Nowadays, it’s important for kids to learn things like 3D printing and robotics at an early age. The challenge is for teachers to present that advanced material in a way that’s easy enough, and engaging enough, for young children to grasp and have fun with. What is the best way to get kids acquainted with robotics? A good start is to have them build an adorable robot that looks like a bug. EDUino is a 3D printed robot designed by Italian company Sharebot, based on Arduino technology and presented in kit form for children to build at school.
EDUino is part of an integrated solution called FABsussidiario, which was created by a company called PaLEoS. The kit includes a Sharebot KIWI-3D EDU, a small desktop 3D printer designed especially for educational purposes. With a build area of 140 x 100 x 100 mm, KIWI-3D EDU is compact and simple to use, allowing kids to easily 3D print items in the classroom. Items like, for example, robots. The files for EDUino come pre-loaded on an SD card that comes with the Sharebot KIWI-3D EDU, and the FABsussidiario kit also includes the programming sketch.
The robot is a good way for kids to learn the basics of coding and robotics, and EDUino is completely open source, so students can exercise their creativity by modifying it, customizing it and adding new features if they so choose. In addition to the 3D printed parts, the robot includes sensors with sound, ultrasound and light, all included in the kit. Thanks to Bluetooth configuration, EDUino can be controlled with an app, and programmed with help from a course called Visualino, especially designed for young students. The course includes the Arduino IDE and AppInventor tools. Both basic and advanced lessons in programming and coding are available with the kit.
All parts needed to build EDUino are included with the kit, such as sensors, electronics and circuits. Once the robot is complete, it resembles a bug, which crawls across surfaces on its six legs. It’s extremely cute, and a great way to get kids interested in and excited about robotics. Granted, building a robot is a pretty exciting thing to most kids anyway, but making it look like a cute creature only adds to the appeal. This is a project that shouldn’t intimidate children through its difficulty, either. It’s the perfect starting point for kids to begin to learn about programming and coding at a young age, after which they can gradually move on to more challenging projects.
Sharebot, like many other 3D printer companies, is dedicated to providing educational opportunities in 3D printing, robotics and other STEAM skills. The company’s philosophy is that tomorrow’s adults will likely need to use 3D printing in their professional lives, so now is the time to begin training children in the skills they will need in the workplace in the future. Sharebot offers several 3D printing courses through its Sharebot Academy program, with a special focus on younger students.
It’s always wonderful to see the creative ways that companies use to reach students and begin exposing them to the skills like 3D printing and robotics that they’ll need in the future. Who knows, maybe in a couple of decades a NASA engineer will look back to the beginning of his or her robotics career and realize that it all started with a cute little 3D printed bug robot.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts below.[Images: Sharebot]
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