RobotBASIC in Education
Scroll down to see our free lessons and fully assembled educational robot.
Why Use RobotBASIC in the Classroom?
RobotBASIC is an excellent way of motivating students to learn science, engineering, math, etc.
RobotBASIC is FREE for schools, teachers, AND students, and it is one of the most powerful educational programming languages available - it has nearly 900 commands and functions and it can control REAL robots in addition to the integrated robot simulator so it can easily be used by HS (or even college) students.
In addition to standard BASIC syntax, RobotBASIC also includes legacy-style commands that make it possible to teach some fundamental programming principles to even 5th graders (I have done this personally). You cannot believe how excited young students get when they do something (program the simulated robot) where they feel THEY are in control. If simple programming concepts like this are introduced early, students will view programming as a natural tool by the time they get to HS.
RobotBASIC is also a great stepping-stone to college level courses because it also allows a variety of C-style syntax which makes it easier for students to transition to more cryptic languages like C and Java.
RobotBASIC is not built around other systems - rather it is its own COMPLETE system. One of the major advantages of RobotBASIC is its integrates robot simulator that allows ALL students to have their own PERSON robot to program, even at home to do homework. The simulation, seems simple at first, but it has far more sensors that even the most expensive educational robots.
This VIDEO shows how the simulator works. This short VIDEO shows you why schools are using RobotBASIC to motivate and excite their students. The information below shows why RobotBASIC appeals to all levels of education. The PDF document below provides detailed information on the advantages of using RobotBASIC for both introductory and more advanced programming classes.
Home Schooling: Because of its motivational nature and the support we provide, RobotBASIC is ideal for teaching programming, problem solving, and logical thinking in home-school programs. (See our support material below.) On a separate topic, home schools might consider adding coursework on investing and financial planning. If you wish to do so, John Blankenship has a book you should consider that covers these topics in a manner suitable for high school or college level students.
Distance Learning: RobotBASIC has many features that can benefit distance-learning curricula (for both programming and engineering). For example, the robot simulator allows students to explore complex algorithms at home without equipment. In addition, RobotBASIC's simulation and animation capabilities (see all our VIDEOS) allow the development of high-level simulations of mechanical hardware that allow control applications to be carried out at home without a laboratory. This Distance-Learning-Video shows how RobotBASIC can be used to simulate four different types of motors, all of which can be controlled just like a real motor. The LINK below will allow you to download all the programs shown in the video. Furthermore, RobotBASIC has the ability to perform data acquisition and remote control OVER THE INTERNET (with both TCP and UDP protocols). This allows you to create programs so students at home can communicate with real equipment in a university laboratory. We invite colleges, universities, and individuals to submit their applications and simulations so that we can make them available to everyone. If you are new to simulation programming, study our examples to see how to use RobotBASIC to perform FLICKER-FREE animation. RobotBASIC's ability to mix real pictures with computer animation makes it easy to create exciting material quickly (see the Distance-Learning Video above).
College Courses:RobotBASIC has many features that make it suitable for college level courses and laboratory projects. Things like matrix mathematics, statistical functions, image processing and I/O port manipulation - you’ll find specialized functions that calculate Correlation Coefficients, perform Linear Regression, and even some that can capture pictures from a web cam and help you give your robot Vision. Many colleges start their students with Java or C++. We think that approach has many problems. The PDF document below can provide some insights you might not have considered. We have several books on how to interface RobotBASIC with a wide variety of hardware (motors, sensors, vision, voice recoginition, etc).
Pre College Courses: RobotBASIC has been specifically designed with a syntax structure that can GROW with the student (see this VIDEO for more information). Because the basic functions are so easy to learn, RobotBASIC is being used in a private school in Atlanta to introduce Middle School students to programming. High School students are easily motivated by the Robot Simulator as well as RobotBASIC’s ability to easily write simple video games and simulations.
For the experienced programmer, the RobotBASIC HELP file provide complete information on the system. We also offer Robot Programmer’s Bonanza (McGraw-Hill) to
support RobotBASIC at the college level.
Our two beginner's books ( RobotBASIC Projects For Beginners and Robots in the Classroom ) have chapters suitable for students of programming at any grade level. In many cases, one of these book alone is the only resource you will ever need for introducing students to programming fundamentals.
