Quite a while ago, I bought a robot. A Hack-E-Bot, specifically, that was designed to be taken into schools or used with young students to teach robotics and programming. While I received my over Christmas, I only finally got around to putting it together today.
I had been trying to arrange with others a get together to do so, and it was complicated between very delayed arrivals of some of the kits, and everyone having complicated schedules. But, today, about 10 of us got together and worked on building them. It was a mixed adventure.
A few of us had bought the partly assembled kits (slightly more expensive), but we were only buying one each. The rest were part of a larger order of completely disassembled kits. And those ones required soldering and a lot more finicky pieces. Most of them got put together, but one had some extra issues.
It was an experience. I was interested in building one because I’ve always like the idea of having a robot I can program. But also because it was suppose to be a low cost robot that was good to use with kids. After the whole process, I’m not sure what I think about the kids part. The partly assembled one is still a bit tricky to put together, and the couple of kids who came definitely needed a fair bit of help. And the programming leaves a lot to be desired.
The robot has basic commands of move forward, move backwards, turn left and turn right. But, all of these commands are used by sending a time and speed. So you have to sort of play around with the values to get what you want. Who specifies turning by time? Or by speed? Anyway, it went pretty well and some at the end were interested in getting together again. So maybe we’ll do a second version where we start off with the built robots and explore more of the programming and sensor stuff.