Robotics introduces science, math, engineering and technology skills while teaching life skills. There are three different kinds of projects available in Robotics. ‘Introduction to Modern Microcontrollers’ is designed to be used with the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit, the EV3 project is designed to be used with the Lego robotics kit and the Junk Drawer project is designed to be used with everyday materials.

Introduction to Modern Microcontrollers

Microcontrollers are the electronic “brains” inside robots and other smart devices we use every day. Program a microcontroller to react, calculate or move a specific way when it measures a response from one or many sensors. This project combines electronics, mechanics, programming and, above all, creativity to learn the basics of microcontrollers. We will first introduce the Arduino microcontroller which is an open-source prototyping platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs - light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message - and turn it into an output - activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online. Other microcontrollers like Rasberry Pi, Picax, Beaglebone and Edison will be added as technology emerges.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

To complete this project, complete a minimum of seven activities and one challenge per 4-H year; there are a total of 16 activities provided. Youth are encouraged to design challenges and programming to achieve the minimum requirements. This could be completed in one to three years.

MATERIALS

M SparkFun Inventor’s Kit - V3.3, $99.95 www.sparkfun.com/products/13969
L Download guide free, 4HDL16, Extension online store

Robotics with EV3

Use the newest LEGO technology to learn what a robot is, how to build one, and how to program it. Activities are based on the EV# core set available from LEGO Education for about $380. A computer for running programming software and Internet access to watch videos are required. Appropriate for all age levels. Curriculum authored by The Ohio State University.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

Complete a minimum of 6 activities (there are 12 activities provided), at least 2 learning experiences and at least 2 leadership/citizenship activities. The project book may take 2 years to complete.

MATERIALS

M Robotics 1 – EV3, 4H507, $8.00
L No Guide

Junk Drawer Robotics, Level 1

Youth are challenged to build robots from everyday items. Youth explore and learn about robot arms. Concepts covered include pnuematics, arm designs, and three-dimensional space. Big ideas include form and function, scientific habits of mind, and engineering design. None of the levels require or use computers. Youth will use their Robotics Notebook to record learning experiences, robotic designs and data from investigations.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

To complete this level you should complete a minimum of seven activities each year. Each level has up to 18 activities listed. The level can be completed over two years.

MATERIALS

M…. Give Robots a Hand, BU8431, $8.45
M…. Junk Drawer Youth Robotics Notebook, BU8435, $7.45 - There is one Robotics Notebook for three levels of the Junk Drawer Robotics curriculum. The notebook encourages youth to think and act like scientists and engineers.
L….. No Guide

Junk Drawer Robotics, Level 2

Youth learn about robots that move with legs, wheels and underwater.Concepts covered include friction, basic electrical power and motors, engineering constraints, gear system and buoyancy.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

To complete this level you should complete a minimum of seven activities each year. Each level has up to 18 activities listed. The level can be completed over two years.

Materials

M…. Robots on the Move, BU8432, $8.45
M…. Junk Drawer Youth Robotics Notebook, BU8435, $7.45 - There is one Robotics Notebook for three levels of the Junk Drawer Robotics curriculum. The notebook encourages youth to think and act like scientists and engineers.
L….. No Guide

Junk Drawer Robotics, Level 3

Youth will explore sensors and analog and digital systems. The track introduces simple electronic components; youth will build basic circuits to see how the components work. They will investigate basic elements of programming and instructions for robotic computer control.
Youth are challenged to build robots from everyday items. None of the levels require or use computers. Youth will use their Robotics Notebook to record learning experiences, robotic designs and data from investigations.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

To complete this level you should complete a minimum of seven activities each year. Each level has up to 18 activities listed. The level can be completed over two years.

MATERIALS

M….Mechatronics, BU8433, $10.45
M…. Junk Drawer Youth Robotics Notebook, BU8435, $7.45 - There is one Robotics Notebook for three levels of the Junk Drawer Robotics curriculum. The notebook encourages youth to think and act like scientists and engineers.
L….. No Guide
Robotics Independent Study