Presented by:

Tom Lauwers

from BirdBrain Technologies LLC

Tom is Founder and CEO at BirdBrain Technologies, located in Pittsburgh, PA. He seeks to design educational tools that catalyze positive making, coding, and engineering learning experiences in the classroom.

Tom received a Ph.D in robotics in 2010 from Carnegie Mellon in part for his work designing the Finch Robot and Hummingbird Robotics Kit. Tom's research was founded on engaging all students, regardless of background, in robotics and engineering, and BirdBrain's products continue this mission. The Finch is a small robot designed to inspire and delight students learning computer science by providing a tangible representation of their code. The Hummingbird is a kit that allows students to create and program robots built from electronic components and craft materials.

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.

Volunteer Hosts
Thanks for helping with Snap!Con 2020!

The Finch Robot 2.0 is a new robot designed to support Computer Science education from kindergarten to college. Like the original Finch, Finch 2.0 can be programmed with Snap! on Windows, Macbooks, and Chromebooks. Unlike the original Finch, the new Finch connects via Bluetooth, and boasts many other hardware upgrades as well, including accurate movement, line sensing, multiple tail LEDs, front-facing distance sensor, line sensing, and a centrally mounted pen for drawing.

This demonstration will use Finch 2.0 along with our newly developed Remote Robots technology to allow anyone at the Snap! conference to program a Finch in NetsBlox, which is a Snap! derivative. We plan to create a “Finch arena” with several Finches that will be remotely programmable. The arena will be viewable via video conferencing software and will include a directional light source and obstacles to avoid. During the demo time, go to this page to program the Finch robots:

Discuss on the Snap! Forum

20 min
Zoom 4
Snap!Con 2020
Posters and Demos

Happening at the same time:

  1. Favorite Snap! Lessons
  2. Start Time:
    2020 July 31 12:00

    Zoom 1

  3. Coding for Education against COVID-19
  4. Start Time:
    2020 July 31 12:00

    Zoom 2

  5. Teaching BJC with NetsBlox
  6. Start Time:
    2020 July 31 12:00

    Zoom 3

  7. Friday Hallway
  8. Start Time:
    2020 July 31 08:00