What sets our program apart is that we've developed a super low-cost robotics kit that lets us sell each student their own programmable robot for $100 each. I just spent the last four months writing the 8-week curriculum and associated text book.
Our website is at http://www.sumorobotleague.com/ and we'd love for you to sign up for our mailing list. We're trying to figure out manufacturing right now so that we can crank out thousands of robots to keep up with demand. If you're interested in robotics, I think our kit and program is probably the easiest introduction that you'll find.
I'm a hands on, self learner. I don't do well in a structured course, but prefer to learn by tinkering and building (while referencing good resources). I'd love to start with something like this, but wonder since it's marketed to middle school kids, if it would be too trivial?
On the other hand, I have zero experience in this field, so maybe it would be perfect...?
This is the exact sort of setup that I started with (professional engineer of 15 years). Two years ago when we started the program, we built it off of an Arduino and some Pololu kits. It was a great kit, but ended up costing about $150. After the success of our program in the schools, we spent the last year developing a custom PCB that has everything all built in. It has an ATmega328 chip, motor controllers, and sensors all pre-soldered on one board. It's still Arduino programming, but on our custom device. That got our manufacturing costs down to less than $50/kit and lets us sell the whole package to schools for about $100 per kid.
Now the hardest part, as I mentioned, is figuring out manufacturing at scale so that we can crank out thousands of these little suckers.
Send me an email (in my profile) and I'll get you a free copy of the ebook. I'd love some feedback from a programmer, if you're willing.
This uses the Arexx frame and on top of that 3D printed hulls (so it's under say around a 30 bucks). We considered Kickstarting it, and we might actually do this one day. Especially with the wireless charging added it to, it's actually quite a cool thing. :-)
Most important of all, this allows you to build normal Android apps to do all kind of interesting experiments. That's more than you can do on any robotic platform!
I don't know anything about robots, but shuffling thru the pages I found similarities with the video game programming field.
Thank you for this !
Brooks' invention of "subsumption architecture" (augmented finite state machines) and layered control systems in which higher level behaviors suppress low-level behaviors has been demonstrated to lead to robust intelligent behavior without centralized control, internal mapping, and emergent behavior. In short, a biologically-inspired solution which had tremendous influence in the field. To my mind, such an omission is a bit like writing a book on computer graphics and not including a reference to Watt, Foley or vanDam. Not saying it's wrong, just very surprising.
Then the statistical machine learning people took over and started to get real results, especially in sensor data reduction.
They all go through the same motions as anything in this industry. They show promise, everyone gets all worked up about the new thing, it produces some results and gets integrated where it makes sense, gets boring and people start looking for the next thing.
- 1. Go in an increasing spiral until you hit something.
- 2. Wall follow for a while.
- 3. Turn away from the wall and go a few meters.
- 4. Go to step 1.