Skip to main content

CEISE2011 paper: Junkbots

An abstract from the 7th China – Europe International Symposium on Software Industry Orientated Education to be held 23-24th May 2011 at School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton, UK. For more details can be found at this link.

Junkbots
Scott Turner
School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton,
Northampton, NN2 6JD
                                  

Abstract: The School of Science and Technology at the University of Northampton have been working with local schools to create robots made from junk and also to use robots programmed by the students to perform simple rubbish clearing exercises. This is an initiative by the University to introduce environmental sustainability, engineering and computing to students in schools. This paper focuses on the programming part of the project, providing reflections on the activities.

Popular posts from this blog

Blog usage statistics

Popular posts

How to build junkbots: Old toysIn a previous blog entry the idea of using drinks can and an unbalanced motor was discussed. but what else have the projects participants t...How to build junkbots: Drinks can, unbalanced motorThe junkbots project has now being running for 18 months in Northamptonshire, UK. But how have the junkbots being built? A video produced by...How to build junkbots: Wheels don’t always work wellBack to the main approach, simplest way and probably the quickest:- A body (drinks can and drinks bottles usually) and an unbalanced motor -...Huxlow Pt 2: Lego Robots The second half (programming lego robots) on the junkbots project has been carried out at  Huxlow Science College  on 28th February 2011. ...Toys from trashArvind Gupta has produced a lot of work on turning junk into toys that aim to demonstrate the engineering ideas in an very interesting (wel...Brooke Weston EventStudents at Brooke Weston School, Corby have been working with the University of N…

Controlling a junkbot with a Micro:bit

A new direction has been developed for the junkbot project (http://junkbots.blogspot.co.uk/); previously Raspberry Pis have been used to control the junkbot’s movement (http://robotsandphysicalcomputing.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/python-junkbot.html) – but what about the recently released Micro:Bits; can it be used to control a junkbot?
Matthew Hole, a student from Wrenn Academy, Northamptonshire ; has been investigating this idea whilst on a Nuffield Research Placement (http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/nuffield-research-placements) working with Dr Scott Turner, University of Northampton. The project was to look into developing junkbots controlled using a Micro:bit and also to produce some materials for schools to use with or without outside assistance.





What is a Junkbot?For this project, it is a moving ‘bot’ made from waste materials, combined with an electric motor and a programmable device (in this case a Micro:Bit) to control (or try) it. An example is shown above. More details on junk…

Do it yourself: 'Radio' Controlled Micro:Bit Junkbot

I
In an earlier post, I showed how you could build a Micro:Bit controlled Junkbot. In this post I want to show a modification to it, to use one Micro:Bit to control the junkbot controlled by another Micro:Bit. A nice feature of the Micro:Bit using micropython, is it can send and receive simple messages via radio - so here is my take on it.

The first problem is the Python editor available on https://www.microbit.co.uk/ does not seem to work with the radio API. One solution to this is to change to the mu editor.


Two pieces of code are needed.

Sending Code for the 'remote' control:
Essentially it is set up to send two messages, via the built-in radio module, spinl or spinr depending on which button is pressed.

import radio
from microbit import button_a, button_b

radio.on()

while True:
   if button_a.is_pressed():
       radio.send('spinl')
   if button_b.is_pressed():

       radio.send('spinr')

Junkbot Code
This takes an adapted form of the previous Junkbot code to work by; on r…