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BoeBots

This is a range of self-assembly robot kits that was originally deigned for use in American school and college robotics classes. The name boe bot is derived from Board of Education Robot. The basic kit consists of a main circuit board (called the Board of Education), a microcontroller, a pair of servo motors to drive the wheels, a ‘bread board’ for plugging in other components and an aluminium chassis that the other parts mount on to. It takes around one to two hours to assemble but also comes with around 50 hours of educational projects, starting with simple movement and moving on to sensor-based activities such as following lines or solving mazes. The kit includes a selection of components, resistors, capacitors and sensors to allow these to be completed.

The microcontroller’s programming flexibility, along with the bread board for circuit construction, can make this a great tool for learning about electronics projects. Programming of the robot can be carried out from a PC via a USB connection. Additional kits are available to extend the capabilities of the boe bot and modify the way it operates. These include crawlers, grippers, tank treads and digital encoders. You can also use a robotics shield kit to make it easier to build customised and prototype circuits.

No previous electronics or robotics experience is necessary to get started and you can learn the techniques required as you go along. You can buy refresher kits to replace the electronic components from the original kit so that it can be passed on to another generation.

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