Programming the Finch 2 Robot

A workshop led by Tom Lauwers


Saturday, April 10, 2021, 10:00 am to noon EDT


Everywhere via Zoom


$15 per person
Free for people who participated in the 2020 Virtual Logo Summer Institute

The Finch Robot 2.0 is a new robot designed to support Computer Science education from kindergarten through college. Like the original Finch, Finch 2.0 can be programmed using a choice of languages from FinchBlox for young children, through Snap!, MakeCode, Python, and Java for older students and more experienced programmers. The Finch connects to your laptop or tablet via Bluetooth. The Finch motors provide accurate movement. Outputs include multi-color LEDs and sound. There are sensors for light, distance and line tracking as well as a compass and an accelerometer.  There's a centrally mounted pen for so that the Finch can draw as it moves.

In this workshop we will explore Finch’s sensors and outputs in the context of computer science concepts such as boolean logic, control structures, variables, and data. This workshop will be held online and will use remote learning techniques for robotics that have been developed over the last year.

What if you don't have a Finch Robot at home? No problem. We've taken care of that so you can participate in two ways:

1. BirdBrain Technologies is providing free 60 day loans of the Finch Robot to US educators. Fill out this form by March 10 in order to ensure that you will receive a Finch Robot in time for the workshop on April 10.

2. You can also participate thanks to BirdBrain’s Remote Robots technology. We will have a “Finch arena” in our Pittsburgh studio with several Finches that you can control and program from your home using NetBlox (based on Snap!). The arena will be viewable from multiple angles via Zoom.

Join us for a fun Saturday morning of physical computing, robotics, and Computer Science explorations!

About the workshop leader:

Tom Lauwers founded BirdBrain Technologies in 2010 after receiving his doctorate in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. His research was founded on engaging all students, regardless of background, in robotics and engineering. Tom seeks to design educational tools that catalyze positive making, coding, and engineering learning experiences in the classroom. Tom resides in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood with his wife, two kids, cat, and a small army of robots. He would be an invaluable ally in the event of a robot uprising.


  • Finch2 overview page
  • Programming Finch2 in Snap!