Robots meet Raspberry Pi: How kids are using their brains

Robots meet Raspberry Pi: How kids are using their brains

Summary: A troop of scouts has married the Raspberry Pi with a mind-controlled Lego robot and launched it into competition – a sign that the mini PC is already proving its worth in getting kids enthusiastic about computing

SHARE:
TOPICS: After Hours
0

 |  Image 2 of 6

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Boreatton scouts at Lego contest

    Although it gets plenty of grown-ups excited too, the Raspberry Pi computer is, after all, intended for schoolchildren.

    The tiny, super-cheap PC is largely aimed at teaching kids how computers work and hopefully getting them interested in programming. It makes sense, then, that one of the first of the sought-after units went to the Boreatton Scout Troop, 10 members of which are in a robotics team that competes with similar groups internationally.

    Last week the Scouts were in Mannheim, Germany, taking part in the First Lego League robotics competition. The Boreatton troop got there by winning a regional competition at the University of Manchester, then going on to take the UK's National Robot Design prize.

    Image credit: Alan Herbert; photos used with permission


    Read more about Raspberry Pi on ZDNet UK.


  • Boreatton Scouts' Raspberry Pi robot

    The team is currently working on integrating the Raspberry Pi with its existing Lego robots and the Puzzlebox Brainstorms brainwave-reading headset.

    Pictured above is the team's Boreatton Experimental Robot Type 1e (B.E.R.T.1e).

    Image credit: Alan Herbert; photos used with permission


    Read more about Raspberry Pi on ZDNet UK.


  • Boreatton scouts' Raspberry Pi robot controller

    Twelve-year-old Claire Revans (left) is one of the core members of the Boreatton Scout Troop's robotics team, seen here showing off Scratch-based games running on their Raspberry Pi with a pico projector screen.

    She explained to ZDNet UK how the team had decided to work with the Raspberry Pi as its research theme was, coincidentally, about raspberry preservation.

    "It's hard to use at first because you don't know what to do, but, once you get the hang of it, it's fun," Claire said on Thursday. "We've been making games on Scratch and we've been linking our mind-control robot to it — it's very portable."

    Alan Herbert, who helps run the troop, explained that the EEG headsets are linked to the Lego robots using Python. That will be the main programming environment shipped with the educational release of the RaspBerry Pi, when it comes out.

    The Puzzlebox Brainstorms developers in the US are adapting their headset control software to the Raspberry Pi, Herbert added. The aim is to give people the ability to drive the robots by "thinking at them".

    "You have a headset on your head, and it reads your brainwaves into the computer. We link the computer to the robot, and when you think a certain thought, we can train our brains to move the robots," Claire said.

    Image credit: Alan Herbert; photos used with permission


    Read more about Raspberry Pi on ZDNet UK.


Topic: After Hours

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

Talkback

0 comments
Log in or register to start the discussion