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Intro to Robotics

Come along and learn about Robotics at Building Block Studio over this 4 week period. We have small class sizes which will enable us to provide very personalised mentoring. We'll be able to work closely with our students and move along at a pace that suits them.

We will start with our little bots and get them to obey our every command. We'll play some fun games with them such as Sumo wrestling.

Over the next weeks we'll use our Vex IQ bots by programming them to do some basic tasks such as picking things up and moving around. We'll be using the ModKit programming tool to program our bots, this is a great introductory tool that is very easy to understand.

The goal will be to get students to understand the fundamentals of the robot and the programming involved. We'll be using the Think, Do, Test approach where students are encouraged to think about the task they wish to achieve, then execute the actions they thought up and finally test the results.

We will have the basic drivetrain of the robot built, so the students will spend more time coding and building additions that give greater value.


Intro to Robotics

Week 1.

Students will be introduced to robotics in the first week via our robots. We'll start by introducing the students to the programming environment by asking them to make a LED blink every second on the robot. They will discover that they need to think about how a continuous loop works and the timing blocks needed.

From here they will be asked to make the robot move forward, turn 180 degrees and return to the same spot. Increasingly harder commands will then be given until the students can complete a figure 8.

A brief introduction to sensors is then given, we should how the software can respond to events and how actions can be taken. We look at the clap (sound) sensor and the IR (obstacle) sensors.

Week 2.

In week 2 we move over to our Vex IQ robots or mBots and introduce them to the ModKit programming tool. This programming environment is inspired by Scratch and so should look and feel familiar to the students. We discuss the drivetrain component and how ModKit uses the dimensions of our robot to be able to give more precise controls to the robot. For example, with our Edision experimentation in week 1 we found that it was hard to accurately turn 90 degrees. However with ModKit we should be able to get it to work precisely.

We'll then do a few simple exercises to get used to the programming environment, this will involve moving around an obstacle and moving set distances along the floor.

We then start looking at the sensors. We'll detect a wall with the ultrasonic sensor. We will detect colours with the colour sensor and detect the edge of the table and prevent our robot from falling off.