Programming/Coding Learning aid

Hello, arduino community. I am here to seek advice on a project which I plan on working on. My goal is to design an make a controllable robotic unit which will be used to teach children of around the ages of 6- 12 about programming.

The functions of the unit would be that a the children load their program (in one way or another) of instructions which will tell the unit how to move (eg, Move forwards for 30s, turn left, move backwards..). This could be in the form of actual code or some kind of simplified building block interface. The unit will then carry out those instructions.

The basic specifications which I am thinking of are:

  • Must be wirelessly operable
  • Possibly modifiable/ extendable
  • Possibly have sensors (for obstacle detection, line following)

I have a budget of around $100/£70 for all the parts and tools need, possibly more depending on the scale of the project. I have little experience with robots but I am willing to learn. I also have modest programming skills and have some experience with DIY projects.

My questions are: Is what I am suggesting possible with the arduino? If so, what version(s) would I need? Are there any guides about projects similar to the one I am suggesting that could be of use to me? Anything else you feel I need to know?

Thanks, in advance

You need to elaborate how you think it will teach the children programming before somebody can advise how feasible that is.

My first thought is that it will be easier to teach a child of 6 years old the basics of digital logic (and, or, xor and not) than teaching it the basics of programming. Might see it wrong though.

sterretje: You need to elaborate how you think it will teach the children programming before somebody can advise how feasible that is.

My first thought is that it will be easier to teach a child of 6 years old the basics of digital logic (and, or, xor and not) than teaching it the basics of programming. Might see it wrong though.

Sorry for the mixup; I accidentally sent the post incompleted. Just to elaborate, the children would send simple movement instructions to the unit to turn, move, stop, etc and hen the unit would carry out the instructions. The idea is that this would teach the younger children about how programs and are interpreted and carried out, and the older ones can have something to play around with in more detail.

If you study (shallowly :slight_smile: ) how GCode is used to control CNC machines I think what you want is a similar system.

In other words the Arduino would have a program that can accept certain pre-specified commands (keywords) and act on them. The kids would not be writing an Arduino program, but they would be creating the movements for the Arduino device.

You could design the keywords in whatever way you think would be best for your audience - though I would advise keeping them short and simple - e.g. ‘F2’ might mean 2 units forward. And the fewer you have the easier will be your own task of writing the Arduino program that understands the keywords.

Just my 2 cents

…R