An assignment to help develop a reconfigurable robotics kit for Mindsets, a local company who specialise in science and technology products for educational and hobby purposes.
The devised kit consists mainly of parts already sold by the company, which are arranged in pre-assembled modules including:
- Motor / wheel module
- Power module (battery)
- Sensor module (microswitch)
- ‘Brain’ module
The ‘brain’ is based around a PICAXE 18X microcontroller. Pre-written PBASIC code and instructions to build several different example configurations are provided, allowing the user to put together robotic systems with very little knowledge of programming or robotics.
The kit is designed to be an open system, an intermediate step between lego mindstorms-style kits and home-brewed robotics. Nothing is hidden from the user, so they are able to learn about everything going on in their creations. As the user becomes more familiar with building and programming the robots, they can begin to add their own custom parts, sensors and code, eventually making their robot their own.