The term Robotics comes from the Czech robota, which means “hard work”. A robot is an artificial equipment, which performs certain actions according to the commands given to it. It can move under the direct human supervision, or on its own, based on general guidelines, which are “taught”. Educational robotics is a teaching approach based on the use of robots (not necessarily on their programming) and finalised to make teaching more effective and engaging for both children and teenagers. The activities we propose include also robot programming, so that they carry out their “work” with you, or independently.
At events, at school, or during summer camps, we can introduce a few concepts of educational robotics by using a small educational robot, which you can easily buy – mBot. It can be programmed through mBlock (based on Scratch, with a library which allows you to act on the robot). It is supplied in an assembly kit, and it takes about half an hour to put it together. As a general rule, junior secondary school pupils manage to assemble it on their own, from the mechanical components to the electronic board (based upon Arduino One). If you follow these links, you will find a few guidelines (and related downloadable and printable cards), so as to take your first steps with this nice robot, and use the sensors included in the basic kit:
Ozobot is a small robot, equipped with optical sensors, which make it able to distinguish colours and move on surfaces – both physical and digital – by following colour paths. It is very funny to use and program. Here are some activities we propose: