Why create yet another Robot for education?
We have explored the various popular off-the-shelf education robots in the market but quickly realized the limitation posed by the bundles available. It is either designed for younger learners (years 1-5), which typically comes almost fully assembled and rightly so — or targeting learners from tertiary education & even adults carrying a price tag way above what we think is reasonable for this workshop.
What is a black box robot & why build a robot from the ground up?
Many robotics kits in the market today come as a single or few pieces of mysterious “Black box” components. Although the journey will still end up with a functional robot, the learning outcome is considerably different.
The term black box is used to describe an electronic device whose internal mechanism is usually hidden from or mysterious to the user. Therefore, learning with these robotic kits will only provide a student with a pleasant robot-building experience with a high success rate but fails to answer students’ curiosity about how each robot component interoperates. It is like understanding the mode of operation of a washing machine rather than how it works.
When we designed & built our robotic kit & program, we wanted to teach starting from the core microcontroller theory and its usage. Ultimately we want our students to walk away from class understanding how the various components relate and work together to transform an input signal from a sensor into an output signal expressed by an actuator.