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SPLASH 2017
Sun 22 - Fri 27 October 2017 Vancouver, Canada
Mon 23 Oct 2017 13:50 - 14:05 at Regency D - Language, DSL, and Feature Design Chair(s): Joshua Sunshine

While the cost of making industrial robots declines, their deployment remains expensive. Widespread use of robots, particularly in smaller industries, is more easily realized if robot programming is accessible to non-programmers. Our research explores techniques to lower the barrier to robot programming. One such technique is ‘situated tangible programming’ to program a robot by placing specially designed tangible ‘blocks’ in its workspace. These blocks are used for annotating objects, locations, or regions, and specifying actions and their ordering. The robot compiles a program by detecting blocks and objects in the environment and grouping them into instructions by solving constraints. We designed a tangible language and the associated blocks and evaluated the intuitiveness and learnability of the approach. Our user studies provide evidence for the promise of situated tangible programming and identify the challenges to address. In addition to improving the block design and extending the language, we are planning to integrate tangible programming into a holistic ecosystem of a programming environment.