The StudioBot embodies the philosophy of our DIY workshops, that's why we opted opt for the timber base and 3D printed castor wheel in our school holiday workshops. The StudioBots that we use within schools has parts made from perspex (chassis, motor brackets, etc).
The circuit board has been custom designed which is designed to sit on an Arduino Uno in the standard shield configuration. Shown below is the first version of the board however we are currently in the third itiration. The wiring to connect all the components is designed to be easy for young hands.
The board (shield) includes an onboard buzzer which allows students to explore musical tones and LED lights which can be programmed to flash or blink in many colours.
The LCD display provides students with a great way to get feedback from the robot, we've added a number of features into the software to make scrolling text and altering the backlight settings really easy.
We decided to go with 6AA batteries for 9V to ensure the two motors had plenty of zip! This robot can really move with its two wheels and rear caster wheel. Students can even remote control the StudioBot by using a 2.4Ghz wireless link that gets plugged into the board; but first they need to program it to respond to certain keypress events.
Finally the Ultrasonic is a must have, this lets us sense the outside world and respond to it. StudioBot can be programmed to detect an obstacle or motion and then to turn away from it.
We wanted the robot to be accessible to all students, so we have made extensions to mBlock (Scratch based), so that students who are familiar with visual drag drop programming would be able to get some good results with the robot. But being build on the Arduino platform, we can also program this device with C++ and other text based programming languages.
We think this is a great robot for coding clubs that want to find a way to extend scratch programming activities without the expense of commercial robots. But we also want this robot to serve as inspiration to students who might want to design and build a custom robot for some of the robotics competitions.
If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us.