FREE Introductory Robot-Based Projects for Schools
In order to make it easier for students to learn about robotics, we are providing the following Projects as PDF downloads. If the projects are performed with the RobotBASIC Robot Simulator, everything can be done at NO cost to the school or to the students. Just download the Projects you want and a copy of RobotBASIC from our FREE PROGRAM page and the and you are ready to go.
These projects teach real programming (not just clicking blocks to select options or change parameters as with many educational robots). Try the lessons below with the simulator to see the beauty and power of our system.
For those that want to control a real robot, these projects also work with our RB-9 robot. If you do not have an RB-9, just skip over the areas in the text that explain how to control the real robot. We have tried to make these Projects as self-contained as possible, for two reasons. First, we know that many teachers do not have backgrounds in programming so the lessons are designed so that students require minimal help and supervision. Second, we wanted to insure that a typical student would not have to buy anything. That said, we know that there are always advanced students that want more information than can be provided in the introductory Projects below. We offer numerous books to provide more detail to those that need it.
If teachers or students find that areas of the lessons are unclear, please let us know and we will try to update the problem areas
Robot Projects for RobotBASIC
Volume 1: The Fundamentals
Titles (download links below)
Project 1: Controlling the Robot’s Movements
Project 2: Monitoring the Battery
Project 3: Measuring Distances
Project 4: The Perimeter Sensors
Project 5: Remote Control
Project 6: Introduction to the Line Sensors
Project 7: The Compass
Project 8: Detecting Beacons
Note: These projects may constantly be updated so students should always download the latest copy.
Video For Students
We know many teachers are intimidated with programming. For that reason we have many YouTube videos to help. Teachers can use these videos themselves to get started, or they can let their students use them directly.
There are six lessons that accompany our book RobotBASIC Projects for Beginners. Just search YouTube for RobotBASIC Projects for Begginners.
We also have numerous lessons that we developed for CSTEM in Texas. To find them, search YouTube for RobotBASIC CSTEM.
Our REAL Robot
Once you are comfortable with using RobotBASIC and the simulated robot, you might want to move up to a real robot. Our RB-9 Robot can be controlled with the SAME programs used to control the simulator. This means you have numerous FREE projects and YouTube videos to assist you in the classroom.
We know that schools don't have the expertise or the time to mess with kits. For that reason, we only offer our educational robot FULLY ASSEMBLED and TESTED. It comes as shown below and includes the battery (and charger) along with ALL the sensors you need to perform a wide variety of exciting and motivational projects. The sensors include ranging sensors, perimeter sensors implemented with our VSS, line/drop-off detectors, a compass, a beacon detector, wheel encoders, and battery voltage monitoring. It even comes with one fully-assembled Beacon, as shown in the photo.
The RB-9 can be controlled from RobotBASIC over a Bluetooth link from your WIndows PC. If your computer does not have built-in Bluetooth capability, you must add a USB Bluetooth adapter.
Download our PDF Projects (above) to see how easy it is to control the real robot with programs developed with the simulator.
The RB-9 is a cost-effective way for schools to offer a robotic program. Often, schools buy 5 or 10 cheap robots, with far less capabilities than ours, just to have one robot for every 3 or 4 students. Since RobotBASIC's integrated simulated robot allows EVERY student to have their own personal robot (even at home for homework), schools only need to buy ONE real robot. When a student gets their program working on the simulator, they can use the SAME program to immediately control the real robot.
Please don't confuse us with low-cost "toy" robots that have only one or two sensors. Our robot comes with everything needed to create REAL robotic behaviors. Furthermore, our robot has its own internal processor that runs our RobotBASIC Robot Operating System (RROS) which handles all the low-level tasks associated with motor control and sensor interrogation. This makes programming the robot far easier than other robots. Furthermore, there are no programs to compile and download and no cryptic syntax to learn - control of the real robot is automatic and seemless. Don't just take our word for it. Download the Project-based lessons above and use the simulator to see how easy our system is to use.
The fully-assembled Educational RB-9 robot (9 inches in diameter) and one beacon is priced at $995 plus $20 shipping. Shipping may be delayed if demand is high because the robot is hand-assembled and tested at our facility in Florida. We can confirm an estimated shipping date when you place the order and usually ship by the time we receive your check (4-7 days). Remember, our robot is complete with everything you need.... all the hardware, sensors, battery, charger, etc. along with downloadable, exciting projects your students will love - even if they have no prior programming experience.