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Starting A New High School Ez Robot Curriculum

I am completely new to the EZ Robot world and plan to start a robotics class using EZ Robot. I have another class where I teach LEGO Mindstorms robotics. I will be ordering the JD, Roli, and Six kits this summer in preparation for the new class. If anyone has suggestions on how I should approach my new curriculum, your guidance will be very much appreciated. I begin writing my new curriculum in July (and must finish it in July, too). I welcome any suggestions.

#1  
@abrown... That sounds awesome... D. Cochran should chime in here. He is doing exactly what you are about to do with the EZ Robot Revolution.... As far as I know his students absolutely love it... Hopefully he can comment in this thread...
#3  
I will chime in a bit later. Work is consuming my day. Glad to have work. Much better than the alternative.
#4  
First, there are a couple of questions to answer about what this class is.
Is it
A science class using robotics to demonstrate principles of math, physics, chemistry and electronics as they relate to robotics?

An introduction to robotics class which doesn't really care so much about math and science?

A programming class using robotics to see the results of programming?

Each of these would have very different curriculums. Please provide more information to the type of class that it is.

My favorite would be the last. If this is the case, the other topics can be briefly touched on and scripting and the use of the SDK with something like C# would be your goal. Good core programing principles would be my goal here.

If it is an intro to robotics class, things like how a battery works and why, how a servo works, how to measure which motors to use in different situations, how to regulate power, Amps and volts, different types of interfaces like digital, analog, I2C, serial and when each would be used. Types of sensors like potentiometers, cameras, encoders, photosensors and so on. The goal here is to help the students understand the components and how they work together to make a robot.

If it is a science class using robotics to demonstrate math, science, chemistry and electronics, then the class takes an entirely different route. Cameras would be a good starting point here showing the pythagorean theorem, sin, cos, tan, ions, protons, neutrons, the periodic table, alkaline metals, light spectrums and many other things. The goal here is to further the students understanding of scientific principles in a way that helps them to remember them.

I am of the opinion that you would start with the core EZ-Robot Revolution robots and the demo projects to learn about EZ-Robot. By the end of the class, the students should be allowed to disassemble the robots and build what they can. The students will enjoy the experimentation process more than the final product I think.

There is a major difference between what you currently have and what you are getting. What you currently have are untethered robots that only have the capacity to do things that they are specifically programmed to do. What you are getting are far more powerful tethered robots which potentially have the entire internet at their disposal. The robots that you are getting also can use PIC's or arduinos for managing subsystems. This opens a world of possibilities that your current platform doesn't have. This allows the students to truly feel that the robot can do something powerful. It allows their imaginations to go crazy and their experimentation process to be so much more productive.

Let me know what type of class this will be. I am not a educator, and have no desire to come up with a curriculum for this, but I can tell you what I have discovered that works well and what I thought would work well and didn't.
#5  
Thanks so much for the multiple, prompt responses. It is very much appreciated.

In response to d.cochran, I could tell you are beyond the educator ranks by the content of your response (unless you are a post-secondary educator). Regardless, I am happy that you monitor and participate in this forum.

The class I will be teaching is an Engineering & Robotics II class. It will be composed of some of the students who completed the Level I LEGO Mindstorms class. Therefore, all will have the background knowledge of basic robotics and basic GUI programming. With the next level, I will need to teach them the basics of the EZ Robots before getting into progressively more challenging aspects. Depending on how things progress, moving into C# programming may have to be delayed, or pushed into an Engineering & Robotics III class.

Due to limited funding, I will only have five EZ Robots to use. All five will be dedicated to students' use, so I will not have one to practice with. Of course, I will do my own practice after hours using their robots. Also, I will be using three different robots [JD (2), Roli (2), Six (1)]. I hope that this will not present much of a problem.

I welcome any and all directional pointers. Thank you for lending a hand.

Al
#6  
I would start with the following topics

Power -
how a battery works
What are volts
What are amps
What is the C rating on a battery
Parallel vs Serial connections of batteries and which affects amps vs volts
Limiting volts through voltage regulators
difference between a linear and digital regulator

Communications channels -
Analog
Digital
Serial
I2C
What each would be used for

I would test the students on the data sheet for the EZ-B V4 and the layout of the V4

Different types of motors and controllers
H-Bridge
Servo
DC Motors

I would have the student disassemble a servo motor and rebuild it and then write a short paper as to what each part of the servo is used for.

I would have the students write a paper on tethered vs untethered robots that competed in the DARPA Challenge that just took place.

I would have the students write a paper on the different types of movement and the challenges and benefits that they see with all of them. (2 legged walking, 6 legged walking and tracked vs 2 wheel robots.

This one is important for JD especially- CALIBRATION of the robots

I would assign the robots to the students and let them build them.

I would have the students write a paper on the robot that they were assigned and have them document what they think can be accomplished with their robot. This could be a presentation to the others in the class and a discussion.

I would have them load the example projects from EZ-Robot and have them play with them for a while, paying special attention to the animation sequences that are used.

I would have them discuss what controls the example projects use and why those were used.

I would have the students write another paper on what they think the robot they are assigned is capable of.

I would have them start a new project in ARC. They would need to do things like make the robot walk or right itself if it fell over. They would need to recognize objects and perform an action based on the recognition of the object. They would need to be able to move around the room autonomously. This will be a majority of the class but the other things should be covered before focusing on this.

If time permitted, I would then take the robots apart and place all of the parts in a bucket. Allow each person to pick one part at a time and then build a robot off of those parts. It is interesting what they will come up with.

Let me know if you have any questions about anything I mentioned and I would be happy to help.
#7  
Thanks for the abundant helpful insight, d.cochran. Much of what you mentioned is very technical and I will have to do some research on how to present it to the students. Does the EZ Robot website have resources that I may reference on the subject matter?

I do like the topics you picked for the students to analyze and write about. It will get them more into the theoretical frame of mind with respect to robotics. The topics are an excellent mix of subjects that can translate into hands-on activity, which of course is what the students want to do.

I will look more into what you have provided and will try to incorporate as much as I can into my curriculum for next year. As I progress with the curriculum, I will most likely contact you for other ideas or feedback.

Thank you very much for all your help.
Great Britain
#9  
ahhh i just finished school
#10  
This means that you get to start learning now:)
School is the easy life.
Great Britain
#11  
not when you're in the middle of your gcse exams
#12  
:) Yea, my son complained until he got his first programming job. He now wishes he were taking exams. They normally have him working on 4 large projects at a time with deadlines set by people who have no clue what it takes to do the programming for the projects. I told him I remember those days all too well. He only works 1/2 days most days. He gets to decide which 12 hours of the day that is. He also uses weekends to catch up on the projects so that he doesn't feel totally behind. He is finishing school while doing this. I keep telling him he is earning his come-up-in's. He remembers me working the same way when he was a young kid until he graduated from High School.

Grats on finishing up. Exciting times are awaiting you.
#14  
Search EzRobots on Youtube there are many video that can help with Calibration, Following color, etc. 

You can build a curriculum using the videos! That's what I did for my 5th graders that we use the robots. Good Luck


FYI - I find that these robots are not very durable for school use. Let me know what you think!
#15  
This thread was started four years ago, but thanks for your response.  You are right about the durability aspect.  I have had to replace several parts since I started using the robots.