Thursday, May 26, 2016

Robot kit encourages STEM education


How do you get school-age children more interested in studying science, technology, engineering and math? How about letting them build and program their own personal robot?

That’s the idea behind IronBot, an inexpensive educational robot kit for kids age 8 and older. IronBot has mechanical legs and arms, but its brain is a smartphone and its eye (or eye) is the phone’s camera.

The kit includes parts to make three different designs: a humanoid robot, a biped robot or a robotic arm like those used on industrial assembly lines. In addition to structural metal pieces, the kits also include a battery module, digital servos and an electronic controller. The robot is programmed by linking different modules using free mobile app.

IronBot was created by a team robot fans as part of a hackathon competition that included young makers from the US and China. The team hopes to raise $30,000 through a campaign at Indiegogo in order to put the robot kit into production.

As part of the campaign, early supporters can get a standard IronBot kit when they contribute $89. Delivery is estimated for September.

For a closer look at IronBot, watch the video below and check out the funding page on Indiegogo.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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