- By: Ken Gracey Published: 09 November, 2017 0 comments
This week we started shipping the new ActivityBot 360 robot!
As we continue the focus on programming and electronics education using a one-robot-per-student model, these are the key points we’d like to share with our customers about the ActivityBot 360 Robot Kit:
- Students can work with tutorials in C or Google Blockly. As STEM education becomes more commonplace we’re seeing our robots in all kinds of classes from middle school through university. A more diverse set of future engineers are using robots as learning tools. With Blockly, more students will participate because they love Blockly and it’s fun to use! By high school most students have programmed in Snap!, Scratch or Blockly so they’re already familiar with the environment. Academically, Blockly provides a bridge to text-based C programming.
- Feedback 360 High Speed Servos are included. Capable robots need wheel encoders to go straight, to do dead-reckoning, to travel fixed distances and execute a repetitive pattern with accuracy. The Feedback 360 servos have an internal hall-effect sensor that connects directly to another microcontroller I/O pin. The result is an easier build, high-resolution encoder! The prior digital encoders mounted against the wheels have been tossed out of our design (and out of our office). To upgrade a prior ActivityBot you only need two Feedback 360 Servos.
- Educator Assessment Material. Educators have access to our complete suite of assessment material and NGSS/CCSS standard correlations. The assessment material consists of a list of questions for each tutorial, along with “Your Turn” detailed answers. A sample picture of this material is shown above. Educators may request it by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- California bonus: recognized A-G University of California elective. The ActivityBot 360 and our original ActivityBot have A-G certification. This means students who take the course in California high schools will have their elective credit recognized by the University of California. Educators can simply use our material.
Above all of that, what matters most is the simple notion that students who enjoy what they’re doing will experience a powerful influence on their academic and career choices. In this case, learning by doing could create careers in programming, electronics, mechanical engineering, and product design.
- Ken Gracey, Parallax Inc.