Text and photos by:
HEIDI SMALE OF "THE RAINBOW DINO PUPPY POPS"
Hi, my name is Heidi and I have been going to stem club for about one and a half terms with my friends Amy, Aviaya and Isabella. My brother started stem club from the very beginning and kept bringing home really cool things like a wooden board game box, he also made a kennel for our dog.
I was a bit jealous and also wanted to go to stem club.
This week was pretty exciting. We got to program robots.
First we learnt how to use the robot with the remote control and all the different modes. There was mode A, which was the normal mode, then there was mode B, which made the sensors turn on so it didn’t crash in to anything, and there was also mode C which made the robot drive on the line. There was modes D, E, F and settings but I don’t know what they did.
On the bench we made a line out of black tape, we put our robots into C mode and let them drive around following the line. It was pretty impressive to watch how they drove around on the line all by themselves and knew when to turn corners.
The robots had LED lights inside them which we programmed on the computer to change their colors. We learnt how to do programming at last weeks class so it was easy.
After that we programmed them to be able to do other things. As well as changing their lights they could drive backwards, spin both left and right on the spot, and making a sound when we pressed a specific button on the remote control. Inside the robot were arduino unos which received all the programming and then sent a message to the LEDs and motors. Arduino unos are like rasberry pi’s and are the size of a credit card.
We then programed our robots to drive on the line and over the bridges. The bridges had been made by other classes. Nigel gave each of us a sheet of paper that had a code on it which we needed to copy in order to program them. Some of us put little number plates on our robots so we could identify which one ours was. It was fun watching them go around the track and on the different pathways. If two of them were heading for a crash the robots would sense it and knew to turn around. Pretty amazing!