Decision Tree

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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.



START: Educational Outcomes Pathway

Are you searching for a robot for: Advanced Students (College Level), or Intermediate Students (Introductory College, HS), or Beginner Students (K-10) or Novices






Pathway continuations

Put pathway continuations here:

Advanced Students

One Day Workshop (short intervention), or One Week Workshop (medium intervention), or One Semester Workshop (long intervention)

Intermediate Students

One Day Workshop (short intervention), or One Week Workshop (medium intervention), or One Semester Workshop (long intervention)

Beginner Students

One Day Workshop (short intervention), or One Week Workshop (medium intervention), or One Semester Workshop (long intervention)

Adv:One Day

Int:One Day

Beg:One Day

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.

Adv:One Week

Int:One Week

Beg:One Week

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.

Adv:One Semester

Int:One Semester

Beg:One Semester

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.


Robot Platforms

Put robot platforms (base level) here:

IPRE Scribbler/Fluke Robot

Ipre-fluke.jpg

The Scribbler from Parallax has the following properties:

  • line (2 IR, binary)
  • obstacle (2 front IR, binary)
  • stall
  • 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

Combined with our IPRE Fluke (which can be purchased here under license from Georgia Tech) it becomes a wireless Bluetooth robot. In addition to the bluetooth connectivity, the IPRE Fluke has:

  • 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.

Category Description Notes
Cost $150
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
Battery 6 AA's

Parallax BOE Robot

Chiara (Tekkotsu)

Pico Crickets

You can find the Pico Cricket website here: http://picocricket.com/

Language: Scratch Cost: $250.00 (3/4/2009)

Hummingbird/Robot Diaries

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 tlauwers@andrew.cmu.edu for more information or to be notified if it becomes available.

Lego NXT Robots

CMU Finch

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 tlauwers@andrew.cmu.edu for more information.

Myro