Otto DIY is a simple and helpful robot for learning, understanding, and teaching robotics for kids. Build. Tinker. Program, and play. All with Otto DIY, a project spreading the joy of robotics for kids around the world.
What is Robotics for Kids?
For kids that have never tried robotics, a simple robot offers an outlet for creativity that keeps young minds active. Introduce STEM concepts in a hands-on way, activate the “maker” within, and teach critical coding skills and robotics for kids.
Read on to discover:
How can children benefit from robotics projects?
Robotics projects are a great educational tool to inspire kids to think outside of the box. While also just fun to assemble and bring to life, robotics builds cognitive skills like critical thinking and problem solving.
Building a robot reinforces confidence and perseverance. Through trial and error, kids learn that their ideas can become real things that people use. This makes children feel they have something positive to contribute to the world around them.
Robotics programs also place kids in a situation where they have to learn with others, and accept constructive criticism. Projects hardly ever come out right the first time. You have to learn what went wrong and how to fix it.
This might call for input on the engineering and coding from a group or a teacher, and creates great learning opportunities. Then, when robots are operational, controlling and playing games allows kids to practice other skills. Kids can learn to recognize social cues, practice hand-eye coordination, and much more depending on the robot and its coding.
Develop mechanical skills
First, every project involving robotics for kids begins with the construction of the actual robot. This is a hands-on way of teaching physics, mathematics, design, and sometimes 3D printing (like with Otto Makers’ Kits).
With Otto, for example, all of the parts you need to build the external casing of the robot are 3D printable. Otto’s free STL files include all the instructions your printer needs to create Otto’s head, casing, arms, and legs.
It’s also possible to simply get all of the parts in one of Otto’s Builders’ Kits, which come with everything you need for assembly. Mechanical parts include Otto’s external parts, 4 micro Servo motors, sensors, and buzzers. With these, you can begin your mechanical engineering.
Experience electrical engineering
Next, robotics for kids helps to experience first-hand the link between mechanics, electronics, coding, and action. By connecting internal parts like the main board and the circuitry, children learn how each part of the robot works.
In this regard, some robots are easier than others to engineer. With Otto, we have developed a solution to teach robotics for kids without any complex electrical engineering. There is no soldering necessary. Easily connect all circuitry with a Phillips screwdriver.
Otto will then run on two AA batteries which power the motors, sensors, and buzzers. Next, bring the robot to life by plugging it into a PC and coding actions for it to carry out.
See the link between code and action
Coding a robot is a great way to teach both text-based and visual programming. It enables learners to see the link between code and action, and to learn various programming languages.
Blockly allows learners to move more quickly through long lines of codes, without the frustration that often comes with text-based programming. Kids quickly get experience in coding and computational thinking, while also getting an intro into more advanced coding languages.
There is also Otto Scratch AI (a server-based solution), able to get Otto moving in no time even for those completely new to coding. Advanced users can write scripts for Otto in Python or other complex coding languages. Simply deploy your code, and transform any Bluetooth device into a control panel to bring Otto to life.
Master the skills of tomorrow
Most importantly, robotics for kids is vital because in today’s world it helps them master the skills of tomorrow. The future is in fields of development, iOT technologies, 3D printing, AI, and augmented / virtual reality.
Learning about robotics helps kids coast easier into this next generation. It provides real-world experience that will help them compete in the ever evolving job market as they get older.
Through building, coding, and controlling robots, kids not only develop valuable skills but also have fun while doing it. Really, what better way is there to teach STEM concepts in the classroom (or at home) than robots you design, program, and personalize?
Discover more about Otto and robotics for kids and adults