Monday, January 12, 2015

Robot Club - first session completed

Link to Previous Post on Preparing for the Club with details on Partner Used:

Today we had the first session of the new robot club I'm running at my kids primary school.
It is for year 6, so 11-12 year olds.

The club is based on the parts from the previous post.

Today the kids came in and there were 3 from last year, so 7 new which is great.
Also, the gender mix is 4 boys and 6 girls.  Sounds very positive from a gender equality then heard the robot club is clashing with football, so expect there are many boys already committed to football.

Still it was a great first session.

The goal for today was to build the chassis.  I wanted to give the kids a bit of a challenge so we worked it out together using the Chinese instructions and my previously built chassis.

A lot of bolts going in the wrong way round and parts in upside down. So, each team had to take their bits apart multiple time.

As we went through the hour I expected the kids to lose heart with the every increasing times they had to remake the chassis.  But, I was delighted that by the end they were very excited to have it built and really wanted to do more.  We had to stop as parents were waiting to collect the kids.

We wired up some of the motors and I showed that since the motors mirror each other than with the motors wired the same way that one wheel goes forward and the other goes backwards with the same red-positive / black-negative wiring.  I explained we can sort this out in code.

The best comment of the day from one of the girls was. "Today is the first time I don't want to leave school."

She was very curious about the 4x4 keypad, so I explained how it works.
Send a signal into each horizontal pin one after another and seeing which pin it comes out at.

Metal Note: try to bring a white board market next time.  Teachers take them away after their classes.

In preparation for next week I have to get all the chassis sorted. One of the motors had the tab ripped off so lucky I have a spare motor.

Then add the L298N H-Bridge and Arduino Nano compatible so coding can start next week.

Goals for next session.
Understand the wiring.
Code to make it go forward, backwards and turn.
Program to go around the centre section in the room.

Roll on next Monday.

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