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Asked — Edited

Your Direct Experience With Children Of Any Ages Training Any Of The Ezrobots

Part of my business activities not too far down the road will include retail sales of EZ-Robot kits along with two, or three or four 30-minute training sessions on "teaching" the bots. I am wondering about your direct experience with children of any particular age who seemed to do well (or badly) utilizing ARC to control and train a bot. In particular, for this list of products

Adventure
JD
Six
Flipper
Galapagos
Roli

are you personally aware of any particularly good match between a particular product and a particular age group?

Ron

#1  
Hey Ron,
I have a class that I teach to 4th and 5th grade students using EZ-Robot products. This includes the JD, Six, Roli, a 3d printed Six and a couple of dev kits.

I would say that 4th grad is about as young as I would ever go. The issue that I seem to face is that students of this age and younger like to touch the robots a lot. This causes issues when servos are moving and they go to pickup the robot causing the servos to bind up.

All of the students like JD a lot and have a lot of unreasonable expectations of him. JD is probably the most complicated robot sold by EZ-Robot. Most like Six a lot also. They like the actions that Six has. Roli is actually the most technologically advanced robot in my opinion. It is also the easiest for students to get running around and using. It is the fastest moving robot which too is appealing to the students.

I haven't used Adventure, Flipper or Galapagos as they were not available when the class started last year. Adventure would be the one I would recommend people start off with. We made a robot very similar to Adventure using a Developer kit and it ran with less issues than the other ones. By issues, I mean that the students could understand what it was doing and how to make it work more easily. You could also use Flipper for the 4th grade age level.

By 5th grade the students have a better grasp of what is happening with the other robots and far better at using this level of bot. By sixth grade I would recommend buying developer kits and allowing the student to create whatever they want using EZ-Bits.

7th to 12th grade I would recommend having the students implement and create their own ideas using EZ-Robot parts or by modifying a toy to make it into a robot.
PRO
Synthiam
#2  
MathProf, i can put you in contact with Dennis, our education manager if that will be useful? Here's a useful video following an interview with Dennis

#3  
DJ, Dennis and I have been in contact, and plan to have a chat in a week or so. Thanks for the suggestion.

Ron
#4  
Dave, thanks for the detailed response - extremely helpful (as usual).

Some day, I hope to be as helpful to others in the community.

Ron
#5  
DJ, just watched the interview of Dennis at RoboUniverse that you linked to above, and it was both helpful and motivational. Looking forward to the chat with Dennis.

Ron
PRO
Synthiam
#6  
Feel free also to contact our friends at adventure in learning. They just finished their most recent robot children's conference and building expo yesterday. Based out of Texas, they're our reps in the far south USA. They're friendly and work closely with us. Give them a phone call and introduce yourself - they'd want to hear what you're doing as well. Might be a good synergy. When you call, ask for mykol, he heads their robots.

Here's their main website: http://www.adventuresinlearning.com

And here's their robot division: http://ailrobotics.com
#7  
My 9 year old daughter is getting somewhat proficient with programming Roli, and is a dab hand at piloting him.

Doesn't help that I'm still learning how myself, and her brain is younger and more adaptable than mine;)

I wouldn't go any younger than 9 or 10 year olds, I think, especially if you are teaching a class of more than 5 or so.
#8  
@DJ Thanks for the contact - seems like a great opportunity to share! Will follow up with results on this thread.

@Wayward Thanks for your report on working with your 9 year old daughter. Sounds like she has a knack for training. (Do you ever see her look up at you and (first) sigh, and then (second) shake her head at you. I've seen this a bunch over the years working with my daughter (and son as well). Must be a genetic script that plays when parents are just . . . well, you know!

Ron
#9  
Yes, but add in an 'oh, daddy.... *exasperated sigh* whenever she beats me to the punch, before the shaking the head and rolling her eyes...

I think you are right. Has to be coded somewhere in human DNA;)

She's not quite to the teenage 'Daddy is a moron' step yet, but that comes under Advanced Subroutines...

Tom
#10  
@dj As you have suggested I have had a couple of exchanges with Michael at AILRobotics, and he is indeed a great resource. He and I plan additional discussions, and your suggestion about a synergy looks to have some promise.

By the way, here is his comment about best ages to work with children and a friendly warning about some of the younger children they have worked with:

We have hosted summer camps this year for 3rd-8th graders. We've found this is a good age group to introduce key concepts and basic coding skills. However every student is different, and I've found the material to be over some of the younger 3rd graders capabilities.

A great contact, DJ. As usual, this community is a treasure.

Ron