Introduction: 1/2-a-bot Educational Robot

This is the 1/2-a-bot. (pronounced Half-a-bot). I developed it as an interesting way for my students to learn about control systems and programming. The lessons are set up as modules and each module is broken up into sub sections to make it as easy as possible to complete each step. Modules consist of videos and lessons. I decided to host the tutorials and needed files on the web using popular hosting platforms so that the students can work independently should they want to. I also peppered in some links to external tutorials and videos to inspire the students to do more research on their own.

I found that BASIC is much easier for students to start programming with so I decided to use the excellent compiler Great Cow BASIC for 8 bit PIC and AVR micro controllers and I highly recommend you check it out.

There is enough information given in the GitHub repository should you want to build your own.

If the intro video sound like a commercial it is because I hope to take it further than my college and introduce it to more schools, colleges, maker spaces, universities etc.

Step 1: Install Great Cow BASIC and Set It Up.

Download Great Cow BASIC and install it. It needs to be set up to work with the 1/2-a-bot boot-loader and the necessary drivers and setup has to be done. Since this is more a showcase and not a full instruct-able I will not go in to the boring details. The instructions is on the YouTube channel and Google docs should you want more details.

Step 2: Solder the Board.

You can look at the Lesson or watch the video...

Each step is explained.

Step 3: Build the Chassis With the Bumpers, Program It and Watch It Go...

Here is some photos of the bumpers and some of the early prototypes.

The video looks more like "robot abuse..."

Step 4: Add OLED and Line Following Sensor

After installing an OLED for feedback and building and installing a line sensor, the 1/2-a-bot will be able to follow a line. Some experimentation is needed to get it to work.

Step 5: TO THE FUTURE !!

The 1/2-a-bot is far from finished. I am working on modules to add odometry, sonar, Bluetooth control via android, gyroscope, compass, grippers and lots lots more.

The chassis is even Lego, Arduino and Raspberry pi compatible.

Thank you for reading my post.

Robotics Contest

Participated in the
Robotics Contest