This course will introduce you to the mBot, the world's friendliest educational robotics platform. The mBot is an Arduino-based, two-wheel robot that comes with build-in sensors and actuators, and that you can program using Scratch, a graphical programming language.
The mBot is also extensible, with a lot of components available that you can use to build your own robotic creations.
In this course, I will show you how to assemble the mBot, discuss the additional hardware options, and demonstrate how to program it on your tablet and your Windows or Mac OS computer.
The main project of the course involves programming the mBot to follow an arbitrary black line on the floor. In this project we must combine our robot’s sensors and actuators efficiently to enable it to stay on the line while it travels on it as quickly as possible.
At first glance, you may think that getting a robot to follow a line is easy. That’s not true for a robot.
As the programmer, you must “teach the robot” to do something that to a human is intuitive. You need to extract the intuitive understanding of how to follow a line and convert it into code.
The required hardware is the mBot itself, and a computer (Windows or Mac OS). You can purchase an mBot direct from its manufacturer, Makeblock, or from your local reseller. You can download the software from free from the Makeblock website.
In this course, I use the Bluetooth version of the mBot.
There is also the 2.4G version, suitable for computers that don't have a Bluetooth adapter. If you have the 2.4G version, all wireless programming programming is identical to the Bluetooth instructions, except that instead of using a Bluetooth connection you will be using the 2.4G.
Peter Dalmaris is an educator, electrical engineer, electronics hobbyist, and Maker. Creator of online video courses on DIY electronics and author of three technical books, and has recently released his book Maker Education Revolution.
As a Chief Tech Explorer since 2013 at Tech Explorations, the company he founded in Sydney, Australia, Peter’s mission is to explore technology and help educate the world.
Tech Explorations offers educational courses and Bootcamps for electronics hobbyists, STEM students and STEM teachers.
A life-long learner, Peter’s core skill is in explaining difficult concepts through video and text. With over 15 years of tertiary teaching experience, Peter has developed a simple yet comprehensive style in teaching that students from all around the world appreciate.
His passion for technology and in particular for the world of DIY open source hardware has been a dominant driver that has guided his personal development and his work through Tech Explorations.
Peter’s current online courses have helped over 60,000 people from around the world to be better Makers.
For more information on Peter's work, please go to his web site.