[Edu-sig] Inexpensive robot teaching platforms

Blake Elias blakeelias at gmail.com
Fri Jun 24 05:40:02 CEST 2011

My high school competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition.  Every year
we have to teach new members basic robotics and programming concepts,
to get them excited and prepared for the heat of competition.  Those
who have the patience stay with it and have a great time, but we
always lose a bunch of people partly because the lessons are not very
interesting or useful.  I believe the solution is to teach with small
robots, instead of just writing on the board and doing "hello
world"-type programs.

Vern, I was very inspired by your PyCon talk on teaching programming
with the Scribbler.  I know people have had success with it, it looks
like a great robot to teach with.  For our budget however, getting a
bunch of these would be a stretch (I think the scribbler + fluke board
combo costs $140 -- is this correct?).  You do need the Fluke board
unless you want to program it in BASIC Stamp or their GUI, right?

I've seen some cheaper mini-robots but I'm not sure if they're any
good.  Does anyone have suggestions?

Blake Elias

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