Introduction to Turtle Robot Programming


Gustavo Casañ



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In this course, the students are going to use a simulator to move around a Turtle in a 2D world, as if it was a real robot. The orders to the Turtle are given in the form of a Python program. The next figure shows the world:

The prospective students are people without any programming experience, mainly children and young adults.

At the end of the course they (you) will know how to:

  • write simple programs in Python to draw geometrical figures
  • use variables
  • use loops
  • use functions and procedures with parameters
  • create their own procedures

This course is a beta (meaning it probably has small errors) version of the course available in

Why a Turtle? What's the meaning of 'Logo-style'? Did you want to say Lego?

No, we wanted to say Logo and it's related to the Turtles.

Logo is a programming language which was created in 1967 at Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN). The goal was to create a math land where kids could play with words and sentences. The use of virtual Turtles allowed for immediate visual feedback and debugging of graphic programming and made them user-friendly. Of course, the Turtle became a real physical robot very soon (1969) and has suffered a lot of changes and evolution (adding touch sensors, wireless connections...).

The Turtle robots are still older, dating back to the 40's (, and were adopted without any problem.

Nowadays there are a lot of Logo inspired environments which allow normal people to learn programming and robotics. We have created one of them, which you'll learn to use. In the next figure you can see the environment:

The blue square is the Turtle world, to its right there is the programming zone, in which the user (you) has to write the programs, and under it the output produced by the program (mainly if there has been any error).

The buttons control the execution of the program (Run and Stop) and clean the world and reposition the Turtle (Clear and Reset). Clear output is self-evident.

Who we are?

Dr. Gustavo Casañ (PhD. in Computer Science)

Dr. Enric Cervera

Both from Robotic Intelligence Lab ( at Jaume I University (

This material was developed with support in part by Ministerio de Economa y Competitividad (DPI2011-27846), by Generalitat Valenciana (PROMETEOII/2014/028), by Jaume I University (P1-1B2011-54) and by IEEE RAS under a CEMRA grant (Creation of Educational Materials for Robotics and Automation).


Course content

  • Hello!

  • Velocity

  • Turn

  • Drawing a simple letter

  • Geometrical figures

  • Circles

  • Turning radious

  • Spirals

  • Decimal numbers

  • Loops and variables

  • Procedures

  • Parameters

  • Decisions

  • Color

Interested? Enroll to this course right now.

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