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BOTS 2: Make and Code Robots! Overview


In this class for students who know the basics of the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express microcontroller, servo motors, and MakeCode software, we’ll use engineering, electronics, and programming to create simple robots that fit the week’s theme. You’ll get to custom design your robot’s body and use the CPX board’s built-in sensors, lights, and speaker to create your own unique robot.

Possible themes this semester include:

  • Musical – Will you make a robotic musical instrument that plays a tune you program in? Or a robot that dances or responds to music?
  • Nature – Create a robot inspired by your favorite bug, plant, land animal, ocean life, pet, or prehistoric creature.
  • Funny – Make us laugh! Can you design a robot that’s silly and surprising?
  • Scary – What makes a robot scary? Dream up a backstory for your robot, then think about what reactions people will have when they encounter it.
  • Weather Related – How can you make a robot that reacts to weather conditions? Will it keep trace of climate changes, record local conditions, or help people remain safe and comfortable?

This class is for students who have completed BOTS 1 (Build BOTS) or the self-paced, one-session Intro to MakeCode. If you have not taken either of these classes, you must contact the instructor for permission to take this class.

Classes last 90 minutes. Written materials and links to real robotics research are provided to help you dive deeper into each topic if you choose. You have the option to keep improving and adding to your project with suggested extra activities. You’ll also get time at the beginning of class to share anything new you’ve worked on! Note that some students may need adult help to build their models during our live sessions.




Age Range


8-11



Meetings Days/Times


Classes take place on Thursdays at 4pm Eastern / 3pm Central / 2pm Mountain / 1pm Pacific from November 17 - December 22, 2022 (no class Thanksgiving week)



Supply List



A note on supplies:

This class uses the same programmable electronics used in Build BOTS. All you need to add is some extra servo motors. See the Supply section for more details.




List:

A list of the electronics required for this class is below. In addition, you will need crafts and recycled materials to build the body of your robots. A craft knife is helpful for cutting holes that fit the components. Removable adhesives like glue dots and Velcro dots make it easier to remove the electronics and re-use in the next project.

A complete list of supplies, with links, is here.



Electronics

If you took Build BOTS, you should already have the following (whether in the Adafruit electronics parts savings bundle or separately):

Additional electronics:

A note about coding activities:

We will be using free, online Microsoft MakeCode software. It works best using the Chrome browser.

Many families find it useful to watch the class on a second device while working with MakeCode on their computer. However, it is possible to Zoom and code on the same computer at the same time!



Class Interaction: 

Live sessions work best with a camera and microphone. Parents will need a Zoom account (free).







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