The easiest way to learn about robotics is to physically engage with robots. While theory is important, like anything the best way to really learn about something is to put it into practice. At least that is the theory for Engimake, the team behind the Quadbot, who believe their robot is the perfect starting point for a journey with robots. Launching a Kickstarter on 22nd November, the project created by Manchester University graduates aims to bring robotics into the classroom with the aid of 3D printing.
The significance of this robot is not only can it help engage the novice, but because the Quadbot can be reconfigured in so many different ways it can also challenge more advanced users. Open software provides a deeper experience for robot enthusiasts while also allowing the beginner to take reign of more simple code. In addition to the code, the hardware has been designed specifically to allow makers to add sensors and other inputs into the robot making it as open as possible. Furthermore, Engimake have also enabled users to print the robot themselves using their own 3D printers.
The start-up offer a ‘maker kit’ (pictured below) for the 3D printer user which simply features the robot brain (a quadboard), the motors, some screws and a small cross head screwdriver. This kit is designed to unleash the creative spark in the owner allowing them to 3D print their own model of the robot. This allows the maker to customise the design and perhaps even allow them to give the Quadbot less creepy eyes. The robot has been designed using Autodesk Fusion 360 in order to allow users to alter the design themselves.
There have been a number of instances recently of companies using 3D printing and other new technologies to enhance the education experience of students. These include Future Engineers teaming up with NASA to engage kids with 3D printing, MakerBot collaborating with the Indian education system and Australian schools utilizing 3D printing and scanning in the way they teach Biology. It seems to show a trend to help engage children at a very young age with new and innovative technology in order to best prepare them for the future.
Josh Elijah co-founder of Engimake summarized the mission behind Quadbot:
While studying engineering, we found there to be loads of theory but very little hands-on making. So we founded a society for robotics. From there, we developed a community and set out the blueprints that offered people the chance to build actual robots.
If you fancy testing your skills before entering the next series of Robot Wars you can check out Engimakes Kickstarter from tomorrow.
Featured image of The Quadbot. Image via Engimake.