s, in recent times Logo has been associated with something called turtle graphics. The idea is to draw pictures and generate patterns by issuing commands to a screen-based turtle.

Logo has a lot going for it. It's a language based on simple commands, using words that even the youngest primary school pupil will understand. Words such as 'forward', 'backward', 'left' and 'right'.

Despite being very easy to learn, Logo programs illustrate a number of very important concepts. Concepts that include geometry, graphical design, various computer programming techniques, and an introduction to artificial intelligence (AI) through Logo-controlled robots.

Unsurprisingly, these attributes caught the eye of educators. Educational establishments right across the board, from Primary Schools all the way to Universities, have incorporated Logo programming into their classrooms and lectures.

When combined with mechanical turtles - floor-traversing robotic devices drawing on large sheets of paper with coloured pens - it seldom fails to generate keen interest and attention-grabbing engagement with students of any age. One of the most successful turtle robots was the Valiant Turtle (see image). Design by Dave Catlin 1983 it won a Best of British Design award and was manufactured right up until 2011.

In future posts I'll demonstrate how we can use Python to emulate the Logo programming language, while showing just how simple and fun turtle graphics can be.

A post from my Learn Python on the Raspberry Pi tutorial.