The Classroom Robot System
The strength of the Arduino ecosystem in education is significant. Many educators have invested in Arduino and teach effectively with this platform.
C sketches developed by students often use libraries found throughout the web.
The Arduino IDE runs on all operating systems except the Chrome operating system on Chromebooks. Parallax introduces robotics to this ecosystem with the Shield-Bot robot — the longest running, most widely used robot for the Uno.
The Arduino C used in our robotic products looks familiar to Python and PBASIC at first.
Some terminology and values appear to be the same. The learning curve may seem steeper because functions are used to start and loop a sketch, curly braces define program sections and comments have a specific syntax.
One benefit of Arduino C (and Python) on a Parallax robot is that the servo motor drive signals are maintained by the Arduino Uno processor once the values are assigned, without need for refresh every 20 ms (as is required with PBASIC).
This is easier to code, but slightly more abstract for the student. Here’s an example of Arduino C with the Shield-Bot.
Parallax’s key contribution to the Arduino C language in education are the Shield-Bot tutorials (also available in print).
The Shield-Bot tutorials use standard Arduino libraries and teach robotic basics, electronic circuits with sensors, and code development through small steps of subsystem testing.
Through each tutorial, students will run complete sketches that make use of the entire circuit built on the Shield-Bot.
Educators who wish to use the Arduino Uno on a Shield-Bot with Chromebooks have another advantage with Parallax.
Through an exclusive agreement with Codebender, we offer Codebender Edu class licenses for no cost. This system is run with a Chrome plug-in and is not subject to COPPA/FERPA requirements since no personal data is collected.
Educators must be using the Shield-Bot with Arduino in order to qualify for the offer. Contact our education team to obtain a link for your classroom.