turtle graphics

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turtle graphics A method for translating information from a computer into pictures or patterns. The original drawing device was a simple pen-plotter known as a turtle, a motorized carriage carrying one or more pens and connected to its controller and power source by a flexible cable. The drive wheels of the carriage could be precisely controlled to steer it in any direction across a floor or other flat surface covered in paper or similar material; the pens could be raised and lowered by control signals.

The action of the turtle can now be simulated by graphics on the display of a small computer: the screen turtle usually has the form of a triangular arrow that may or may not produce a line as it is made to move across the screen. See also LOGO.