TechHive Spring 2017: Day 1

After some brief introductions, we launched right into Day 1 with a Scratch/ Hummingbird tutorial. The goal was to get everyone up to speed on some basic engineering and programming concepts. We achieved this by putting on a Robot Petting Zoo. A Robot Petting Zoo is a concept that we've been developing in TechHive for the past several years. The Interns have 6 hours to design and program an animatronic, cardboard pet that will delight the young visitors of the Lawrence Hall of Science. It is a simple design challenge with endless possibility. 

The key skills that the interns learned from the Robot Petting Zoo were basic Scratch programming, introduction to microcontrollers (Hummingbird), introduction to servos, introduction to LEDs, rapid prototyping, critique principles, cardboard cutting techniques and simple mechanisms.

The TechHive interns will present their robot pets to the visitors of the Lawrence Hall of Science at 2pm next week. Wish them luck!

TechHive Winter 2017: Day 10!

Hey Everyone!
Here what you missed: In the last three weeks we wrapped applying our new skills to finish up Jamie, our one of a kind Explainer Robot!

  • Some of the skills we utilized:
  • Basic Bread Boarding
  • Iterative Design Process
  • Arduino (the coding language)
  • Humming Bird Arduino Board
  • Coding in Scratch
  • Coding basics in Arduino
  • Troubleshooting code
  • Prototyping
  • Application of Specialized Servo Motors
  • Countersinking
  • Basic WoodShop
  • Abstraction and PseudoCode

All in all it's been a successful and knowledge filled push towards are final goal and we got there as a team! Kudos to everyone involved and thank you again for all your support!

TechHive Winter 2017: Day 5

Today was all about the various stages of design.

Design → Build → Test→ Repeat! 

In the bottom row interns finished the last stages of our first group build. Attaching eyes, re-attaching them after they fell off, checking that wires were plugged in and skillfully handling all the minutiae that goes into making sure our robots work perfectly!

The top row engaged in a completely different part of the design process (the funnest part actually): Design! Groups worked together to redesign, an intern named, tool called "The Status Prism" that helps facilitators figure out how students are doing in their tasks from a quick glance. From learning the basics of breadboards and circuitry all the way through executing the their ideas with cardboard and wires interns got a very detailed look into design this week!

TechHive Winter 2017: Day 4

For the last few weeks interns have worked to develop their angler fish as they learn how to use variable, if/then statements and coding in scratch. This week we dove into the basics of breadboards. Learning how to read circuitry schimata as well as code in the language arduino, the group worked and troubleshooted thoroughly to reach their goals.

For the building portion, interns came close to finalizing their robots, finishing up the eyebrows to move onto creating the eye as well as attach the head to the body of the robot. Then finally moving onto wiring up their robots.

 

TechHive Winter 2017: Day 3

Last week, TechHive interns learned how to use variables, loops and If/ Then statements to bring their anger fish to life. This week, they got to put their new skills into practice as they iterated upon their angler designs. Interns created moving eyes for their fish, allowing them to experiment with emotive characters. Creating the illusion of emotion is central to making a successful animatronic character.

Additionally, interns assembled the eyebrow and eyelid mechanisms for their Explainer Bot. They also glued together the bodies and the platform for their Explainer Bot using an Acrylic Cement. Understanding how to work with acrylic will be essential when the interns begin to design their own motorized feature for their robot.

 

 

TechHive Winter 2017: Day 2

Today we began to assemble the Explainer Bot. While most of the Explainer Bot pieces were laser cut in advance, some components still needed to be drilled and counter sunk. For this, everyone was trained how to safely use a drill press. 

TechHive interns also got experience using soldering irons. The interns soldered leads onto the LED array that will become their Explainer Both's mouth. Knowing how to solder properly is a key skill when working with small electronics.

Half of the day was spent building the intern's programming and design skills through the creation of an animatronic angler fish. Interns made LEDs blink and Servos move using a Hummingbird Controller and Scratch programming. They also got a distance sensor to work using variable and loops in Scratch. These are the same tools they will use to make their animatronic Explainer Bots come to life.