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Thread: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

  1. #11
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by layers View Post
    Are you going to come up north sometimes soon? I just finished a rubik's cube robot and have an arduino and 8 servos that are just sitting in the garage.
    @lykwydchykyn: I would make that trip! Did you include a breadboard in your box of tricks? If not, you will probably move onto it soon. That way you can get 'off the Arduino' and build things on the board using whatever components you like then wire it into the Arduino and program it through the computer. Anyways, I ramble ... it's inspiring me to dust mine off and get out the breadboard!

    (PS: When you get things working for real on the breadboard and the Ardiuno you can consider that a prototype and solder up a permanent version of the breadboard (using a blank circuit board). In fact, you can do quite a bit with just a breadboard powered bya battery ...

    Have fun! There will be frustrating bits but all good and all part of the learning curve.
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; May 3rd, 2013 at 04:12 AM.

  2. #12
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by lykwydchykyn View Post
    I want to help my two oldest boys get started in robotics
    What ages?

  3. #13
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    of course there is a breadboard - always with more complex projects. Or shorter wires

  4. #14
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by layers View Post
    Arduino is best - easy and cheap (worth the money).
    Pi and NXT are not needed.
    Are you going to come up north sometimes soon? I just finished a rubik's cube robot and have an arduino and 8 servos that are just sitting in the garage.
    Thanks layers, but that's quite a drive! I don't know if my old clunker minivan would make it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky Ball View Post
    Did you include a breadboard in your box of tricks?
    Yeah, I got a big kit with all kinds of components (including a breadboard) and a book of projects. I haven't done electronics since college (back in the early '90s), but I remember a breadboard being pretty handy. I do still have my soldering iron if it comes to that, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paqman View Post
    What ages?
    9 and 11. They might be a bit young for arduino hacking, but from what I can tell this thing might be useful in projects for years to come. I've bought age-targetted robot kits before, but it always seemed like you (meaning dad) built it while they sat by bored, then it was fun for two days, then that's it.

  5. #15
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by lykwydchykyn View Post
    9 and 11. They might be a bit young for arduino hacking
    Sort of why I asked, Arduino is bare boards and fiddly connections.

    I've played with both Arduinos and Mindstorms. Mindstorms is awesome, if you can pick up a cheap kit (Ebay?) I'd highly recommend it. Arduino is probably a bit techy for kids that age. Even if you do all the soldering and assembly it's still relatively fragile fiddly stuff. Depends on the kids though.

  6. #16
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paqman View Post
    Sort of why I asked, Arduino is bare boards and fiddly connections.

    I've played with both Arduinos and Mindstorms. Mindstorms is awesome, if you can pick up a cheap kit (Ebay?) I'd highly recommend it. Arduino is probably a bit techy for kids that age. Even if you do all the soldering and assembly it's still relatively fragile fiddly stuff. Depends on the kids though.
    Yeah, I've looked for mindstorms stuff on ebay and whatnot. What you can get for < $100 is pretty limited (mostly just partial kits or spare parts).

    I don't expect to drop the arduino on them and walk away, my plan at first is to do simple projects as a class (we homeschool) and see where it goes. They've done a bit of electronics with snap circuits and an old radio-shack electronics set that I had as a kid (complete with fiddly wires).

    I guess my feeling is, if it *is* too advanced for them right now, it's at least not a total waste. They'll be old enough for it before I know it, and in the meantime Dad can get up to speed.

    What I ended up buying was this, btw:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  7. #17
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    Tbh, if you pick the projects well and build up the skills gradually they should be fine. First thing everybody does with an Arduino is make it blink LEDs, but after that the world's your oyster really. If your older lad is already programming he should be able to get some life out of it straight away.

  8. #18
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    Also, they are kids. Make them interested in it, show them the cool side and they will like it.
    I mean, if you tell them they can make a home-beer-brewer with an arduino, you might not have so much success. If you tell them they can make a machine that shoots ping-pong balls at a basketball hoop - they might like it, if they are into those kinds of thing. Think! you were a kid once...

  9. #19
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    I showed them some arduino videos last night (things people have made with the arduino); they were pretty interested, even with relatively dry stuff like an EMF detector. Of course the voice-controlled spider robot was a hit, but I told them we probably won't get into something like that just yet ...

  10. #20
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    Re: Robotics for kids: suggestions?

    9 & 11? Shouldn't be an issue. I've seen kids 6-7 coming up with stuff on the Arduino. Sounds like you're starting slow so that is a good thing. They'll probably pick it up and start teaching you before long!

    PS: The kit looks great. My first Arduino board cost me about that just for the board about six years ago! The Arduino Diecimila.
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; May 4th, 2013 at 04:46 AM.

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