Introduction: How to Get Into Robotics, Programming, Arduino Electronics

Picture of How to Get Into Robotics, Programming, Arduino Electronics

Robotics integrate all STEM fields and always make each kid crazy. It can help kids get hands-on experience on mechanics, electronics, control system and computer science.

However, all robots on the market seem to be expensive, hard to assemble, trouble to wire and complex to program. Our goal is to create an affordable, easy-to-use and open source robot for per kid. That is the mBot, which is crowfunding on Kickstarter.

What is the mBot?

mBot is a cost-effective, easy to build and run robot kit for kids, it can help kid to grasp hands-on experience quickly of graphical programming, electronics and robotics.

It is said to have features below:

  • All-in-one solution for robotic learning designed for STEM education
  • This graphical programming environment mBlock is based on Scratch 2.0 developed by MIT Media Lab. 15+ improvements and 50+ new script blocks have been developed for easy teaching and learning. Try here.
  • Electronics are designed based on open source platform Arduino. 10+ improvements are made for easy teaching and learning.
  • The easy-to-assemble mechanical parts (about 10 mins) are well compatible with Makeblock and Lego parts.
  • Two colors available : Blue/Pink
  • Two Versions: 1. Bluetooth Version for individual usage or team working; 2.4G Version for classroom.

Step 1: Part List

Picture of Part List

there are almost 40 pieces in the mBot kit include the mechanic modules and electronic modules, everyone can assemble all parts within 10 mins.

the list is shown below:

1*Metal Base Plate

2*TT Gear Motor

2*Wheel

2*Tyre

1*Plastic Universal Wheel

1*Magic Tape 20*30mm

6*Brass Stud M4*25

14*Socket Cap Screw M4*8

6*Nut M4

4*Nut M3

4*Philip's Head Screw M3*25

2*Tapping Screw M2.2*9.5

1*Arduino Based Control Board

1*Me Ultrasonic Sensor V3.0

1*Me Line Follower V2.2

1*Me Infrared Controller

1*Bluetooth

1*Battery Holder for (4)AA

4*RJ25 Cable

1*USB A-Male to B-Male Cable

Step 2: Introducing to the Electronics of MBot

Picture of Introducing to the Electronics of MBot

we designed mBot's electronics based on Arduino platform , which is easy for kids to use and extend , and bring their every idea to life.

With intuitional color labels and easy-to-use RJ25 connectors, the board could get wired within a few seconds, so students could get more time to focus on creating all kinds of interactive stories and projects.

You can see more from Kickstarter page.

Step 3: Assemble All Parts

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Cute shape with easy assembly is our goal. mBot contains only about 45 pieces in total, so it is easy to have a sense of achievement for kids to assemble in 10 mins quickly.

Step 4: Introducing to Graphical Programming Tool-mBlock

Picture of Introducing to Graphical Programming Tool-mBlock

mBlock is a free graphical programming environment (based on Scratch 2.0) with new features of allowing you to program Arduino and robotics. Users can download from herehttp://mblock.cc/download/.

For now, 15+ improvements and 50+ hardware-related script blocks have been made for kids to program easily. Here are some features may interest you:

  • Based on scratch 2.0 developed by MIT Media Lab, beautiful interface and easy for everyone.
  • Free & source code: the software is free and support Window & Mac system. We will also open the source code later.
  • Support wireless communication: Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless serial and WIFI are supported.
  • Easy to use: No extension file! No plug-in! The easiest way to program your Arduino and robots.
  • Arduino mode: perfect for every beginner to transition from graphical programming to text-based programming.

Step 5: Drag&drop Programming (run a Wall Avoidance Robot)

Picture of Drag&drop Programming (run a Wall Avoidance Robot)

Step 6: Generate the Source Code and Upload

Picture of Generate the Source Code and Upload

With mblock, users can generate Arduino source code from graphical blocks. So it will be perfect for every beginner to switch from graphical programming to text-based programming. We do like this function very much!

Step 7: More...

Picture of More...

You not only can do this simple project, but also can do more because it is based on Arduino open source platfrom.

Two online courses to help teachers or kids get started easier. People can get a preview of contents about two books here.

If you are interested in this project, you can get more information from Kickstarter page.

Comments

MitsukiK (author)2015-10-15

It's a good starter kit but I wish there are more advanced tutorials available. I hope that there will be more available in the future because I'm really loving this new mbot. :)

tomatoskins (author)2015-04-08

This looks cool! Thanks for sharing and best of luck with your kickstarter.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Makeblock was founded in 2012 as the world's first open-source robot and programing platform. With more than 400 mechanical components, electronic modules, and software ... More »
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