Earlier this Autumn we met with a team at UCL who have been developing the Engduino. We are hardware enthusiasts and this is a great addition to the hardware quiver! We started using Arduinos last year with teens – the plain vanilla Arduinos are almost limitless in their potential – but they do require some programming and set up skills and patience. The Engduino is a great intermediate step, featuring an Arduino board with built in LEDs and sensors so that young people can get straight to programming with out having having to map all the components.
We set a group of 10-12 year olds off with Engduinos in October and within a couple of hours they were creating their own programmes and literally putting their names up in lights! We can’t wait to see what creative programs they come up with next… The appeal of robotics and hardware is similar – integrating programming with physical input through sensors, and output through lights and motion. In December we’ll be putting those two things together – with duct tape among other things! – to get our robots flashing based on their activities and environment!
Update: January 2014
We had our first Engduino + Robotics class in December, check out the video:
Image credit: UCL