Robotics is an exciting and rapidly growing field that combines engineering and computer science. As part of the CAPS Coding & Robotics curriculum, learners are taught the fundamentals of robotics, including how to design, construct, and operate robots using mechanical and electrical engineering systems, circuits, and microcontrollers. They learn to use computational thinking to create logical steps that robots can follow.
Robots are used to complete repetitive tasks, making them an essential part of industries like manufacturing, military applications, intelligent home applications, and health services. Robots have enabled people to complete specific jobs and reduce strain and stress on the body.
Electrical circuits play a critical role in transferring digital signals to the correct parts of the robot. Electrical components such as switches, LEDs, motors, batteries, sensors, diodes, and transistors are the basic building blocks of electric circuits. However, basic safety rules must be followed when working with electricity.
Mechanical systems support the movement and structure of a robot, and the type of robot determines the mechanical structures used. Standard components include levers, pulleys, gears, linkages, and fasteners.
Microcontrollers control functions in the embedded systems in which they are used. Arduino and Micro bit are two commonly used microcontrollers. The input-process-output (IPO) model is used to create microcontroller systems, and input and output devices are used to interact with the microcontroller.
Programs for microcontrollers can be written using block-coding software like mBlock or Scratch or using programming languages like Python or C.
As teachers, it’s essential to provide learners with a hands-on experience in robotics. Teaching them the basic concepts and skills needed to build and program robots is important. They can then apply these skills to solve real-world problems and create new technologies. Robotics is an exciting and growing field, and we can inspire the next generation of innovators by providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this field.