About this project
Did you miss our Kickstarter?
For ordering info, visit: http://www.openelectrons.com/bombinibot
Last summer, I was teaching robotics and programming concepts to my 8 year old, and realized how hard it is!
Robotics innately needs programming, but it's difficult to hold the attention of young minds on abstract tasks of programming.
So we started on a journey to create a tool that will teach both these concepts in tandem. And here it is: BombiniBot!
Our goal is to make it affordable for all schools and parents to teach robotics to students. BombiniBot is a cost effective way to do it.
Younger students, in third through fifth grade, can start by using Scratch to program their BombiniBots. Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy for kids to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. Many schools are already teaching students Computer Programming using Scratch. We used BYOB (Build Your Own Blocks) to extend the Scratch "palette" with new "blocks" that work similarly to other Scratch blocks.
Older students can progress on to more powerful minibloq graphical environment.
Advanced students can use C/C++ in Arduino IDE to program the same BombiniBots.
The BombiniBot is designed for usability at home and in classrooms. For convenience, it allows for on-board charging batteries. For versatility, it has wireless communication with your PC (or Mac). For precision it has encoders on motors.
BombiniBots are designed using an Arduino compatible microcontroller, so it makes it easy for students to understand and extend its capabilities as needed.
The BombiniBot is simple to assemble and easy to add extensions. It has I2C port to add more sensors.
Computers give students a way to "construct, hypothesize, explore, experiment, evaluate, and draw conclusions" (Seymour Papert)
Robotics does all that and takes it a step further. It makes programming come to life for kids; something they can see, touch, and feel. It's a little like the difference between making a movie and putting on a play.
The benefits of robotics are:
- It's physical.
- Students have to deal with real time, real world issues and physical nature of robot and conceptual thinking helps kids develop 21 century skills.
- It provides students with a better understanding of the role of hardware vs software.
- and last but not least, kids love to play with robots, and they learn while having fun!
June-11 Update: Personalize BombiniBot
Based on backers feedback, we included integration with LEGO pieces ... Below is our new chassis, (new design is also more ergonomic for little hands ...)
June-29 Update: Revised design of the BombiniBot
Last couple of days we were quiet on the kickstarter project but busy with the bot!
The new design is even more 'children friendly', the top control board of bot is clear of all components. Only the required connectors, LED and power switch are on top. The back is designed for easy grip by small hands. The whiskers are also closer to ground (by reducing overall height of the bot).
Risks and challenges
OpenElectrons.com has designed several Arduino, LEGO Mindstorms and Raspberry Pi products in the past and based on that experience, we are confident that we will deliver a quality product.
There is a chance of manufacturing delays beyond our control, and for that reason, we have added time into our contingency plan.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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