Build your own robot and a magical world in this after-school activity for grades 4-5. These fun little creatures can roam around, shake their heads and flap their wings, at the touch of a button.
Create your own artistic robot! You will learn how to make your robot move in a variety of ways, as well as play sounds and light up, using a programmable Arduino board. You will then decorate your animated character, give it a story, and create a magical world for it to live in. All materials are included in this course: you can take your robot home when the class ends.
This class for grades 4-5 will take place at the Lycée Français in Sausalito. We will meet every Tuesday for 12 weeks, from 3:30 to 5pm, between September and December 2017.
Students will develop new skills in playful ways: science, technology, engineering, art and math skills (STEAM), as well as creativity, problem-solving and communication skills.
Who is it for?
This program is designed for lower school children in grades 4 and 5 (ages 8-10). We expect between 6 and 10 students to participate in our afternoon class in Sausalito this fall.
Parents of Lycée students can sign up here for this class: bit.ly/maker-art-fall-2017
Where and when is it?
This class will take place at Lycée Français in Sausalito, in the Innovation Lab (Room #340). The school entrance is 660 Coloma Street, Sausalito, CA 94945.
We will meet every Tuesday for 12 weeks, from September 12 to December 5, 2017, from 3:30pm to 5:00pm, at the Lycée Français in Sausalito.
Here is our course schedule:
- Sep-12: Plan the robot world
- Sep-19: Learn about robots
- Sep-26: Build your robot 1
- Oct-3: Build your robot 2
- Oct-10: Program your robot 1
- Oct-17: Program your robot 2
- Oct-24: Break: No Class
- Oct-31: Create the robot world
- Nov-7: Create your home
- Nov-14: Create your feature
- Nov-21: Rehearse your show
- Nov-28: Shoot videos
- Dec-5: Show & Tell
What will students learn?
Students will create their own robot and interactive art, in a playful way that makes learning more fun. Working collaboratively, they will make their bots move, lights blink, sounds play — bringing characters to life in their ‘wonderbox’ home and interacting with others in their new ‘robot world.’
This unique combination of art and technology will help them develop a range of new skills:
- critical thinking and problem solving
- Arduino, robotics and programming
- science, technology, engineering, art and math skills (STEAM)
- creative expression, communication & collaboration skills
Do you also teach this class for adults?
Yes! We are teaching a Create a Robot class for adults and teens at Tam Makers in Mill Valley.
In just two evenings, we’ll show you how to build your own artistic robot with Arduino, make it move around, shake its head and wave at you. And you get to take your animated creature home with you, to impress friends and family. 🙂 Adults and teens are all welcome, no experience required.
The classes are on two separate Thursdays, September 21 and 28, from 6 to 9pm.
Sign up here for this two-part evening course for adults and teens.
What materials are included?
Each student will receive a robot kit, which they will learn to assemble, control and program.
For this class, we have created our own robot kit, using an Arduino Feather M0 for the robot, an RF remote, a custom chassis, plus three additional servos and more parts. Our robot kit is similar to Adafruit’s Mini Race Car Robot, but with a lot more features at a lower cost. This robot kit will be decorated by the students to create an interesting animated character.
This robot kit can support these features:
• Roaming – the bot can move around under user control
• Moving – the bot can move some body parts (turn its head, wave its arms, using servos)
• Inputs – the bot has a variety of buttons (on/off button, buttons for different gestures, etc.)
• Remote – the bot can be controlled remotely (using a remote control or desktop app)
• Lights – the bot can have lights in its body (LEDs that blink, glow, or fade on and off)
• Sounds – the bot can play audio (using piezo buzzer to play simple beeps and tunes)
• Programming – the bot is easy to code (with visual programming tool like Snap4Arduino)
• Flexibility – the bot can be expanded (with extra parts to be ordered separately)
• Pricing – the bot is affordable (we’re aiming for a maximum of $75 per robot)
We plan to use the school’s Macs to program the robots, using the Arduino software and a visual programming tool like Snap4Arduino. Arduino code will be shared with parents when class ends, if students want to continue to program their robot at home.
What will the robot world look like?
We will invite students to create a magical world for their robots, as well as decorate it.
The world could be set in any location, as long as it has flat terrain that the robots can easily roam on. The mockup above shows what our robots might look like on Mars, for example.
What will the robots look like?
To see what our robots will look like, watch our video, featuring our first prototypes.
Here are a few more photos of those prototypes, made with laser-cut wood figures servo motors. The photo above shows a Bamboodu spirit from a fictional world called Inspiration Island, who likes to shake his head and flap his wings back and forth.
The photos below show our prototypes of a Baby Angel and an Alien Dude, in different stages of construction. Students will design their own characters during the first classes, and we will laser cut wooden figures based on their designs.
For more pictures of this course, see our photo album.
Who are the teachers?
Multimedia innovator Fabrice Florin and software designer Edward Janne are teaching this course.
Fabrice is an art maker and social entrepreneur who creates unique experiences to inform and engage communities through digital and physical media. He has led the development of many pioneering products in education, news and entertainment, working with innovators such as Apple, Macromedia and Wikipedia. He is now a teacher and artist at Tam Makers in Mill Valley, where he teaches maker art to adults and kids. Learn more at fabriceflorin.com .
Edward is a software developer and teacher at Tam Makers. He has an extensive background in interactive design and engineering. Prior to joining us, he was a technical animator at Bonfire Labs, a creative content agency. He also studied at the Academy of Art University and the University of San Francisco. Edward has taught several Maker Art classes with us, and will lead more classes for adults and teens at Tam Makers this fall.
How can I learn more?
For more info, email Fabrice at fabriceflorin-at-gmail-dot-com.