Disclaimer: I received this kit for free in exchange for my honest review.
What is Robotics for Kids?
My sons have been interested in robotics for a while. We have had a few robots and tried a few simple kits. They always enjoyed the kits, but most were more like toys than robots, and they did not learn much about programming a robot from them. However, we recently tried out a Robby the Drummer Kit and lessons from Robotics for Kids. I was pleasantly surprised by how much they learned about robotics.
Explanation of the Program:
Robotics for Kids has several program options, including some free online courses. We reviewed the Robby the Drummer Kit and courses. This involved getting the kit to build a robot that used a tambourine to drum.
The kit includes:
Micro-controller Expansion Board
Wooden Parts (for robots body)
Bolts. nuts, and Spacers
Wires and Screws
Phillips Head Screwdriver
Once you receive the kit in the mail, you complete three one-hour Zoom classes that teach the students how to build the robot and then how to program the robot.
This also includes downloadable code for the robot. The students can initially use this code to program the robot and then change the code to adapt what the robot does.
For example, they can make the robot drum faster or slower. They could make the robot’s head move or have it wave its arms. They could also make it so only one arm did something, and the other arm was still.
Our Experiences with Robotics for Kids:
My nine-year-old was especially excited when the kit came in the mail! He loves all things robots and has been learning a lot about robots through our homeschool, but had not had much robotics instruction.
Since my sixteen-year-old was also interested in robotics, and I knew my nine-year-old would need some help, we decided it would be fun for them to work through the program together.
On the first night, they mainly put together the mechanical and electrical components of the robot to get it ready for programming. My nine-year-old loved it, and my sixteen-year-old didn’t mind it but felt like he was not learning anything new.
However, nights two and three of the class involved programming the robot. This is where both of my sons learned more about the process and began to understand just how much it takes to make a robot do the different things they do.
The course came with code for the robot that we could download, and the instructor walked them through the programming process in a very step-by-step manner. Then once it was programmed, we spent most of the third Zoom class learning how to change the code to adjust the robot’s motions.
My son was so excited to show off his robot to friends and family, and he continues to play with it and wants to spend more time learning to program it.
My sixteen-year-old and nine-year-old learned a lot through these courses, and I loved that they could work together to learn something new and build a cool robot. My nine-year-old’s interest in robotics was encouraged through this course, and he is hoping to take some of the add-on courses soon to keep learning.
If you have students interested in robotics but, like me, don’t know where to start or how to help them, this is a great place to start. They get to build a simple but fun robot and learn the basics of programming in a Zoom format that allows the instructor to help them with anything confusing.
For younger children (like my nine-year-old), you will want to be available to help them or have an older sibling help. However, I think most teenagers could manage the course without adult assistance.
Make sure you go to the Robotics for Kids website and check out Robby the Drummer. If you aren’t sure if your child would enjoy the robotics program, you can also try one of the free courses they offer to see if it is something your child would enjoy.
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