Robot Activites and Robotics Challenges for Hour of Code Dash Sphero

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Engineering Day (E-Day) is the Engineering Open house at the University of Memphis. Click on the image for more info or to register.

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XRP Robot (Part 2)

Since the seminar (see THIS POST) and my meeting, DEKA was nice enough to send me a XRP robot kit and I got it just yesterday.

Here are some pics I took of the kit:

The robot was very easy to assemble, follow the video provided by Sparkfun:

Even with knowledge and experience with robotics, micro controllers, and 3d printed objects (like the chassis), I must admit the video goes a bit fast, and I had to pause or rewind a few times during the assembly process.

At about 1:19 into the video they talk about tape being on some of the connectors on the control board. At first I did not see the tape, but when I looked very closely I did see what they were talking about:

The above picture shows an taped connector (bottom left) and uncovered connectors (the one to it’s right) and underneath, on the paper, is the actual tape. The tape shows up better in the photo, than in real life, so watch for it!

The only other issue I had was when you get to the software portion of the video. at 10:49 into the video is says “Open a web browser” but when I did that I got this window:

I was using Firefox, so I switched to Chrome and it worked just fine after that (just wanted to save you the trouble).

I ran through the entire video and ran the test code as suggested and everything worked correctly. The video is 15:36 long but, as I said, I had to pause or rewind the video a few times but I think I had the robot working in about 20-25 min.

I love the fact you have to assemble it, but it only takes a short time to go from a bunch of parts to a running robot. When I do teacher seminars, I always stress how important it is to get the robot moving quickly, because once it moves, excitement builds in the student and they want to see what they can make it do! This robot does just that, but still gives the students the sense of “I built that”.

As I play with it, over the next few days I will keep posting my observations…hope you enjoy!

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The Last Days of the Barcode – The Atlantic

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A groundbreaking study shows kids learn better on paper, not screens. Now what? | US education | The Guardian

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Mechanical Digital Clock

Saw this neat project and had to share it here.

Full article at

Love the video:

Full instructions at:

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MATE FB Live Prop Demo and Q&A

Jan 26th

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How Education is Transforming in America by Stand Together

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XRP Robot (Part 1)

Back on Dec 12, 2023, I participated in a webinar sponsored by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) entitled Re-Envisioning Robotics in Precollege Engineering Education.

Here is the description of the talk:

 Join us for a free webinar on December 12, 2023 at 2:00 PM, ET that will share findings from a collective partnership between e4usa and FIRST Robotics Competitions that works to engage more pre-college students and teachers in STEM robotics programs.   Rectangle: Rounded Corners: Register Now! e4usa is a national initiative designed to demystify engineering and democratize engineering education “for all.” The program supports teachers and students using an accessible and engaging project-based learning (PBL) approach. The PBL approach provides students with a hands-on experience in engineering, which prepares them for engagement in FIRST Robotics Competitions and future STEM careers.

Working together with a cohort of teachers from across the country has allowed the research team to identify barriers to participation, while developing novel strategies to overcome these challenges. This includes a set of emergent blended e4usa-FIRST models and the launch of a new open source engineering education platform called the Experiential Robotics Platform.  This session will share the team’s findings to date and provide available techniques and resources to support more pre-college students and teachers with access to STEM robotics programs.

It was presented by Adam Carberry (Ohio State University) and David Rogers (DEKA Research). If you are not familiar with DEKA, it is a company founded by Dean Kamen, who also is the founder of FIRST robotics.

After the meeting all the materials were shared (and now I share them with you):

Webinar Materials: 

Video links used during the presentation: 

Links shared in the chat: 

This webinar is part of a larger series on building community and reflecting to re-envision in engineering education. This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EEC-1733004. Find more details on the remaining webinars here.All webinars can be found on demand on ASEE Learning’s website here. 

After the meeting, I reached out to David and, since I am the Robotics Education Director for the West TN STEM Hub, we started talking about a collaboration and he was gracious enough to actually send me a XRP Robot for me to experiment with (I will post more as I get to play with it).

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Top Robotics Stories of 2023 – IEEE Spectrum

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