Building the ultimate robotics curriculum with Arduino?

Greetings, robot enthusiasts!

I’m part of a group of robotics students that is trying to build the “ultimate robotics curriculum” designed to take a middle schooler with no prior experience, and train them in such a way that by high school graduation, they have a base set of skills that best prepares them for a future in robotics, or the technical workforce in general. We also need this curriculum to be as inexpensive as possible, even if that involves combining different systems on the same robot.

Here’s the progression that we’re brainstorming on right now….

Control System VEX IQ → Arduino → RaspberryPi

Build System VEX IQ → VEX EDR/Actobotics → Found parts (with CAD used to 3D print/laser cut custom parts throughout)

CAD Software TinkerCAD (or platform of similar difficulty level) → Autodesk Inventor → Fusion 360

Coding Languages Modkit → RobotC → Arduino → Python/C++ with implementation of Robot Operating System (ROS)

Other important skills that would be integrated - Familiar with ROS - Familiar with using Linux as primary OS (specifically Ubuntu) - Can use Git/Github for source control - Can solder circuit boards and read schematic diagrams

We’re really interested in what experienced roboteurs think about this progression. What would you change or add? Are there important foundational technical skills that we’re missing?

Thanks for the help!

Hi,

I have been working on this stuff for a while...

I think the biggest problem is in the first year or two someone encounters Physical Computing. They may have done Hour Of Code or some things with CODE.ORG or SCRATCH but Suddenly There Is Hardware.

Take a look at what I am doing here;

https://arduinoinfo.mywikis.net/wiki/EasyConnectKit

If you have ever done a class with new kids and breadboards and jumpers you will understand why this is important!

|500x328

That's the Arduino UNO compatible that has the EasyConnect plugs. See the link above for modules and cabling etc.

I have built thousands of kits for university and upper high school level, but I have had pleas for things appropriate for beginners...

I'd like to discuss this with you and anyone else interested!

AND I now will have a Robot that uses a variation of the EasyConnect board with a built-in Motor Driver. Info coming.. Here's an early look:

|500x500

This will continue with the hardware sensor-actuator learning, and continue the path from SCRATCH to MIXLY (Drag-drop with specific drag-out templates for the specific hardware used.)

I WANT to take kids from First-Day-Hands-On to Arduino C++, breadboards, electronics and serious applications. But not in a week and probably not in a year.

All comments, critique and suggestions appreciated! Terry

PS: I am travelling to China next week to meet with my partner Peng and with KEYES who is our supplier/partner and makes our RoboRED UNO-compatible board. So anything you can ask or suggest in the next 2 or 3 days will be extra-valuable! Thanks...

PPS:

We also need this curriculum to be as inexpensive as possible

I am aiming to retail both the EasyConnect kit and the Robot Kit for less than $100 US each.

Try looking at https://www.parallax.com/ - they have had a strong education program for over a decade - a bit on Arduino things - but lots of class outlines and the texts are free download so you can see the curriculum outlines - save reinventing the wheel - I went through a couple of their self study programs at home and found them to be well written

Good luck

Question to OP, do you have experience with teaching (middle schoolers)?

Terry has in my opinion a solid idea --> keep hardware and software easy.

keep hardware and software easy.

But THEN do the HARD FUN Stuff!

Part of the challenge with "Kids Today" is that they do not have much experience with doing Projects that take more than one class or one day, or one week. We need to 'educate' them that that is Normal.

OMG, I can't believe I just said "Kids Today" ... I once promised to shoot myself if I said stuff like that :-) And I was already 29 years old at Woodstock. At least I got paid to be there...

Progress is always needed, but like you said, "I WANT to take kids from First-Day-Hands-On to Arduino C++, breadboards, electronics and serious applications. But not in a week and probably not in a year."

I have a feeling OP might skip some steps before getting there

terryking228: Hi,

I have been working on this stuff for a while...

I think the biggest problem is in the first year or two someone encounters Physical Computing. They may have done Hour Of Code or some things with CODE.ORG or SCRATCH but Suddenly There Is Hardware.

Thanks for the input!

saildude: Try looking at https://www.parallax.com/ - they have had a strong education program for over a decade - a bit on Arduino things - but lots of class outlines and the texts are free download so you can see the curriculum outlines - save reinventing the wheel - I went through a couple of their self study programs at home and found them to be well written

Good luck

Thank you! We'll check out Parallax.