Having won the "Živojin Mišić" competition, I received a cash prize intended for the improvement of teaching. I was thinking about how to get the most out of this award and the choice fell on the Raspberry Pi mini computers. These computers are much cheaper than desktop computers and they allow you to get 5 mini computers for the price of one desktop computer with capabilities that fully meet the needs of teaching robotics. The Raspberry Pi computer is the size of a palm. It connects to the monitor and a keyboard and mouse connect to it. The Linux operating system is installed on Raspberry Pi. Robot programming utilities use the Arduino IDE, which is free and can be downloaded from the Internet. In order for mBot robots to be programmed using this computer, it is necessary to connect them with a USB cable and install a program library for working with mBot.
When it comes to software support, we have a library that can be downloaded from the link: https://github.com/Makeblock-official/Makeblock-Libraries and which is unpacked within the Arudino IDE program (picture below)
The following image displays how to add a zip library in the Arduino IDE:
- The following program shows the application of color sensors:
This program prints the color seen by the sensor. It is best to use colored cards. When we lean the card on the serial port, the color name is displayed.
- The following program shows the application of DC motor control:
In this example, DC motors rotate in one direction for a certain time and then in the other direction. This program is used in robots.
- Line Tracking Sensor Test Program:
This program is used to track the mbot line. The engine activation commands need to be supplemented. Currently, only the sensor reading code is used.
Advantages of working with Raspberry Pi computers
Rosemary Pie computers provide the student with the opportunity to install and work on all applications whose versions exist for the Linux operating system. This computer allows students to work in the console as well as in the windows. The computer is compact so we had little space enough to technically separate the corner within the cabinet and connect these computers to the monitors, mouse and keyboard. Students work in C++ and learn to program robots in the same programming language.
Before, it was harder to organize robotics classes, because we were tied to the computer room, while now it is easier because we are in the technical room and we have more space.
Raspberry Pi computers connect to the Internet and students access the Petlja portal and learn programming. Raspberry Pi computers connect to sensors and get even greater capabilities. This is a unique example of the application of these computers in a practice that combines robotics and programming.
Therefore, we see that with the help of the latest technology, which is Raspberry Pi, it is possible to form a favorable (with less investment) computer and robotics classroom with most of the possibilities provided by much more expensive desktop computers. With this equipment, we are moving one step closer to schools for the 21st century - with modern teaching tools and encouraging students to solve problems and develop critical thinking.