The Classroom Robot System

Combine Arduino C sketches, the Shield-Bot and Codebender for a popular classroom robot system

The strength of the Arduino ecosystem in education is significant. Many educators have invested in Arduino and teach effectively with this platform.

C sketches developed by students often use libraries found throughout the web.

The Arduino IDE runs on all operating systems except the Chrome operating system on Chromebooks, which uses the Arduino Web Editor or Codebender. Parallax introduces robotics to this ecosystem with the Shield-Bot robot — the longest running, most widely used robot for the Uno.

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Arduino C Code Sketches

The Arduino C used in our robotic products looks familiar to Python and PBASIC at first. 

Some terminology and values appear to be the same. The learning curve may seem steeper because functions are used to start and loop a sketch, curly braces define program sections and comments have a specific syntax. 

One benefit of Arduino C (and Python) on a Parallax robot is that the servo motor drive signals are maintained by the Arduino Uno processor once the values are assigned, without need for refresh every 20 ms (as is required with PBASIC). 

This is easier to code, but slightly more abstract for the student. Here’s an example of Arduino C with the Shield-Bot.

Shield-Bot Tutorials & Projects

Parallax’s key contribution to the Arduino C language in education are the Shield-Bot tutorials (also available in print). 

The Shield-Bot tutorials use standard Arduino libraries and teach robotic basics, electronic circuits with sensors, and code development through small steps of subsystem testing. 

Through each tutorial, students will run complete sketches that make use of the entire circuit built on the Shield-Bot.

The functionality of the Shield-Bot may be extended beyond the three included sensor systems with hardware add-on kits, supported by additional projects.

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Educator Support and Resources

Parallax provides educator resources including teaching and strategy guides, course guides, a standards matrix, and a scope & sequence to facilitate your use of the Shield-Bot in your classroom. 

A set of solved questions, exercises, and projects are included in each tutorial chapter for student study and practice.  An additional set is available only to educators upon request, for quizzes and tests.

Contact our education team to request access to the assessment materials. Please use your school email account and provide a link to your staff directory page so we may verify your status as an educator.

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