We are learning robotics and beginnings of programming with the help of Star Wars droids and designers

Robots are slowly taking over the world, both in industry and in everyday life. Of course, here we do not mean humanoid robots, gradually enslaving the world. No, it's just that technologies are gradually developing, and with them the capabilities of robotic systems are expanding. Now such systems work as guides, carers, waiters and many more.

As for life, here the variety of models is not so great, and the robots themselves are expensive. But acquaintance with robotics can begin with miniature programmable systems that are popular with both children and adults. We at Madrobots have experienced several models of robots and share our impressions.

Sphero robots

About these robots, which are made in the image and likeness of BB-8, a robot from Star Wars, began to write a couple of years ago. Sphero is still popular, the company continues to develop their functionality. For example, a programmable droid has recently appeared with the Sphero BB-8 learning module. His behavior can be customized using a smartphone.

The model is controlled by the phone, it has several modes, including patrol mode. BB-8 recognizes movies with their participation and is able to transmit video messages. Included is a Droid Trainer, with which you can immerse yourself in augmented reality with elements of the Star Wars universe.

The design of the robot, as mentioned, is a copy of the astromech from the film. This is a spherical body and head, which is mounted on a magnet. BB-8 is painted white with small orange accents. The case is made of fairly durable polycarbonate, so the toy is not afraid of falls or collisions.

The movement mechanics here are based on gyroscopic stress. The maximum speed is 2 meters per second. By the way, you can control the system using your voice. True, only English voice commands are recognized.

As for augmented reality, here we are talking about a hologram, which is recorded by Sphero BB-8 . By the way, this robot also recognizes movies with its participation. Even robots recognize each other, so if you have several Sphero, they will react to each other's presence.

The battery of the robot is quite capacious, it lasts for about a day of the system, after which the droid must be placed for recharging in the docking station. Charging is done wirelessly.

The white-orange BB-8 has “colleagues”, whose body is painted in black and gray. Such robots received a serial number BB-9E . Actually, their functions are the same as those of the BB-8. With a group of such robots you can make real theatrical productions, as shown in the video above.

And, of course, do not forget about the robot droid Sphero R2-D2 . This is an exact smaller copy of a Star Wars robot. It is also controlled from a tablet or phone using Bluetooth. There is also the possibility of using the Force Band controller bracelet.


This droid stands on two legs, for movement he uses the third. The head rotates 360 degrees. The robot can dance + expresses all the emotions that his "big brother" from the movie.

In the application, you can create a route for the robot, it can move along the planned path. Or there is a second mode - patrol. Well, and even more pleasant - this robot recognizes its fellow BB-series. Recently, by the way, R2Q5 appeared - the same R2D2, only its colors are almost like Darth Vader.

Nyan robot cat on Arduino

Yes, you can not only buy a robot, but also assemble it yourself, at the same time having learned the tricks of electronic component assembly and programming. The basis of the robot is ATMega32U4b chip.

Thanks Arduino cat quite functional. Plus, the designer allows you to collect three different versions of the same model. The first is a music box with color music. The second is the timer, the third is the online notifier. Programs are already developed, they can be downloaded from the Web.

Of course, all this is more suitable for children, and the creators of the designer indicate that the set is positioned as a children's designer, which allows the child to learn how to create electronic models.

The advantage of the designer is that the electronic components are outside. They can be swapped or replaced with other parts (some are sold separately). For example, you can add a QuadDisplay display to your design, which will turn the cat into an alarm clock or weather station.

By the way, children will not have problems with connectors - all connections work thanks to Slot Shield connectors. The modules are fastened using M3 screws.

The child is unlikely to be confused - in the instructions there is a color scheme with comments for each of the assembly options. Writing your own programs is also possible, the language is C ++.

The software is loaded when the robot is connected to the computer using a USB cable. In general, a Nyan cat based on the Arduino is a great way to get your child interested in electronics.

Designer robot UBTECH Jimu Astrobot

Finally, the Jimu Astrobo is a very advanced robot designer with great capabilities, designed for children. From it you can assemble three different models to choose from: Humanoid, Robot and Machine. We tried to assemble the robot ourselves, and watched how the children were coping with the designer. It should be noted, everything is fine, no problems for children (of course, enough adults for this task) with the assembly of the robot does not arise.

The system is controlled using software for iOS and Android. As usual, the designer comes with instructions. There are also all the necessary components, including servo drives, case, additional units, Bluetooth-module, speaker, LEDs. Manages all the "brain". Of course, not a positron one, like that of Azimov, but a completely ordinary chip.

Among other things, the kit includes an infrared sensor that allows the robot to recognize faces and navigate in space. Commands can be written independently in the application.

UBTECH Jimu Astrobot robots need not only to be assembled, but also programmed using a visual language, where individual actions of the robot are represented by blocks. By putting the blocks together, the child instructs the system what to do and at what point.

In general, all three designers are a great option to acquaint children with the world of electronics and robotics. The simplest option is the Sphero robot, after which you can move on to more complex ones. On the other hand, it does not interfere with one another, and there may be a whole zoo of robots and robotic designers in the family.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/407483/

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