The field of robots is very large and can be confusing to the newcomer. The languages and the robots available are diverse. They are becoming the obvious choice to meet the requirements of the new Key Stage 2 ICT curriculum. See the Pro-Bot KS2 curriculum for uses of Maths and ICT.
Robots can give a child real sense of empowered learning. They can allow them take control of their learning and make things happen. A robot can be anything from a programmable car to a programmable windmill. The key element is that the student has to develop clear logic to control it. I like to see them as logic engines.
Types of robot
- Floor robots – explore simple commands and sensors these are very useful at KS1 and KS2. The control aspects of the ICT curriculum should be met by these robots. Prices in the range £50 – £100
- Building robots with simple blocks and simple control – An example of the type of project is where a basic crane can be automated. The cost per educational kit £100 – £200 depending on type and complexity.
- Building robots more advanced control – Here the motors and sensor are fully configurable allowing machines, cars and androids to be built. The longest established is LEGO Mindstorm £300. The new breed of Raspberry pi style robots are more affordable. £150.