Robot World
We taught a fun Robot World class for 4th and 5th graders at the Lycée Français in Sausalito in fall 2017. Students learned how to make their own artistic bots and create a world for them, using their imagination, art, storytelling and technology based on the popular Arduino boards.

They started by designing a magical world for their robots to live in. They imagined a future wonderland called FoodVille: a peaceful world filled with food, to insure a life of ‘everlasting fun.’ They created a colorful landscape centered around a volcano spilling out candy lava, with robot homes and a bright red soda fountain.

Next, our students created some cool characters for their Robot World: Chef Bot, Devil Bot, Police Bot and Swat Bot. Each student received their own robot kit, which they learned to assemble, control and program. They built a chassis, wired up the Arduino electronics, made their own remote control, added a head and arms (laser cut based on their designs). They programmed their robots with Snap4Arduino and made them move in different ways with servo motors. Last but not least, they painted and decorated them

In our last “show and tell” class, students performed a little play with their robots, based on their own original story. Devil Bot stole a secret recipe from Chef Bot, who runs the bakery where all the food is prepared in Food Ville. Police Bot and Swat Bot then chased the devil and locked him up, restoring peace in their little world, with “pizza for all.”

For this course, my partner Edward Janne and I created our own Arduino robot kit from scratch, with a lot more features than commercial kits, at a lower cost. It was a lot of work, but we’re very happy with the final results, and our students seemed to really enjoy the class. We hope this will encourage other teachers, students and makers to create their own imaginary worlds with animated characters and storylines, blending fact and fiction collaboratively to encourage creativity and innovation.

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#arduino #robots #makers #makerart #makered
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