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AERobot: an Affordable Education Robot

9 Jul 2015

AERobot (Affordable Education Robot) is a highly modified version of the Kilobot robot, re-designed specifically as a low-cost ($10.70 including assembly) education robot. It is designed to introduce students of all ages to the fundamentals of programming and control of robots, with the hope of inspiring them to further pursue studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. 

This robot has been created by the same group of Harvard University leaded by Dr. Radhika Nagpal that created the kilobots used in our project. Neverheless, modifications include the removal of swarm capabilities of Kilobot, the addition of more sensors, and simplifying its charging and programing. It is cheaper than the kilobot in parts, and have some interesting features, such as turn in place, by giving the option to run motors in both directions, optical distance sensing to obstacles (in 3 directions), line following with two sensors under the robot and programming via USB port on the robot PCB.

AERobot’s low cost ($10.70 including assembly) will enable more students, especially those who could not normally afford to do so, to gain hands-on experience in robotics.  The hardware is open-source, making it possible for each student to have (and keep) their own robot, while still encompassing a rich sensor suite enabling a variety of activities. A free, open-source graphical programming environment allows students without previous programming experience to command the robot.  In addition to robot design, they have created a software suite for the robot by modifying minibloqs, a graphical programming language, and created a 15 lesson curriculum for a student with no starting experience to learn the basics of programming flow and logic, the use of sensors and actuators, and to create robot behaviors.

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  • Aerobot