You can train robots to do your bidding.

Inside of Tooly you'll find a very large stack of robots. If you take one out you'll see he has an empty thought bubble. You can start training a fresh robot by dropping a box on him. You'll enter into the robot's thoughts and you'll control him. You can have him pick things up, use tools, and drop things. He'll remember everything. If you train him to take things out of, or put things into, a box he'll remember which hole it was by counting from the left side of the box. Once you are finished training him press the escape key (usually labeled Esc).

You can then make the robot repeat what you trained him to do by giving him the box again. When he's done he'll try to do it again if the box still matches the box in his thought bubble. SHOW ME

You can change a robot's name by typing a new name while holding him. Sometimes long names look better if you break the line by using the 'Enter' key. SHOW ME

Tip. Robots are quite fussy. They only will work on a box like the one in their thought bubble. Luckily you can use Dusty to suck some things out of the box in a thought bubble. A good idea is to suck out only enough to get the robot to work when you want him to. Sometimes it is easier to suck the box out of the thought bubble, spit it out, change it and then drop it back on the thought bubble.

Teams of robots. You can make a team of robots by dropping them on each other. When you give a box to the team the robot in front sees if it matches his thought bubble. If it does, he'll start working on it and the other teammates will move out of the way. If it doesn't match, he'll pass it along to the next robot in line. If there is stuff missing from the box or there is a nest where the robot wants something else or the mismatch was due to sensors that are changing on their own then he'll wait around. When the box is filled or the nest is covered he'll start up again. SHOW ME

Tip. If you want a robot to do something only if something is not there, then you can have the robot in front of him check for something like the number 42 and the robot behind him won't be given the box to work on unless the number is different from 42. SHOW ME

Anywhere you need a robot you can use a team of robots as well. So you can drop a team in a truck or put a team on the back of a picture. The best way to break up a team is to use Dusty to pull them apart.

Tip. If you trained a robot to almost do the right thing, but messed up a little, then you can re-train the robot. Just vacuum the box out of the robot's thought bubble, spit it out, and then drop the box on the robot (careful not to drop it back on the thought bubble). You'll re-enter the robot's thought bubble, but this time the robot will redo what he was trained to do until you click a mouse or keyboard button. Then you can keep training him as usual. SHOW ME

Advanced tip. You can't train a robot to give something to other robots, but you can train a robot to load up a truck with other robots. Computer scientists would describe this as saying that while you can't do a procedure call, you can do a more general process spawn. If you want to get something back from the robots then arrange for them to give a reply to a bird. SHOW ME

Advanced tip. When you train a robot to give something to a bird, the bird flies off and returns empty handed (empty clawed?). But during training the bird does not take things to her nest since when the robot is run later it might be a different bird. If you need to compute something using something placed on a nest by a bird, then you'll need at least 2 robots. One to give the bird the item and another to work on the resulting item on the nest. A good trick is to give the first robot the box after training him to produce the box you want for training the second robot. SHOW ME

Advanced tip. Computer scientists talk about recursive programs - programs that use themselves. Here's how you can make recursive programs in ToonTalk. Put a fresh robot on a blank page of your main notebook. Then train another robot to, among other things, find the page with the saved robot. Train the robot to put a copy of the robot in the notebook into a truck along with a box for him to work on. After finishing your robot's training, find the page where you saved the robot. Use Dusty to remove that robot and put in his place the robot you just trained.

There is a much easier way to express recursion. A robot can now use the magic wand to create a copy of himself and his teammates. SHOW ME

The factorial of a number (1 times 2 times 3 and so on up to your number) can be computed recursively or iteratively (repeatedly without using recursion). Click here to find robots to compute the factorial using recursion once. Click here to find robots that compute factorial using recursion twice. Robots that compute factorial without recursion can found on page 12 of the examples notebook which is on page 6 of your main notebook.

Advanced tip. You can put robots in boxes and even train other robots to manipulate those robots. Computer scientists call this meta-programming. Robots cannot train other robots, but they can re-arrange teams, remove, edit and replace boxes in thought bubbles, and the like. Dropping a team of robots on a blank box breaks the team up -- one robot per hole of the box.

Advanced tip. A robot in a box in a thought bubble will only match another robot with the same name. You can use Dusty to "erase" a robot so that it will only match any robot.

Advanced tip. You can also train a robot to pick up a team of robots from a box and put them in a truck together with a box for them to work on. Computer scientists call this higher-order programming. There is a way of combining higher-order programming and recursive programming -- see if you can figure out how.

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