Physical Etoys is an extension to Etoys that allows the user to communicate with robots as if they were virtual objects in the computer. With Physical Etoys, it becomes possible to program real world objects (such as robots) to perform any task you want, or sense the world and use that information to control virtual objects (such as drawings on the screen).
The hardware platforms currently supported by Physical Etoys include: Arduino, Lego Mindstorms Nxt, Nintendo Wiimote, Microsoft Kinect, and others.
Making Physical Etoys work in Sugar would bring a platform for teaching robotics to all Sugar users, letting each kid that owns a XO transform his laptop into a robot. The port is currently half finished, but it lacks some details that need to be taken care about in order to finally publish it.
All Physical Etoys modules should work well in Linux and specifically in the XO laptop, this can involve porting some libraries and generally dealing with platform-specific issues. Finally, Physical Etoys will have to be wrapped as an Activity bundle for the XO.
Benefits to the Student
The student will learn about the inside of Physical Etoys and its communication model with the outside world, making it work seamlessly in different platforms.
Benefits to the Community
This project would bring young people into Smalltalk by providing another Smalltalk based activity to the Sugar platform.