New Cybersecurity Tutorials for cyber:bot: Encryption, Attacks and Defense

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Python Cybersecurity tutorials

We’ve released four new tutorials in the Cybersecurity series for the cyber:bot!

Strings and Characters Primer provides the basic background for using strings and characters in Python.  This tutorial shows you how to create and access strings, check them for certain information, and convert to other data types. This tutorial will help you build your cybersecurity skills and serve you well in competitions with the cyber:bot.

Cybersecurity: Radio Tilt Control is an extensive set of tutorials to show how the micro:bit module’s accelerometer works and how it can measure forces for use in wireless robotics control. The tutorial shows how the sensing axes can be aligned with gravity, the trigonometry used for calculating tilt angles from acceleration, and the use of this data to control a cyber:bot wirelessly from another Micro:bit with key-value data pairs.

Cybersecurity: Encryption Intro shows the process of encoding information into an alternate form that is unintelligible.  Decryption is the process of decoding that alternate form to get the original information. In this tutorial, you will start with some basic encryption concepts using one of the oldest and most simple forms of encryption, the Caesar cipher, then experiment with other substitution ciphers such as the atbash and your own custom cyberset.  

Cybersecurity: Sniffing Attacks and Defenses Cyber attackers use sniffing — silently monitoring communication — to gain access to private data like personal information and passwords. This tutorial demonstrates how encryption is the first line of defense against sniffing attacks. 

Propeller 2 Live Forum - Early Adopter Series Features Chip Gracey with "Spin 2 Debug with Runtime Expression Reporting" on Wednesday at 2:00 pm Pacific

Spin 2 Debug with Runtime Expression Reporting

At this week’s Propeller 2 Live Forum – Early Adopter Series, Chip will show off the latest version of PNut which includes a runtime debugging tool for Spin2 programs. He’ll demonstrate with a few simple programs and a more advanced application. These meetings provide a chance to “look inside” at what’s in development with Parallax and the community before the Propeller 2’s official release this Fall. Many of the presenters contributed to the Propeller 2 design and have accumulated substantial working knowledge of our chip.

The debugging system shown above is a Spin2 program running in PNut with a memory usage map demonstrating that the debugger is consuming the last 16KB of hub RAM (write-protected). The 16KB is used for not just the debugger, but all the DEBUG records, as well, so that each DEBUG command only adds three bytes to a Spin2 program and one instruction to a PASM program. When not compiling for DEBUG use, the DEBUG() statements are ignored by the compiler, keeping your code pure. You may also run the sample programs in the Propeller Tool Alpha Release with Parallax Serial Terminal if you prefer.

If this interests you, sign up for Wednesday’s meeting and see what’s under development at Parallax! 

Elementary and Middle School Educator Training Opportunity!

Practical guide to Implementing a robotics unit with the parallax Scribbler S3 with John Kauffman

Many teachers have Scribbler 3 robots and some experience with them, but now need a little help to actually implement a unit in their classroom. Parallax can bridge that gap on August 12th in our live meeting with an experienced teacher discussing the practical details of using the S3 in class. John Kauffman will share his tricks and traps from 5 years’ experience. He will discuss timing, topic order, materials, co-topics, pre-class prep, extension activities, and other solutions that have been useful to teachers in his train-the-trainer PD seminars. For most of these topics, there are different approaches with advantages and disadvantages; John will discuss and then suggest paths that will fit your personal teaching plans. His suggestions on troubleshooting and mitigating problems have given scores of teachers the confidence to begin their units using the S3. Parallax will be sharing his tip sheets, pre-class checklists, common mistakes, and other documents.

John Kauffman has taught robotics and other micro-controller topics since 2005. He leads educator PD courses at the Northern VA Community College and teaches robotics part-time in the Arlington, VA Public Schools. His current interests include developing techniques to teach robotics online.

Save $20 off the Propeller Activity Board WX This Month!

Propeller Activity Board WX

The Propeller Activity Board WX is the most versatile and powerful educational product made by Parallax. Through the end of July they’re on sale at $59.00 ($20.00 off the regular price of $79.00). 

The Propeller Activity Board WX features the 8-core Propeller microcontroller pre-wired to a host of popular peripherals for fast and fun experiments.  Designed especially for STEM education, it’s a great tool for learning or teaching technology basics: electronics, programming, sensors, communication, computer science, engineering, and control systems. Programming is well-supported with our visual BlocklyProp tutorials or text-based C-language tutorials. It’s also the board included on the ActivityBot 360° Robot.

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