Robotics and programming has been recognized as such an incredible way for students to learn that Australia has made it part of their curriculum (link).
The future is robotics - by 2025 almost 40% of Australian jobs could be replaced by robots (link).
Knowing how they work gives your children a huge advantage.
Students learn about the “bits” and parts used to build robots. Electronics are the basic building blocks (bits) of robots and nearly every hi-tech device we use today.
Students learn the fundamentals of building an electronic circuit on a rapid prototype board. They learn the extremely valuable skill of being able to read an electrical schematic and turn it into a real circuit. This is a wonderful first step toward being able to build incredible robotic projects on their own.
Students convert abstract ideas and symbols shown in schematics into physical working circuits. This empowering knowledge is a basic building block (similar to learning arithmetic in mathematics), that will allow students the opportunity to take a more complicated schematic for a project they wish to build and make it a reality.
The Junior level will be presented only the simpler components. Junior level will build a Laser Spy Alarm, but will build the basic version. Senior level will explore more complex components and look at the mathematics involved. Senior level will build the basic Spy alarm kit, and then be challenged to extend the project's capabilities by learning about the super-position theorem, state machine memory, and latches.
Lessons and Concepts
Tear it apart!
- Electronic components
- Schematic symbols
Breadboards and Oscillators
- Logic gates
- Integrated circuits
Laser Spy Alarm
- Photocells (Cadmium Sulfide Photoresistor)
- Piezoelectric effect
Students will learn how to build a circuit used to transform various audio signals from their smartphones into signals used to control the motion of a pair of motors. We will mount mirrors on each motor and by reflecting a laser off each mirror, the student will be able to control the motion of the laser reflected on the wall. Students will use prototyping boards (breadboards) to build their circuits, so no soldering experience is required. We will be using very low powered safe laser pointers. Students will learn about the concepts of frequency, duty-cycle, period, sine-wave, square-wave, pulse-width modulation, and amplification. By the end of the course students will have built their own LaserBot, and will learn to control it to create their own laser show.
Lessons and Concepts
Actuators - Motors
Nao Robot - Degrees of Freedom
Servos - Feedback, velocity (RPM), torque, power
Laser Light Show
The student will learn many elements of programming, as they solve a number of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematical) challenges. They will build a POV (persistence of vision) robot. Students will learn how human vision works, and create a robot that can display a message that appears to float in the air using spinning LEDs. They will learn about the binary number system (base-2, bits, and bytes), frequency, the rate at which human vision blurs moving objects, pixels and bitmaps, and font creation. Students will have to solve the problems of synchronization and drift in periodic functions, in order to stabilize the message displayed on the robot. In order to do this they will learn how to use and implement magnetic hall-effect sensors. Their final project will be able to display a custom programmed message.
The student will learn many elements of programming, as they solve a number of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematical) challenges. They will learn about lasers, and create a laser show robot that displays geometric patterns roulettes (epitrochiods, and hypotrochoids). To accomplish this they will learn how to control the speed and direction of two motors using an h-bridge and PWM (pulse width modulation). Finally they will learn to synchronize the control of their robot by creating a laser light show that displays various patterns in-time to a piece of music.
Lessons and Concepts
mBlock - *Programming*
CAD - *CAD/CAM Drafting*
Mirror Motors - *Assembly & Soldering*
DriverBloX - *Assembly & Wiring*
Crane Challenge - *Build & Motor Control*
- PWM (pulse width modulation)
LaserBot Body - *Plastic Building*
LaserBot - *Laser Show*
- Geometric patterns: roulettes (epitrochiods, and hypotrochoids)
Lessons and ConceptsLaserBot & mBlock - *Motor Control & Programming*
GoBloX - *Jigs & Glue*
GoBloX | BrainBloX | DriverBloX - *Assembly & Glue*
PowerBloX - *Assembly & Soldering*
DashBot - *Build & Troubleshoot*
BatBloX - *Sensors*
DashBot - *Missions*
Mario Cart - *Balloon Battle*
- Investigate and make judgments on how the characteristics and properties of materials are combined with force, motion and energy to create engineered solutions (ACTDEK043)
- Investigate and make judgments on how the characteristics and properties of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment can be combined to create designed solutions (ACTDEK046)
- Investigate and make judgments, within a range of technologies specialisations, on how technologies can be combined to create designed solutions (ACTDEK047)
- Critique needs or opportunities to develop design briefs and investigate and select an increasingly sophisticated range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment to develop design ideas (ACTDEP048)
- Develop, modify and communicate design ideas by applying design thinking, creativity, innovation and enterprise skills of increasing sophistication (ACTDEP049)
- Work flexibly to effectively and safely test, select, justify and use appropriate technologies and processes to make designed solutions(ACTDEP050)
- They create and connect design ideas and processes of increasing complexity and justify decisions.
- They select and use appropriate technologies skilfully and safely to produce high-quality designed solutions suitable for the intended purpose.
- Students work individually and collaboratively to identify and sequence steps needed for a design task. They negotiate and develop plans to complete design tasks, and follow plans to complete design tasks safely, making adjustments to plans when necessary. Students identify, plan and maintain safety standards and practices when making designed solutions. (Yr 5&6)
- Design the user experience of a digital system by evaluating alternative designs against criteria including functionality, accessibility, usability, and aesthetics (ACTDIP039)