Robot/Programming kit for teenagers

Dear mud hive

I’m looking for a christmas gift for my nieces (13 & 14) and got the idea that maybe I can combine something that is fun but that also builds some vital IT skills.

They do like Lego/Lego Technics but are not really deep into IT yet. I thought about a kit where you can build a simple robot and program it with some kind of graphical user interface to learn the ropes when it comes to algorithms.

Mom and dad will not be able to step in and support. I know some basics (recent experience in JavaScript and BASIC, Turbo Pascal and PHP many moons ago).

So ideally the kit should come with a step by step guide for some quick results and maybe some challenges later down the road. Difficulty should be easy to medium.

Any recommendations?

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Maybe LEGO is what you looking for

lego

Robots in the Set

These robots give you the full EV3 experience, complete with building instructions, programming missions and the programming tool included in the new free EV3 Programmer App. New robot builders begin here!

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Definately the lego robot kits then. There’s Mindstorms that is expensive but is more deeply programmable and there’s Boost which you can program using a tablet or phone in a block dropping interface.

I own neither, and neither supports regular lego technics power functions motors which sucks. There are also 3rd party things you could look into, such as Sbrick.

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Used a mindstorms kit in high school - that was pretty cool and easy to use.

We were given a challenge - an oval track with colored stripes around it. We were given a color and had to design our bot using tracks or wheels using only three motors and the optical sensor.

The challenge was to program the bot to follow the color and do a lap - fastest lap won. So using the GUI programmer involved some “IFs” and loops. Good basic programming skills needed, or could be learned on the way.

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I’m not a teenage girl, but this isn’t expensive, works with a phone, etc, there are others at their site of course. Best thing I can think of is search for STEM robots for teenagers, that’ll give a good list of things less expensive than Lego’s, which are probably also on that list…

Also, most of the stuff probably uses Scratch or something like that to code, which is a great place to start imo

https://www.sphero.com/mini-kit

Cozmo is another one.

Not sure where in the world you are, amazon of course has them, but places like Best Buy usually carry both those here.

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Some cool ideas already.

I’m from Germany.

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I’ll throw in a +1 on the Mindstorms. Even at the college level, that was an intro to the embedded systems programming classes I took, and I know of robotics competitions that utilize them. The toolkit has gotten incredibly powerful, and there’s a massive online presence for exchanging code, project ideas, etc. The sky is literally the limit (only because Legos are kinda heavy to use for aerial drones… so far).

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Assemble it in a helium filled box, with some sealant between bricks?

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Or Jeremy Clarkson you way out:
grafik

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YEA!
Get @Troll to mod it with a large cellphone battery and then overclock it and bump up the output voltage! Lego Drone Air Force here we come!

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Maybe, but more battery weight == more motors needed == more frame weight needed == more batteries needed for a halfway decent flight time… It’s a vicious cycle.

…and this is why I didn’t major in Aerospace engineering.

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Mindstorm EV3 is great! A bit daunting, perhaps.

Boost is another LEGO programmable Robot.

And, the one on my wishlist
Droid Commander!!

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Yeah…isn’t this is how Skynet started…just say’n …:fearful:

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Nah, you’re thinking of WOPR.

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Cool movie. :sunglasses:

Wheels

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