MimicEducationalRobots teaches the robotics of the future
The robotics industry is changing. The days of industrial robot arms working behind enclosures, performing pre-programmed identical tasks are coming to an end. Robots that can interact with each other and with other equipment are becoming the norm, and robots are expanding into other aspects of our lives. My name is Brett Pipitone and I am the founder, CEO and sole employee of mimicEducationalRobots. I believe robots will soon become an essential part of modern life, and I seek to prepare today’s students to work with these emerging technologies.
the mimicEducationalRobots product line consists of a family of three robots. The largest and most sophisticated is mimicArm. the lovely TinyBot is small and capable. The new bot, bitsybot (currently on Starter) is perfect for those taking their first steps into the world of robotics. Despite their different characteristics, the three robots are designed to communicate with each other and use special sensors to make decisions about their environment. The interfaces are simple yet powerful, allowing users to learn quickly and without frustration.
mimicEducationalRobots believes that every student will encounter robots in their daily lives, regardless of their career path. Learning robotics allows students to become familiar with a technology that is quickly becoming commonplace in everyday life. Thanks to their combinations of features, the mimicEducationalRobots The products introduce technology that is still in its infancy, such as human-robot interaction and cooperative robotics, to a level that students can understand. This is why each mimicEducationalRobots robot begins with manual control, allowing students to get a feel for their robot and what it can and cannot do. Once they have mastered programming manual controls, the jump is smaller. the mimicEducationalRobots The programming software simplifies this transition by mirroring the same movements the students performed manually with simple commands like “robotMove” and “robotGrab.”
For more complex programs, mimicEducationalRobots believes that their robots should mimic the industry as closely as possible. This means doing the maximum with the simplest sensor possible. Things start small, with a tempting big push button called, incidentally, “greatBigButton”. This is the students’ first introduction to human interaction as they program their robot to respond to the press of a button. From there, things get much more exciting without getting much more complicated. For example, a network of non-contact infrared thermometers called Grid-EYE allows mimicArm to detect faces using only body heat. A simple IR proximity sensor allows tinyBot or bitsyBot to react when offered a block before the block touches any part of the robot. There’s even a cable that allows the robots to communicate with each other and react to what the other is doing. These simple abilities allow students to create a wide range of robotic behaviors.
mimicEducationalRobots is a local company designed and built by an engineer and a father with a passion for teaching robotics to people of all ages. I created the robots brain using a bare circuit board, a jig, solder paste and tweezers. Each component is added by hand and the board is soldered with a toaster oven that I modified. Once cooled, the boards are programmed using a modified Arduino UNO R3, one of the best tech tools for beginners.
Other physical parts of the robot are designed using 3D modeling software and manufactured on a 3D printer or CNC router. I have two 3D printers in his basement that run 24 hours a day, producing at least 20 robot kits a week. The CNC router requires a lot more supervision but is capable of producing four sets of beautiful neon plastic parts every 30 minutes.
mimicEducationalRobots is a new type of company, producing a new type of product, for a new type of consumer. Their products demonstrate how fundamental technology, and especially open source technology, has changed our world. I hope students learn about mimicArm, TinyBotor bitsybot will help create the next life-changing leap in technology.
To learn more about the family of mimicEducationalRobots to visit www.mimicRobots.com
Brett Pipitone is the founder of mimicEducationalRobots.