Over the school Summer holidays I have been working with my daughter to guide her and her friend to start building a robot chassis and writing some Python code. We chose Lego Technic and a tracked tank like design. This enables rapid prototyping and learning a lot about the mechanics of building a working tank chassis.
We had a lot of fun building the chassis over the holidays, and took it all away with us to work on while on our Summer family holiday.A highly successful evening coding her #PiWars robot. We hacked the holiday cottage, borrowing the DVD player HDMI cable to use the TV as a screen to debug network issues & borrowed the AAA batteries from 2 remote controls for the @ThePiHut game controller. pic.twitter.com/qbMSci0o5q— Dr Footleg (@drfootleg) August 7, 2018
We used a state table to design what she wanted the motor control code to do in response to different positions of controls on a game controller. This was a great success in coaching her to create a design, and then realising that design in code. My daughter was really engaged with the project and it has kindled a desire in her to learn Python. After the holiday we visited our local library and she picked out two childrens 'Learn Python' books which she has started to work through at home. A very successful start and a great example of how a project like a Pi Wars entry generates the drive to learn new skills and overcome challenges.We created a state table for the controller joystick positions and what the motors should be doing for each combination. Then wrote some pseudo code encode the design ready to convert to Python for her #PiWars robot. #STEM #GirlsInStem pic.twitter.com/eibix6lOcF— Dr Footleg (@drfootleg) August 9, 2018
Now I need to overcome the challenge of giving an assembly at my daughter's school to inspire other children to enter the competition this year.