We met with representatives of the Chinese startup event Startup Launchpad Makeblock the Global Sources Electronics Fair 2016 and their booth intrigued us a lot. The company specializes in the production of open-source technologies and their latest solution is called MBOT, developed and implemented through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
As you can see from the photos and the video made a few hours ago, MBOT is a robot or rather a robotic platform educatica kit that is designed to introduce children (ages 8 and up) to the STEAM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, art & Design and Mathematics), and grow in them some practical experience in programming, electronics and robotics. MBOT is based on an Arduino Uno board, so it is programmable with MBLOCK, a very intuitive graphical environment based on Scratch 2.0, which uses graphics blocks (precisely MBLOCK) uniting them into real programming codes. Thus, the gateway to the textual language in C / C ++ directly into Arduino is thus facilitated.
The kit allows a robot on two wheels, with two engines, optical and ultrasonic sensors, wireless modules (2.4G WiFi or Bluetooth, depending on the version). The package includes 38 pieces that, besides being able to be assembled together in just 10 minutes thanks to the special system marking the RJ25 ports with labels of different colors, are compatible with LEGO bricks thus giving the opportunity to children to build structures new and have fun changing functions and their own robot personality. Among the modules, also we signal a potentiometer, an accelerometer, an LED display and various kinds of sensors.
As you may have already guessed, the robot kit is available in two versions: MBOT Bluetooth, which can be controlled and even programmed by smartphones and tablets via the App MBOT application available for iOS and Android, costs about 100 euro while MBOT 2.4G ( WiFi) costs a little ‘more, and it operates with a remote control supplied
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