Due to the field trip, I will not be in class with you on Tuesday. So, you will get the opportunity to troubleshoot your robots and programs yourself. This is a good opportunity to see if you can embrace the challenge and figure things out.
Here are your tasks:
1. finish the Clawbot build
2. see if you can drive it. I have downloaded the default code to all your robots, so they should be controllable with your joystick. If they aren't, see if you can troubleshoot. Verify connections, or try uploading a program you can use to troubleshoot.
3. Figure out how to upload RobotC programs to your robot. Follow these tutorials on the Carnegie Mellon University website. Note: we have a newer version of RobotC, so some of their menu options are different than yours. Push through and embrace the challenge!
4. Start figuring out how to program the basic movements of your robot. Try to get your robot to do a figure 8. You can use the Carnegie Mellon tutorials on basic motion to try this. The "Moving Forward" and "Speed and Direction" ones will help you.
This year we will begin to learn more complex systems with the VEX EDR platform. This is pretty cool robotics equipment that will enable us to design, build, and program robots as complex as the ones in the VEX Worlds, the largest high school robotics competition in the world. You can build pretty much any type of wheeled mechanical system with these: clutches, gear boxes, rack-and-pinion drivetrains, and, of course, add sensors to all of it so your robots can be autonomous.
Ultimately, though, you’re not building VEX EDR robots because your future job will involve tightening shaft collars on a metal bar – you’re executing an engineering design and problem-solving process that resembles the same mindset used by rocket scientists, brain surgeons, and inventors around the world. Competition robotics is not just a game that we play because it is fun – it is a vehicle for teaching (and testing) teamwork, perseverance in the face of hardship, and provides a methodology to approach and solve new challenges with confidence.
Our world faces a serious problem. It’s a problem that, without explicit and intentional action, will eventually stagnate global progress and lead to a workforce that is unmotivated and ill-equipped to solve its future problems. As the world grows more technologically complex, the challenges we face every day will continue to escalate along with it. A cell phone has more failure modes than a landline. The internals of an electric car are more difficult to comprehend than a V8 combustion engine. Unmanned drone legislation is more nuanced than defining a maximum speed limit. Dubbed “the STEM problem”, the situation is equally simple to understand, yet difficult to solve. The world needs you!
Our Essential Question for this unit is "How can robots help me gain power in my world? The major learning goals are:
Conceptual (what do you need to learn?):
Arduino microcontrollers are showing up everywhere, because they are inexpensive and very, very useful in many electronics and robotic builds. Plus, they are open-source, which means you can take other people's ideas, modify them, and make them your own.
For us, these little boards are great. You can build cool electronics projects like those we saw in class, plus you can use them as the "brains" in robots. And they serve as a great introduction to physical programming. You will program them to listen to sensors and, based on that feedback from the environment, they will do something by controlling actuators.
These are used often at the university level, so getting used to them now not only gives you creative geniuses the ability to invent now, but it also gives you an advantage over others when you start your post-secondary careers.
To help you remember what you learned last year, reference my cheat sheets, try tracing through these Arduino sketches, and follow this lab. You can also watch my video introduction to programming Arduino.
These are the Learning Goals for Arduino:
Conceptual (what do you need to learn?)
Many very smart people are saying that Additive Manufacturing, or 3D printing, will be more revolutionary than the Internet. Whether or not that's true, 3D printing is already changing established industries such as medicine, food, fashion, and aerospace. Essentially, these are industries where mass production isn't the best fit. These are specialized industries where unique parts are often required.
Beyond these types of industries, 3D printing offers a different type of future. You want something, you press a button and a machine in your home starts producing it. A machine that could make things appear out of nothing!. Printing in 3D gives you the power to create. No longer do you merely need to be a passive consumer. Learning how to design and print in 3D means you can be a creator. Just think of the story of Derby the dog.
Furthermore, being able to design and create in 3D is a critical engineering skill. It's one thing to be able to conceive of an idea and sketch it out in 2D. But to really determine its value, you need to conceptualize it in 3D.
Our Essential Question for this unit is: How can the ability to design in 3D and create using additive manufacturing give me the power to create personalized objects on demand?
The major learning goals are:
Conceptual (what do you need to learn?):
Looking for an industry with 0% unemployment? CyberSecurity! Learn a bit about Stuxnet to see why this is an industry that is growing so rapidly. If nuclear facilities can be targeted, imagine the potential security threat when everything goes online with the Internet of Things. This Internet thing doesn't seem to be going away.
Or, check out a live view of cyber attacks worldwide. These are happening now. Some are small, but some are pretty big. People's lives are being impacted.
So, what do you need to get started in an industry like this? An expert knowledge of Networking, hardware and electronics.
Throughout the engineeringCentral program, you get exposure to all these topics. So now we look at networking. We need to know how to set them up, connect to them, and secure them. That will give us the expertise to configure reliable networks at home. But in order to become a pro, you need to get deep into networking. For those of you who are interested, you can go deeper into the Cisco Networking Academy than we have time to get in class. This gives you a solid foundation to begin a career as an IT Pro.
The major learning goals of this unit are:
For most of you, this is the second course in the engineeringCentral program, while for some it is the first. Altogether, the grade 10, 11, and 12 courses will prepare you to study Engineering (especially Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechatronics) and Computer Science at the university and college levels. It will prepare you for the very lucrative and in-demand ICT and Engineering industries. We will hopefully have lots of fun this semester while learning crucial skills that every employer is looking for. And in an era where everyone seems to be concerned about the weak job market, wouldn't it be nice to know you're facing the future with the skills to enter industries where there is HUGE demand? In fact, there currently aren't enough trained people to fill the jobs in these industries!
Computer Science and Engineering are very, very wise career choices.
This semester, we will try to answer this Essential Question: HOW CAN I TAKE CONTROL OF THE DEVICES WE RELY ON?