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Karel the Robot

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What Is It?

"An excellent method for introducing students to computer programming is described by Richard E. Pattis in his book Karel the Robot. By initially limiting the student's language repertoire to easily grasped imperative commands whose actions are visually displayed, the Karel approach quickly introduces students to such concepts as procedures and the major control structures. Although originally based on Pascal, the Karel approach has been used successfully with several different computer programming languages."

-- Karel the Robot Website


  • Original authors of the book Karel the Robot: A Gentle Introduction to The Art of Programming are Richard E. Pattis, Jim Roberts and Mark Stehlik (ISBN: 0471597252).
  • According to http://karel.sourceforge.net/, Jan Miksovsky wrote the original version of the Karel the Robot software.
  • Authors of Karel++: A Gentle Introduction to the Art of Object-Oriented Programming are Joseph Bergin, Mark Stehlik, Jim Roberts, and Richard E. Pattis (ISBN: 978-0471138099)

Supported Platforms

  • Unix: There is a unix based system available at: http://karel.sourceforge.net/
  • Windows and Mac OS X: Karel ++, an an object-oriented version of Karel the Robot with implementations for Macintosh and Windows, available from: http://csis.pace.edu/~bergin/karel.html
  • Platform Independent: Karel J Robot is a version based on Java "intended to run in an IDE such as Eclipse or BlueJ", available from: http://csis.pace.edu/~bergin/KarelJava2ed/Karel%2B%2BJavaEdition.html; Monty Karel is a version based on Python, that presumably will run on any system that supports Python: http://csis.pace.edu/~bergin/MontyKarel/


  • Amazon- $54.44 http://www.amazon.com/Karel-Robot-Gentle-Introduction-Programming/dp/0471597252
  • Wiley- $56.95 http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0471597252.html