What was the most difficult aspect of this topic?
The most difficult aspect of this project was getting into an agreement between the two of us. While Alex thought that coloring the robot simply with colored pencils and markers are enough, I insisted that using acrylic paint is the better choice. However, Alex believed that it was too time-consuming. I eventually surprised Alex by finishing the robot in time for Robot Petting Zoo.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of this project?
The thing that I enjoyed very much during this project was properly functioning our robot for the first time. When some object was about 10 centimeters away from our robot’s distance sensor, the robot activated a servo attached to the right arm and made a gesture that meant “hi”.
What did you do well?
I think Alex and I did a great job of thinking about many ideas for my robot. When we were planning what kind of robot we will be going to create and how will the robot work, we had some disagreements. However, I think without those discussions and disagreements between Alex and me, we would not have created the robot that we wanted to make.
What would you do differently next time?
I would have made more parts to move and function next time. When doing the Robot Petting Zoo, I thought just moving robot’s arm is not enough. If I get another chance to make my robot, I would activate the robot’s head to turn around or make the eyes to roll 360 degrees.
What did you learn about physically building a robot?
When physically building a robot, I learned that designing and planning should be very clear before building a robot. Once Alex and I were assembling parts of the robot’s body, we found out that there was no hole for a servo to go inside the robot. Eventually, I got an idea to fix that problem. Also, physically building a robot can make you make a lot of unexpected mistakes. So once again, planning is really important when building a robot.
What did you learn about programming the robot?
Before we have started the unit Robot Petting Zoo, I learned a lot of new things about programming the robot such as sensors, servos, or motors. However, during the unit, Alex and I only used one coding and only activated one part of the robot, which caused us to have much less time to learn and explore about programming. But if I have to say what I learned about programming the robot, I will probably answer, using a variety of sensors and ways to activate the robot.
What more would you like to learn about the building and/or programming of these robots?
One thing that I would more like to learn about the programming of these robots is using Arduino to program to activate my robot. I have heard that it is way harder than Hummingbird, but I would like to learn about code language and use that language to program my robot. Also, I want to learn how to activate other parts of my robot in a variety of ways. The reason is that when I look at my finished robot, I feel like something is missing. The robot’s motion is too obvious if I knew more about building a robot. I may have built a better robot than this one.
What advice would you give to a student who is beginning of this unit?
My advice for students who are starting this unit, Robot Petting Zoo, is that planning is really important in this unit. I choose to say this because I have experienced some problems affected by my plan and design of my robot. The building is also important, however, if they plan and design their robots well. It will be easier for them to build their robots.