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Thread: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    They will be fine. I currently don't have an arduino, but I have a teensyduino, which does the same as an arduino board, but it's smaller. Pretty nice kit, by the way.
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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Tennessee
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    Hi everyone. I just wanted to follow up on this thread, for the benefit of those who gave me such good advice.

    I got the arduino kit back in May, and all summer I've been doing an electronics/arduino lesson with the kids about 1 hour a week. It's been a smashing success. They always look forward to our lesson, and now they each want their own arduino (I confess, I've been hogging the arduino a bit; part of me wishes I'd gone into EE, and I finally understand this stuff!). My 9-yr-old has been disassembling an old clock radio to see how it works, and my 11-yr old is hitting codeacademy every day to get proficient in Python and Javascript.

    Our favorite project so far was creating a capacitive touchplate with aluminum foil and feeding the output into a loudspeaker; everyone in the family took turns touching it to see what kind of "music" came out.

    It's amazing what's now available online for free if you've got an interest in hacking electronics; blogs, vlogs, online magazines, wikipedia, datasheet archives, etc. Wish we'd had these kind of resources when I was a kid; my career path may have turned out differently.

    Thanks for the advice and guidance everyone!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Planet earth, for now.
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    Fantastic follow-up and result. Warms me heart to hear it.

    Good luck with the future projects and don't forget to look into Tom Igoe's work. Remember, as with the dissasembling of old radios and stuff, 'hacking' of existing and obsolete technology also produces some unique and great results. I got into this through a degree in music technology I was doing. Old musical toys are a treasure trove of unique noises, sounds and unexpected results to do some 'circuit bending' on. Plug one into a battery, rip the back off and start hacking! Touch a wire to one point of the device (say volume or tuning) then the other end to where ever. If you find something you like, make the hack permanent with solder and connect to one of the switches or put a new on/in. Run the wire to a breadboard external with a synth or amp chip and back to point B of the hack.

    Hours of fun. Possibilities endless. Circuit bending: a game the whole family can play!

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...be.aXTXnIZ4RPo

    Keep an eye out for the father of CBending, Reed Ghazala.

    WARNING: NEVER circuit bend anything plugged into a wall socket (unless you are qualified to do so, and even then, not advisable as the results are unpredictable and could result in shorts, fire, blown things generally. That's why it's circuit bending and not electronics 101, although there is an element of that which is another positive).

    More bending:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...be.Y0p4bWmNZpg

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; August 31st, 2013 at 02:34 AM.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Tennessee
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    3,408

    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky Ball View Post
    I got into this through a degree in music technology I was doing.
    Interesting! I went to college for music tech also, though I left after my third year to join a band and (not) get rich and famous. I had to minor in electronics, but after I left school the little I learned about electronics kind of faded. I could fix mic cables and wire up the PA, but that was about it. The recording artist days are long gone, but I still have a lot of my gear. Maybe the boys and I need to work up a custom stomp box or a VCO that we can control from the arduino.

  5. #25

    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    +1 for Arduino. I bought myself a starter kit and enjoyed the projects it had. (Traffic lights, binary counter etc.) and then you can start adding different shields bit by bit to build more complicated projects up to and including robots. There are lots of tutorial sites and project details available and the emphasis is on learning.
    Noli illegitimi carborundum

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