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go4IT! Basic Workshop "B-O-B-3"

The objective of these novel go4IT! Basic Workshops is to give the participating girls the opportunity to take home the hardware they have built and programmed themselves. Keeping the hardware allows them to further develop their programming skills at home, in class or in working groups.

This is why we are working with B-O-B-3 which is a small robot developed by Nicai Systems. In a first step, the girls solder the small robot, before they have to focus on the robots’ programming. Finally – and this is the real benefit – they can take their self-made robot home, where they are able to continue the programming whenever they want.

In contrast to the simple plugging together of different LEGO components, soldering has the advantage that no association to a well-known toy arises and thus that a high level of professionalization is imparted from the very beginning.  In addition, the girls are being trained in their motor skills as well as in the practical handling of technology. The girls get to know the basic components of a computing system (such as they can be found in computers, smartphones and other technical devices), which materials can be classified as conducting materials, and how the different components work together. With total of 22 soldering points, the B-O-B-3 can be completely soldered together within one hour and is fully operational afterwards.

In its final state (with programming-helmet), the B-O-B-3 is equipped with an ATmega88A controller, two multi-colored LEDs, two super-bright white LEDs, an IR transmitter and receiver, two tactile sensors, a phototransistor and a programming interface. So there is a lot to discover on this little robot. Working together, the girls shall try to guess or to find out what the different components can be used for. For the different LEDs this might be easy, while for the tactile sensors this is much more difficult. On the B-O-B-3, there is a test program already installed so that the girls can try out different features.  At the same time, this allows them to test if they did a good job in soldering the 22 solder joints – if not, they can still ask for help.

After getting to know the different components of the B-O-B-3, the girls start programming. In this context, they program the B-O-B-3 with a text-based program in a specially prepared environment; this assures the presentation of the results to their proud and impressed family and friends.

On the second day, beginning with some guided tasks, the girls develop their own ideas of what B-O-B-3 should be able to do and what they want to teach their robot with the help of a programming language similar to C. The girls will be free in the organization of their work and can count on the support of the tutors to ensure them to implement their own ideas in an autonomous way. They can, for example, let  two B-O-B-3 communicate by IR-LEDs  and they can identify one another as either friend or enemy through the use of a binary code ID. During partner- and teamwork the girls learn to discuss their solution approach using technical language.

Finally,  and  this is the major advantage of the new go4IT-workshops, the girls cannot only take home numerous new experiences and amazing photos, but also their own B-O-B-3 for which they can develop new programs everywhere and at any time (using the online programming environment).

At this juncture, we would like to offer our special thanks to Synopsis which made the start of this project and the first ten go4IT!-Basic-Workshops 2.0 with the B-O-B-3 possible.

More information about the project...

Educational Stage
Junior High School
Required Knowledge
2 days
Created By
Andrea Langer