What projects are you working on this summer? Jon Hoffman wrote in to tell us about a project he and his 10-year old daughter are working on together: BuddyBot!

BuddyBot

“I asked my 10 year old daughter what projects she wanted to work on over the summer and she said that she wanted to build robots,” Jon Hoffman explained. “I really like the Swift programming language so I set out to see if I could create a robot using Swift that we could work on together. I already had extensive experience with the BeagleBone Black so that seemed like the natural platform to work on.”

“To me, Swift is the best programming language to come out in a long time. It is a very modern language that has taken the best features from languages such as Python, C#, Java, Ruby, Haskell and JavaScript. The language is almost as powerful as C and you can even use most C libraries with Swift however the language is safe by default. It is also a very easy language to learn so I could teach my daughter how to program while we were working on robots.”

BuddyBotTop

And while Hoffman has had plenty of experience with programming and, to a much lesser degree, electronics, delving into the details of motors, sensors, and other robotic knowledge is new step for him as well as his daughters. He reports that he’s spent “a lot of time on the Internet reading and learning.”

So far they’ve already made a lot of progress! BuddyBot is already rolling along and avoiding obstacles.

“The biggest highlight for me is seeing how excited my daughters are getting about robotics.” Hoffman said.

You can read more about their adventures in robotics on their blog. In addition to building the robot they are documenting their build, complete with component list and Swift code repositories so that everyone can build a BuddyBot of their own. You can find the first and second of Hoffman’s Swift repositories on GitHub.