Ro­bot­ics for all

New Straits Times - - Cool Tools -

How­ever, since ro­bots are ex­pen­sive, this ac­tiv­ity is nor­mally limited to elite schools or the ones with a big bud­get.

“I make ro­bot­ics cour­ses af­ford­able and this is done to­gether with cod­ing,” says Koh.

This is pos­si­ble with the use of the Ar­duino cir­cuit board, the brain be­hind many elec­tronic de­vices and ro­bots.

Ar­duino is an open-source plat­form used for build­ing elec­tron­ics projects, con­sist­ing of both a phys­i­cal pro­gram­mable cir­cuit board (of­ten re­ferred to as a mi­cro­con­troller) and a piece of soft­ware, or IDE (In­te­grated De­vel­op­ment En­vi­ron­ment) that runs on a com­puter.

The Ar­duino plat­form has be­come quite pop­u­lar with those just start­ing out in elec­tron­ics, and for good rea­son.

Un­like most pre­vi­ous pro­gram­mable cir­cuit boards, the Ar­duino does not need a sep­a­rate piece of hard­ware called a pro­gram­mer to load code onto the board — one can sim­ply use a USB ca­ble.

“The ad­van­tage of Ar­duino is its af­ford­able price. One can get a cir­cuit board at RM30,” says Koh.

“I want to move be­yon­drobotics by in­te­grat­ing ro­bot­ics and pro­gram­ming with lessons on mas­ter­ingthe Ar­duino cir­cuit board.

“Once stu­dents know how to pro­gramme the Ar­duino cir­cuit board and the sen­sors, they can ba­si­cally do any­thing.”

“My-Bengkel is a ‘fun­d­u­ca­tional’ (fun and ed­u­ca­tional) ba­sic DIY se­ries de­vel­oped for be­gin­ners who have no prior knowl­edge of sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, in­no­va­tion and ro­bot­ics.” The work­shop uses the CERIA (Cod­ing, Elec­tronic, Ro­botic, In­no­va­tion and Au­toma­tion) mod­ules.

“They in­tro­duce stu­dents to the ba­sic con­struc­tion of an elec­tronic cir­cuit us­ing sim­ple elec­tronic com­po­nents and pro­gram­ming.

“All this knowl­edge is not con­fined to the school but can also be ap­plied in our daily life.” Koh hopes to pro­mote in­ter­est in ro­bot­ics among the young.

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