Based on problems by Nick Parlante and Eric Roberts, lovingly modified by your current CS106A staff.
This assignment consists of four Karel programs (and one extra credit optional program). There is a starter project including all of these problems on the CS106A website under the “Assignments” tab. Before you start on this assignment, make sure to read Handout Using Karel with PyCharm. It has a lot of terribly useful information. When you are ready to start working on these programs, you need to:
The four Karel problems to solve are described on the following pages. There is also a bonus problem described at the end that is optional to complete, as well as other suggestions for extensions you can complete for this assignment.
Your first task is to solve a simple story-problem in Karel’s world. Suppose that Karel has settled into its house, which is the square area in the center of Figure 1. During this time, you might correctly surmise that Karel is sheltering-in-place.
Karel starts off in the northwest corner of its house as shown in the diagram. The problem you need to solve is to get Karel to collect the newspaper. The newspaper, like all o=bjects in Karel’s world, is represented by a beeper. You must get Karel to pick up the newspaper located outside the doorway and then to return to its initial position.
This exercise is simple and is meant to help you get you started programming with Karel. You can assume that every part of the world looks just as it does in the diagram: the house is exactly this size, the door is always in the position shown, and the beeper is just outside the door. Thus, all you have to do is write the sequence of commands necessary to have Karel:
Although the program does not have many lines of code, it is still worth getting some practice with decomposition. In your solution, include a function for each of the three steps shown in the outline above.
Your program should run successfully in the following world: CollectNewspaperKarel.w (default world. Note that all Karel worlds are located in the worlds folder in the Assignment 1 project folder.
Write a program that has Karel draw a diagonal line across the world, with a slope of ½, like so:
The key to drawing a diagonal line with slope ½ is to move two steps forward and one step up between each beeper. In this problem you can and should assume that the world is an odd number of columns across. Solving the problem for even columns as well is much harder and would count as an "extension".
You should assume
Your third task is to repair the damage done to the Main Quad in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. In particular, Karel should repair a set of arches where some of the stones (represented by beepers, of course) are missing from the columns supporting the arches, as illustrated in the figure below.
Your program should work on the world shown above, but it should be general enough to handle any world that meets the basic conditions outlined at the end of this problem. There are several example worlds in the starter folder, and your program should work correctly in all of them.
When Karel is done, the missing stones in the columns should be replaced by beepers, so that the final picture resulting from the initial world shown in Figure 5 would look like the illustration below.
Karel’s final location and the final direction Karel is facing at the end of the run do not matter. Karel may count on the following facts about the world:
You should make sure your program runs successfully in all of the following worlds (which are just a few different examples to test out the generality of your solution): StoneMasonKarel.w (default world), SampleQuad1.w, SampleQuad2.w
Note that all Karel worlds are located in the worlds folder in the Assignment 1 project folder.
Your fourth task is to get Karel to create a checkerboard pattern of beepers inside an empty rectangular world, as illustrated below. (Karel’s final location and the final direction it is facing at the end of the run do not matter.)
This problem has a nice decomposition structure along with some interesting algorithmic issues. As you think about how you will solve the problem, you should make sure that your solution works with checkerboards that are different in size from the standard 8x8 checkerboard shown in the example above. Some examples of such cases are discussed below.
Odd-sized checkerboards are tricky, and you should make sure that your program generates the following pattern in a 5x3 world:
Other special cases you should consider are worlds with only a single column or a single row. The starter code folder contains several sample worlds with these special cases, and you should make sure that your program works for each of them.
This problem is hard: Try simplifying your solution with decomposition. Can you checker a single row/column? Make the row/column work for different widths/heights? Once you’ve finished a single row/column, can you make Karel fill two? Three? All of them? Incrementally developing your program in stages helps break it down into simpler parts and is a wise strategy for attacking hard programming problems.
You should make sure your program runs successfully in all of the following worlds (which are just a few different examples to test out the generality of your solution): CheckerboardKarel.w (default world), 8x1.w, 1x8.w, 7x7.w, 6x5.w, 3x5.w, 40x40.w, 1x1.w. Note that all Karel worlds are located in the worlds folder in the Assignment 1 project folder.
As an exercise in solving algorithmic problems, program Karel to place a single beeper at the center of 1st Street (aka Row). For example, say Karel starts in the 5x5 world pictured in the figure:
Karel should end with Karel standing on a beeper in the following position:
Note that the final configuration of the world should have only a single beeper at the midpoint of 1st Street. Along the way, Karel is allowed to place additional beepers wherever it wants to, but must pick them all up again before it finishes. Similarly, if Karel paints/colors any of the corners in the world, they must all be uncolored before Karel finishes.
In solving this problem, you may count on the following facts about the world:
Your program, moreover, can assume the following simplifications:
There are many different algorithms you can use to solve this problem so feel free to be creative!
You should make sure your program runs successfully in all of the following worlds (which are just a few different examples to test out the generality of your solution): MidpointKarel.w (default world), Midpoint1.w, Midpoint2.w, Midpoint8.w. Note that all Karel worlds are located in the worlds folder in the Assignment 1 project folder.
Submit your assignment on Paperless as described in Handout Submitting Assignments. Remember that you can submit more than one version of your project, but only the most recent submission will be graded. If you discover an error after you’ve made a submission, just fix your program and submit a new copy.
If you finish early, you may optionally write a Karel project of your own choice. Modify ExtensionKarel.py to use Karel to complete any task of your choosing. Extensions are a great chance for practice and, if your extension is substantial enough, it might help you earn a + score. Make sure to write comments to explain what your program is doing and update ExtensionKarel.w to be an appropriate world for your program.
All of the Karel problems you will solve, except for CollectNewspaperKarel, should be able to work in a variety of different worlds that match the problem specifications. When you first run your Karel programs, you will be presented with a sample world in which you can get started writing and testing your solution. However, we will test your solutions to each of the Karel programs, except for CollectNewspaperKarel, in a variety of test worlds. Unfortunately, each quarter, many students submit Karel programs that work brilliantly in the default worlds but which fail catastrophically in some of the other test worlds. Before you submit your Karel programs, be sure to test them out in as many different worlds as you can. We've provided several test worlds in which you can experiment, but you can also develop your own worlds for testing.
When writing your Karel programs, to the maximum extent possible, try to use the top-down design techniques we developed in class. Break the task down into smaller pieces until each subtask is something that you know how to do using the basic Karel commands and control statements. These Karel problems are somewhat tricky, but appropriate use of top-down design can greatly simplify them.
As mentioned in class, it is just as important to write clean and readable code as it is to write correct and functional code. A portion of your grade on this assignment (and the assignments that follow) will be based on how well-styled your code is. Before you submit your assignment, take a minute to review your code to check for stylistic issues like those mentioned below.
Have you added comments to your functions? To make your program easier to read, you can add comments before and inside your functions to make your intention clearer. Good comments give the reader a clue about what a method does and, in some cases, how it works. We recommend writing pre- and post-conditions for each function, as shown in the table below.
Did you decompose the problem? There are many ways to break these Karel problems down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Decomposing the problem elegantly into smaller sub-problems will result in a small number of easy-to-read functions, each of which performs just one small task. Decomposing the problem in other ways may result in functions that are trickier to understand and test. Look over your code and check to see whether you've decomposed the problem into smaller pieces. Does your code consist of a few enormous functions (not so good), or many smaller functions (good)?
This is not an exhaustive list of stylistic conventions, but it should help you get started. As always, if you have any questions on what constitutes good style, feel free to see the course helpers at the LaIR with questions, come visit the teaching team during office hours, or email your section leader with questions!