Logo Software and Hardware

Since its debut in 1967 there have been hundreds of versions of Logo. The most comprehensive list available is the Logo Tree, which is maintained by Pavel Boytchev. Since there has never been a standard specification of the Logo language, it is not obvious what should included on our list. Like the Logo Tree, we take a broad view of Logo and include a range of applications that are currently available including visual programming environments, notably Scratch, that are descendants of earlier versions of Logo, or are inspired by them. Except where indicated, the software listed below may be downloaded for free.

Physical computing involves the interaction between programs and the world outside the computer. This includes having sensors to gather information from the environment; controlling motors, lights, and other devices; and designing, building and programming robots. We list some of the available hardware for such activities that work with versions of Logo or similar programs.


Software

 

Traditional Logo

These versions of Logo are directly descended from Logo developed in the 1970s, although they have been updated to run on current systems, and in some cases enhanced in various ways. Programming is done in text, similar to what you will see on the pages Logo Programming and A Logo Primer on this website.

UCB Logo

Also called Berkeley Logo, this version was developed by Brian Harvey and colleagues at the University of California Berkeley. Versions are available for Linux, Windows, and MacOS.

MSW Logo

Based on UCBLogo, this version by George Mills is for Windows.

FMS Logo

is an updated version of MSW Logo.

Terrapin Logo

is descended from Logo For the Apple ][, which was developed by the Logo group at MIT and released by Terrapin Software in 1980. It has been continuously updated and is now available for Windows and MacOS. It is commercial software.

MicroWorlds

is a product of Logo Computer System (LCSI), a company that has produced many versions of Logo beginning with Apple Logo in 1981. MicroWorlds was originally released in 1993 and has been updated continuously ever since. It includes numerous enhancements to traditional Logo including multiple turtles and the ability to work with a variety of media and other objects. It is commercial software.

KinderLogo

is an adaptation of Logo designed for use by young children in PreK though third grade. It is commercial software.

Massively Parallel Logo

Although many versions of Logo support multiple turtles, these versions allow programs with thousands of turtles acting in parallel. They are especially well suited for modeling decentralized systems and emergent phenomena.

StarLogo

was originally developed by Mitchel Resnick at the MIT Media Lab and is described in his 1991 book Turtles, Termites and Traffic Jams.There are currently several versions available:

NetLogo

is descended from earlier versions of StarLogo and is now based at the Northwestern University Center for Connected Learning.

Open StarLogo

is the currently available version from MIT STEP.

StarLogo TNG

is The Next Generation of StarLogo. It uses blocks programming instead of text (see below).

StarLogo Nova

is a browser-based version of StarLogo using blocks programming (see below).

Blocks Programming

Programs are created on the computer screen by snapping together jigsaw puzzle like pieces rather than by writing lines of text. The shapes and colors of the blocks give the user information about what the blocks do, and guide the user in assembling them in ways that are syntactically correct.

Scratch

is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab that is especially well suited for designing and building games, animations, and multimedia projects. Since its introduction in 2006 it has attracted millions of users worldwide. The current version is browser-based, and there is also an off-line editor available. 

Scratch Jr

is a version of Scratch designed for use by young children ages 5 to 7.

Snap!

is an extended reimplementation of Scratch and includes additional features that are suited for advanced programming projects. It is used in introductory computer science courses at the high school and college level.

TurtleArt

is a microworld for exploring art through turtle geometry. It has a small vocabulary and so it is easy to get to know quickly. It is blocks-based, but also includes an option for programming in text.

Hardware

Sensor Boards

These devices plug into the computer and sense what's going on in the world - light, sound, touch, heat, motion, and more. This information may be used by programs to control games and animations, make music, and create visual displays.

MaKey Makey

Everyday objects that conduct even a little bit of electricity can be used as sensors, including fruit, water, people, and much more. MaKey MaKey works with Scratch and almost any other program.

PICO Board

Also called a Scratch Sensor Board, it has built in sensors that detect light and sound, and has a slider and push button switch. A wide range of other sensors may also be connected to the board. It works with Scratch.

Make!Sense

comes with a variety of sensors and works with Scratch.

Microcontroller Boards

These devices can activate motors, lights, and other devices as well as sense the world around them.

GoGo Board

This board can be programmed in Logo. It also works with Scratch as a sensor board.

Arduino

This popular family of boards can work with a wide range of input and output devices. Some Arduinos work with Scratch for Arduino (S4A), a version of Scratch designed for this purpose.

Hummingbird

This board comes with a collection of ready-to-use, motors, lights, and other devices. You can also use your own input and output devices. The Hummingbird works with Scratch and Snap!

Plug & Play Robotics Systems

These kits include everything you need to build robots - the microcontroller, sensors, motors, and construction materials.This is very convenient, but the downside is that it is more difficult to incorporate your own materials, sensors, motors, and lights into projects.

LEGO Mindstorms

These robotics systems are based on the Programmable Brick research that was done at the MIT Media Lab. The latest version is EV3, which was preceded by the NXT and the RCX before that. LEGO Mindstorms software is based on Lab View, but versions of Logo have been implemented as well. At this time there is a version of Scratch called Enchanting! for the NXT.

WeDo

is a LEGO robotics kit that is designed for younger users. It works with Scratch.

VEX

distributes a number of different robotics kits. They work with ModKit, which is similar to Scratch.

Self-Contained Robots

These creatures are similar to the floor turtles that have been used with Logo for decades.

The Finch

may be programmed with Scratch or Snap!. It has on-board motors, lights and a variety of sensors. It was developed by the same group as the Hummingbird.

BeeBot

is a turtle-like robots that is programmed to move forward and back, and turn right or left, by pressing the buttons on it's back in a sequence, which it then remembers. It is on its own and not connected to a computer.

ProBot

is similar to the BeeBot, but has a minimal version of Logo built in. It may be programmed with a keypad on its back, or from a connected computer.