Building Robots with the BBC Micro:bit
Building a simple robot is a great way to learn about programming and how computers can be used to control machinery. This highly enjoyable and educational course will show you how to build your own remote controlled wheeled robot using the BBC micro:bit microcontroller. During this process you will learn about physical design, controlling electronics and programming robotic behaviours.
- Anatomy of a Robot: we will examine a robot like the one you will build to understand the component parts
- Working with the micro:bit: this small, cheap microprocessor will be the brains of the robot. We will attach it to a computer and explore its possibilities
- Using Python: we will write some Python code to make the micro:bit do things
- Working with controller boards: we will learn how to connect the controller board and use Python code to control motors and various inputs and outputs
- Adding remote control: we will learn how to connect to the robot remotely and write more Python code to make the robot respond to user commands
- Building the body: we will take a look at the physical principles, design the robot and assemble it
- Coding: we will code the robot to respond to commands, including moving forward, backwards, turning, spinning and stopping. Students will be encouraged to use a computational problem solving approach
- Adding sensors : we will code the robot to respond to sensors such as light sensors and distance sensors
- Tweaking, testing and optimisation: we will make any changes and test the robot
- Competition: compete against other student's robots to manoeuvre your robot around a course
By the end of the course you should be able to:
- Explain the overall workings of a simple remote controlled robot
- Describe the physical design principles for a wheeled robot
- Analyse computational problems using modelling techniques
- Breakdown complex computational problems into manageable tasks
- Write Python code to implement robotic behaviours
Please note that this course includes the cost of a BBC: microbit plus other components that you will get to take home with you.
Who Should Attend
This course is ideal for those who want an introduction to the subject as a prelude to further study or to pursue a personal interest.
You do not need any previous programming knowledge but you should be comfortable installing software, downloading and moving files.
Follow Up Courses
Once you have completed this course you may be interested in learning more about Digital Design or Programming with Python for Beginners.
Llewelyn Fernandes is a computer scientist, educator and maker. Llewelyn has a Computer Science degree from Brunel University and 30 years of industry experience in programming, research and consultancy for clients including Shell, ITV, Channel 5, Laing O'Rourke, The Princes Trust and Hitachi Consulting.In 2017 he changed direction to focus on introducing young people and career changers to the hot topics in computer science through creative, hands-on workshops. He teaches at various institutions in London and runs regular free events.