AERobot: An Educational Robot That Charges $10 to Make


Mike Rubenstein, in partnership with two other researchers at Harvard University, has created an educational robot that costs only $ ten.70 to make.

The robot, referred to as AERobot, can help middle and substantial school students learn programming and artificial intelligence, with the goal of obtaining far more college students interested in STEM – subjects that involve science, technological innovation, engineering and math.

The tool comes as portion of the coding literacy movement, which hopes to educate programming and other pc capabilities to college students from an early age.  The movement comes in all shapes and types, such as a new and simpler programming language to children’s books aimed at teaching coding concepts.

AERobot (Affordable Education Robot) was produced throughout the 2014 AFRON challenge final January, which asked researchers to generate a reduced-expense robot for schooling in creating countries.  Rubenstein had previously studied swarm robotics, which focuses on the creation of a huge amount of small robots that act as a total, as a member of Harvard’s Self-Organizing Methods Research Group.  It was by adapting one particular of his swarm robots that AERobot came to be, as a single robot, but made from a variety of the identical low-cost supplies.

A select-and-area machine, typically utilised to automatically construct printed circuit boards, was used to assemble most of the electronics.  Costs have been lowered even further by means of the use of vibration motors from locomotion and leaving out a chassis.  In addition, the robot does not incorporate its own programming interface or charger.  Both of these are provided by a desktop laptop or laptop with AERobot plugged into a USB port.

A programming language referred to as minibloqs was adapted for its software program, which uses a a lot more graphical way of programming machines.

 “You really do not actually need to have to variety code. You drag images,” he explains. “Say I needed an LED on the robot to flip green. I would just drag in excess of an picture of an LED, and pick the green colour.”

He went on to say that the language was equivalent to Scratch, a programming language for little ones that was created at MIT.

The robot is capable of moving forward, backward, spinning in circles, detecting light, following lines and edges, as effectively as identifying distances through the use of reflected infrared light.  By commanding the robot to do these basic duties, the creators hope that kids will find out programming.

A 15 lesson curriculum has been provided by Rubenstein and his study team that will consider students by means of sensors, actuators, programming, and exactly how to replicate specific robot habits.

AERobot won the prime honor at the AFRON challenge for application and came in second for hardware and curriculum.  It has given that been examined on one hundred sixth through eighth graders who have been in attendance throughout a STEM-targeted summertime camp named i2Camp.  Further testing has been planned for this summertime.  The group is working to improve the curriculum and computer software, producing the robot easy adequate to use with no the assist of a teacher.

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