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Summer School 2016 Report #2: Building and Programming Robots!

Today's Summer School 2016 report will cover building and programming robots!
With a theme of "Let's be robot engineers!", each Friday's activities focused on learning to build and program robots.
 
The kids built robot cars (mBots) and wrote programs to operate them wirelessly, utilize sensors to make the robots avoid obstacles, or follow along lines on the floor using a color sensor.

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First things first! Finish up homework in the morning, and then the fun tech learning starts in the afternoon!

 

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First, let's listen to the teacher's explanation.
There are lots of parts, so make sure not to lose any!

 
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We'd better read the manual carefully to see how to build this robot.

 

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Alright, let's make sure we've got all the parts from the manual! Is there anything missing?

 

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These little nuts are tough to fasten...
Working together makes it easier, though!

 

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Screw it in tight!

 
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Check out our finished robot!

 

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Now it's time to program the robots using the mBlock software.
First up is writing a program to operate the robots wirelessly.

 
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Once the program is finished, we can control the mBots from the computer and race them along courses stuck to the floor.
Let's try changing some of these variables to make our robot a little easier to control.

 

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On another day, we faced the tougher challenge of programming our robots to use sensors.

 

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Can our mBot use it's ultrasonic sensor to avoid obstacles?

 

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The older children were a great support to the younger kids!

 

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Fine tuning the line-tracing program.
Getting the robot to properly sense and follow the line requires repeated tests and program refinement.

 

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After some trial and error, it worked!
All our hard work paid off!

 

There were some students who attended all four robotics activities this Summer School, but there's still so much more to learn about building and programming robots.
The mBots we use at TECH PARK KIDS were designed and created by the Makeblock company with STEM education in mind.
Even first-graders can construct mBots and program them using a simple, visual programming language similar to Scratch. Older children can challenge themselves to incorporate various sensors into more complicated programs.

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To all the girls and boys who love robots: we're busy planning even more great activities for our curriculum!
Hope you can join us!

Or, check out earlier reports here:
Report #1: Making Commercials (with the Sony Store Tenjin Branch)
Report #3: Programming 2D and 3D games in Unity
Report #4: Let’s go see technology in action! Field trips to the Central Main Line Two and Yaskawa Innovation Center