Robotics Class

We are going to start a robotics class at the HS where I volunteer and I’m wondering if anyone has course materials or ideas for a robotics class. I know many other schools have started similar classes. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

You can’t go wrong with Arduino.

Sparkfun Electronics(HQ in Boulder, Colorado!) has some great material for electronics and robotics education. Try their education page.

In the robotics elective at our school last year they had us do a bunch of the Solidworks tutorials, and our “Final Exam” for the class was to make a dog-tag with our name in Solidworks.

We used one of the VEX robotics curriculum for the one year we had a class.

http://curriculum.vexrobotics.com/home

@packers76 -
A couple questions that may help others give you helpful tips and advice:

  • Will this be an afterschool class? An elective? For credit, or no credit?
  • Will it be offered to all grades, or a specific one?
  • What materials and/or resources do you think you will have available? (Example, if you think your class could be held in a room with many computers or laptops available, CAD lessons can be a part of the class)
  • When you say robotics class, do we mean general robotics, or FRC and/or FTC focused?

Here are some links to useful threads in the past -
For a Credited Course -
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129535&highlight=robotics+elective

Starting a Robotics Elective -
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95911&highlight=robotics+elective

Oldie but goodie thread on robotics curriculums for a high school class -
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86884&highlight=robotics+elective

Hope this serves as a good starting point for you. Good luck!

In our robotics class, we work through the entire FIRST family of programs. In the first semester, we have the underclassmen doing Lego robotics exercises while the upperclassmen learn and build with Tetrix kits (FTC) and in the second semester, the underclassmen move-on to Tetrix while the upperclassmen do FRC, because second semester is mostly made up of build and competition season.

Thanks to everyone for such great responses and suggestions:

@Nica F. (Great Questions!)
Will this be an afterschool class? An elective? For credit, or no credit?
This will be an afterschool elective class not for credit (at least to start).
Will it be offered to all grades, or a specific one?
This will be for all grades to start.
What materials and/or resources do you think you will have available? (Example, if you think your class could be held in a room with many computers or laptops available, CAD lessons can be a part of the class)
We can hold the class in a classroom full of computers where each student has a computer.
When you say robotics class, do we mean general robotics, or FRC and/or FTC focused?
I would like this to be a general robotics class. Our first class will be 10/8 I want to ask the students what aspects of robotics they are interested in and then focus on those topics to start.

Thanks again to everyone for all the helpful suggestions. I’m excited to get this class off the ground!

With SOLIDWORKS sponsorship www.solidworks.com/First you will get access to our general robot tutorials for mechanical and electrical CAD. Also SOLIDWORKS Simulation and SolidWorks Composer.

Each one of these documents take from 1-2 hours. It is a good general intro.

You can download sample robots from our solidworks.com First page.

Additional tutorials on photorealistic rendering and animation are inside the software.

For a good intro check out borntodesign.tv to hear stories from robot manufacturers and automation engineers. Gives a big picture as to why you are learning and why SolidWorks is a good skill to have. Marie

@mplanchard - Thanks so much for the advice about SOLIDWORKS. It is s a tool that I want to lean and to incorporate into the Robotics Class. Is there a way to get a free version through FIRST or do I need to purchase it? Thanks again.

http://www.solidworks.com/sw/education/robot-student-design-contest.htm

I have heard that SolidWorks is not Mac compatible. Is there an autocad-type program that will work on a Mac?

Thanks

Yes. They do have Autodesk programs that work on mac. I believe that you have to run bootcamp which if your using a mac you probably know about.

The autodesk student community is a lot easier to get software then solidworks is, also makes it easier for excelling students who really want to dig into CAD.
-Ronnie

Our mentor/engineering teacher used a few VEX EDR kits and assigned us multiple projects that tested our creativity. Also, during the FRC build season, he had us help build parts of the competition robot. ::rtm::

Inventor, however, which is the main Autodesk program used in FRC, is Windows-only.

Yes, you can.

-Ronnie

So many people are teaching what I would consider ‘advanced’ subjects. Our team teaches some of these, but you also must remember that some basics are in order for most students.

As the mechanical mentor, I teach classes in

  1. Materials
  2. fastening and joining.
  3. pneumatics
  4. robot systems
  5. How we design.

I’m considering adding a course in ‘tools’ because surprisingly, many kids don’t know the names and uses of tools nowadays.

The electrical mentors on the team also teach classes in their electricity and electronics and programming.

Our courses are free on our web page, as .pdf but if you’d like the powerpoints to adapt them to your team, just give me an email.
http://www.pantherrobotics.com/resources.html

note: very slow website, but it does come in eventually.

I posted this on another thread regarding pre-season preperation. This may be helpful here, too. Vanden Robotics actually has two classes. Manufacturing Technology for the rookies (VEX oriented), and Principles of Engineering for rookies and experienced students (FRC oriented). We also have AP Computer Science, whose prerequisite class is Principles of Engineering.

This is the handbook for the Principles of Engineering class. It may give you some ideas for running a class and not just a club.

We teach curriculum written by a 4334 member for Alberta high school credits using a partnership with an online learning service as the delivery platform.

Our curriculum is available here. http://frc-west.github.io/

You could do the same for Solidworks; Inventor doesn’t run natively on Mac.