For the last 2 years the Team at Slant Concepts has been creating arduino robotics kits to get kids excited about robotics. The project which began as a garage prototype is now launching its 7th robot, the LittleBot Budget, which is now live on Kickstarter.
Robotics is one of the best methods of teaching STEM topics to kids. It integrates disciplines such as programming, electronics, mathematics, mechanics, and in the case of the LittleBot, 3D printing into a single package. But robotics is generally an expensive hob by. It is difficult for beginners and school teachers to justify the cost of robotics kits. So Slant used their expertise from the last 6 robots they successfully launched to create one of the most affordable robotics kits in the world.
But the Littlebot is not a bare bones toy. It is a robotics platform that can accommodate any number of expansions and skill levels. Users are expected to design new hardware attachments, which can be 3D printed, and add sensors and code so the robot can perform more tasks.
Slant has already created nearly a dozen expansions for the Littlebot that accommodate everything from simple buzzer demonstrations to advanced robotics navigation. They even designed a Jousting attachment just so two can battle. The Arduino code and 3D printing files for each expansion have already been released and Slant will continue to release tutorials and new demos as time passes. The goal is to have the Littlebot budget become more advanced as the user’s skills grow.
The Littlebot is based on the Arduino. This allows it to be reprogrammed using any arduino tool. These include graphical systems such as Scratch and Blockly and the normal IDE. Slant’s custom board also makes adding more servos and sensors very easy.
Robotics has always been an expensive and complicated topic to get hands-on with. But the Littlebot Budget is a big step toward making educational robotics more accessible to anyone getting started. The Littlebot is currently taking preorders on Kickstarter. Kits start at $28 and deliveries are scheduled for December 2018.