Getting Started

Welcome to the Finch community!  We hope that you are reading this with a shiny, brand-new Finch sitting next to you on the desk. Perhaps you've already plugged it into a USB port and are marveling at its soothing, color-changing beak. If not, go ahead and plug the Finch in - no driver installation is required.

We suggest that you approach using the Finch by navigating through the following checklist:

  • Read the Finch Hardware document, to familiarize yourself with the Finch's sensors and outputs.  
  • Read about the available Software options, and choose an IDE or environment which you would like to use.  Download the appropriate package.
  • Read the tutorial to create and run programs for your chosen IDE, and try running an example program.
  • Read the Javadocs, especially those pertaining to the Finch class.  The Jython implementation of the Finch uses the same API, so even those using Python should read the Javadoc.
  • Read the Known Issues as most problems, should they arise, can be resolved easily.
  • Try writing a simple program.
  • Read some of the posted assignments to get an idea of how others use the Finch.

Watch a 7 minute screencast on how to run example programs and write your own Finch programs below. We recommend selecting high definition and full-screen viewing.