Talking head
MountainWest JavaScript 2015

This presentation, by Brad Midgley, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0

We need to turn the page on the idea that kids should learn programming by building flow charts. But this will typically be their first exposure if they start out in robotics. Robotics is an exciting place to try out a programming idea because the surface area of your app, the part that interacts with the world, becomes immense. An idea that could be written off as passable UI or workable modeling might literally crash and burn when faced with interacting in an unforgiving world. Let’s chat about why the correct model for programming bots and for modeling behavior is a hierarchical state machine. It sounds complicated but everyone can understand when it’s related to how we think about solving problems as people in the world. This opens doors for fun concepts like machine learning and genetic programming. Plus we can build this in javascript and put it to work in the field to find out right away what works and what doesn’t. I’ll demonstrate this running in a javascript framework running on the FirefoxOS phone. This is a phone that makes you code and love doing things with only javascript.

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