This page is dedicated to the creation of resources for those looking to start a robotics program.
Here is the proposed structure for editing:
Create a high level decision question. Answers to that question should link to lower parts of the document, eventually terminating at a specific robot platform.
Please be sure to include a link to the page for the actual platform, as well as a price (and date you found the price).
I think there can eventually be multiple "decision paths" so if your question starts a new path (money, types of sensors, educational requirements) please be sure you mark it as a START.
- 1 START: Educational Outcomes Pathway
- 2 Pathway continuations
- 3 Robot Platforms
START: Educational Outcomes Pathway
Put pathway continuations here:
Some of the robots you may want to explore include: Pico Crickets - These little kits are great for students of all grades and all genders. They offer students the ability to be creative as they are learning about programming and robots.
Hummingbird - Hummingbird is part of the Robot Diaries program, aimed at teaching design skills to middle schoolers by tasking them to build emotionally expressive robots from arts and crafts materials. The Robot Diaries program has a curriculum with about 20 contact hours, ideal for one week or a once/week multi-week workshop.
Finch - Finch was designed for introductory programming courses. Currently the Finch is controllable through the Java programming language. #IPRE_Scribbler - The IPRE Scribbler is used in introductory programming courses using Python. C++ and Scheme versions are being developed.
Put robot platforms (base level) here:
IPRE Scribbler/Fluke Robot
- line (2 IR, binary)
- obstacle (2 front IR, binary)
- light (3 front, continuous)
- two-frequency tone generator (cannot handle commands while playing tones)
- 6 AA batteries (not included; no recharger included)
- can hold a pen in center of robot
- no odometry
- no side range sensors
- the capability to program the scribbler with the IPRE firmware
- extra LEDs (front and back)
- 3 infrared obstacle detectors
- a battery voltage sensor
- a color camera
The scribbler+fluke combination is sold for $180 with educational discount. See the Georgia Robotics website for details.
All of our documentation and software written so far applies specifically to the Scribbler and uses Python. There are community efforts to adapt the material to C++ and Scheme as well as other robots. See Introduction to Computer Science via Robots and the Myro Reference Manual. Also, see USB/Bluetooth Adapters and Myro Development for more information.
|Language||Python||C++ and Scheme in development|
|Audience||Undergraduate, CS-majors and Non-majors||Being adapted to Middle and High Schools|
|Places taught over a day|
|Places taught over a week|
|Places taught over a semester||Georgia Tech, Bryn Mawr, Rowan University, University of Tennessee, Georgia State University|
|Sensors||Color Camera, IR obstacle sensors, Light sensors|
|Effectors||Two DC motors, two-tone speaker, various LEDs|
Parallax BOE Robot
You can find the Pico Cricket website here: http://picocricket.com/
Language: Scratch Cost: $250.00 (3/4/2009)
The Hummingbird is a microcontroller circuit board used in the Robot Diaries program, which is aimed primarily at middle school girls. The circuit board has the ability to control 2 full color and 4 regular LEDs (all LEDs are fully fade-able), 4 servos, 2 motors, 2 analog sensor ports, and 2 vibration motors. The Hummingbird comes with an iconic scripting language that allows students to choreagraph the motions of their robots.
Hummingbird is currently being used in pilot testing. It may become available in another year or so, expected price would be around $100 (though there are additional materials costs for LEDs, servos, building materials, etc). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to be notified if it becomes available.
Lego NXT Robots
The Finch is a robot designed for high school and college introduction to Computer Science courses. Finch is programmed in Java, and is powered and tethered over USB (there are no batteries). It has a number of sensors - light, temperature, acceleration, and obstacle sensors. It also has a number of outputs - motion, a full color LED, and a buzzer. The software framework also allows students to play music over computer speakers or synthesize speech from text, and gives students access to a number of internet RSS feeds (so that the robot can respond to the weather or stock market).
Finch is currently in beta, and is expected to be released commercially by 2010 for around $100. Email email@example.com for more information.