Without exception every robot distributor that we've had the pleasure of talking to over the years has expressed a strong commitment to school education and encouraging young people to get involved with science, technology, and robotics. Most of them have special programs, educational discounts, or actively participate in school events donating their time and effort to the cause.
A good example is Michael Gruber with the RoboteShop located in Australia. There's a major School Education Expo coming up in Sydney next month, so the company decided to design a very simple, low cost hexapod robot to dramatically get the message across that robot education doesn't have to be expensive. It can be accomplished with parts and tools as basic as ice-cream sticks, a glue gun, and a few items 'borrowed' from an off the shelf kit.
Here's the robot they created in action:
And, how they did it:
In preparation for the School Education Expo in September 2011 (www.edexpo.com) in Sydney/Australia we at RoboteShop (www.roboteshop.com) decided to see what we could do to show how simple robots can be, so we built a robot with ice-cream sticks, split pins and a glue gun using a design inspired from Karl Williams book called Insectronics.
For the control board we used the electronics that are included with the RQ-5 paper robot kit from Innovati (http://www.roboteshop.com/robot-catalogue/innovati/robots/rq-5-+-cb.html) which includes a servo and two infrared sensors.
The control board is based on an Innovati product called an EV8 which includes 8 I/O ports. The I/O board that is included with the RQ-5 includes 3 servo port even though only 1 is used in the kit, so it was a simple matter of getting two more servos and plugging it into the board to build our hexapod robot. Although this board is preprogrammed when shipped with the RQ-5 kit, this can be changed by using the EV8 Writer (http://www.roboteshop.com/robot-catalogue/innovati/tools/ev-writer.html). The programming is done with Innovati's innoBASIC programming language.
Here's our robot in action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wubnFGI_FM