Robot School

Have you ever wondered how a robot is built from scratch? Join the Tuks Robot School for a mini-course that will take you through all the basic steps of building a simple self-navigating robot in eight lessons. Lessons will cover 3D design and printing of the robot chassis, constructing the electronics of the robot, assembling the robot, programming an Arduino microcontroller development board to make the robot follow a track and testing the robot. If you have always dreamt of following a career in technology, this is your chance to start the journey!

Taking hands to serve the community 

The Robot School is a joint initiative among the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, the EBIT Faculty-wide second-year community service module JCP203 and the University's Unit for Community Engagement. The project, which is inspired by the popular Annual Third-Year Robot Race (see below), was initiated at the start of 2021 and aims to provide a platform through which EBIT students can serve the community by presenting a fun STEM education activity to school learners.

The curriculum was designed around a low-cost robot platform that was developed for the Robot School by a number of our senior EECE students. The senior students in turn provide training to the second-year community service student teams that present the course content.

Robot School Launch 23 August 2021 - Group 45

Robot School in session

Who may join?

The Robot School curriculum is targeted at grade 8 to 11 learners. It may be possible to also accommodate Grade 7 learners and educators, should the classes not be fully booked.

Logistics

2021 dates

The Robot School will be running from 21 August until the end of October. Please contact Prof Hanekom or Dr Eugene Machimana (contact details below) for enquiries.

Cost

Since the Robot School is a community engagement project, it is presented free of charge.

Venue

Classes are presented at the lovely Moja Gabedi community garden of the University of Pretoria (384 Festival Street, Hatfield, Pretoria). Since classes are presented outside on the porches of the cottages on the premises, learners/attendees must please dress for open-air conditions.

Resources Learners don't have to bring anything along other than a notebook and a pen. Learners who have a laptop may bring it along. Please install FreeCad (www.freecadweb.org/) and the Arduino IDE (www.arduino.cc/en/software) beforehand as there is no WiFi at the venue. 

Transport

Learners need to make use of their own transport to and from the facility.

COVID protocol

Strict COVID protocols are maintained and the wearing of face masks is compulsory.

 

Contacts

EECE

Prof Tania Hanekom ([email protected])

Mr Pieter Roodt ([email protected])

Community service module JCP203

Dr Lelanie Smith ([email protected])

Community engagement unit

Ms Gernia van Niekerk ([email protected])

Dr Eugene Machimana ([email protected])

Support

We welcome involvement from industry and the community to support the Robot School. We specifically need unused (but usable) tablets and laptops to support this initiative. Should you want to donate a mothballed device to the Robot School, please ensure that you remove all personal information from the device. Please contact Prof Tania Hanekom should you wish to become involved in this worthy and exciting project.

RS Components is an enthusiastic supporter of education in STEM. You can read more about their philosophy of support here. The company donates the 3D printing filament that is used to manufacture the chassis of the robots.


EBIT Robot Race

The EBIT Robot Race is inspired this community project.

Follow the event on facebook.com/EbitRobotRaceDay/ and www.up.ac.za/robotrace.

 

 

Published by Tania Hanekom

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