The Edison robot takes the idea of computer technology and coding to a whole new level. I spent just over two hours learning the basics of Edison and the programs that can be used to direct him as well as unique codes that I can create on my own to make him carry out different actions.
Edison is a robot for students of all ages that teaches computer programming and the components of STEM. This robot, that fits in the palm of your hand, is Lego® compatible and quite durable. He includes infrared obstacles and light sensors on his left and right sides. One component of him that I found to be quite fascinating is that he has an infrared receiver and transmitter to communicate with other Edisons. While I was not able to test this out because I only had one, I watched an example video to show how this can be done. I would love to have a few in my future classroom so I can not only try this out, but do so with my students.
The robot can be programmed using a range of different computers and tablets which makes it even more classroom-friendly, and is able to read three different program ranges that vary in grade level appropriateness. The program that I chose to launch was the EdBlocks app in which I was able to launch demos to see what allEdison is capable of. I started out by setting a code for him to drive, and I was able to select the directions he would go, for how long, and which direction he would turn once he came to a stop.
Along with the ability to change direction, I discovered how I could manipulate Edison’s speed and direction based on physical conditions such as the color of the surface he drives over. I was able to create a code that directed Edison to speed up when he drove on a white surface. Seeing as I did not have the specific board that comes with him to layout, I simply taped a piece of white paper to my table. I also directed him to change directions when I clapped, which left me absolutely fascinated by his ability to carry out a command based on surrounding noises.
Through this authentic experience with computer technology, I learned just how engaging and hands-on this robot is. Edison assists in the elaboration of programming and coding for students in the classroom, and allows them to communicate with him through various programming languages. Seeing as these robots are within an affordable price range, I definitely plan to purchase a few for my future classroom so that I can show students how much they are capable of and allow them to not just become coders, but inventors.
For more information on the Edison robot, click here.
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