educational robotics

The field of robotics is very extensive. Many think that robotics is capable of creating androids that in the future will dominate the human race, or at least, will create humanoids with intelligence, ready to fulfill our whims. Although none of these scenarios is real, the truth is that robotics points towards the creation of devices that make our lives easier; and has been doing it for a long time.

We use robotic assistants for different activities, especially in the industrial field. But, the development of these assistants has been gradual, in stages. And although today's robots are still far from being those humanoids that fiction has shown us, the truth is that in the last twenty years we have come much closer to that reality. Hence, it is necessary to study educational robotics, use educational robots in schools and understand robotics as something that goes beyond the dream of some author with a lot of imagination.

Origin of robotics

robot casero infantil

Man has always used tools to carry out his activities. In fact, it was the appearance of these tools that set the tone for the evolution of man. To the extent that man knew and studied his environment, the need arose to simplify his daily tasks, improving the tools he had at hand. This is how automation was born, which is about simplifying tasks through mechanical gadgets, which later became electrical and electromechanical; From automation comes the word automaton, which is a device capable of facilitating human activities.

The exact moment when robotics was born cannot be defined, but we can trace the appearance of automata to ancient Greece. It is believed that Archytas of Tarentum in the 3rd century BC invented a wooden dove that could fly thanks to a system of counterweights and air that was enclosed within it. We also have Heron, an engineer from the 1st century BC who made different automatons that used different forms of energy as their driving force, ranging from fire to water vapor.

Later during the Renaissance, Leonardo Da Vinci designed a humanoid automaton capable of various movements, although it is not known if he was able to build such a design. In 1898 Nikola Tesla presented a remote-controlled boat during an electricity fair in New York, and in 1920 the play RUR: Rossum Universal Robots is published, which deals with humans who are assembled on a line of heavy-duty production. The word Robot is coined from this work, which in turn comes from the Czech Robota which means heavy work.

The fundamentals of robotics also emerge from the arts. In the story Vicious Circle, by Isaac Asimov, the term robotics is mentioned for the first time, to define the studies associated with robots, as well as their well-known laws.

Robotics today

robot humanoide avanzado

The first robotic arms appeared in the 60s and 70s, and since then they have only improved their functions, in order to achieve more complex movements Until the year 2000 when ASIMO made its appearance , the first humanoid robot with advanced mobility.

The desire to achieve a greater range of mobility in robots is aimed at overcoming human limits. In other words, robots have been improved for rescue missions, manipulation of dangerous elements, and even space exploration.

At first the robots we know are robots that mostly have industrial applications. They have limited movement capacity but are highly automated. A production line can be completely robotized. But humanoid robots have become a trend every day. It is intended that in the future these robots will impersonate real humans in environments that could represent a danger.

With the appearance of the internet of things, robots are once again more present today, since effective communication has been achieved with these devices. This is how the future is getting closer, if we understand the future of robotics as innovation in the design of humanoid robots and the expansion in the scope of their applications.

Study robotics

Mesa de taller de robotica

The study of robotics, although booming, is still relegated to higher academic levels. In other words, only university students have access to adequate training in this area of ​​study. Although we live in a world where information is available to everyone, it is useless to obtain knowledge without the respective guidance, which until now is only obtained in universities. This is so because the concepts inherent to robotics are complex and very specific studies about electrical, mechanical, electromechanical, hydraulic engineering, etc.

However, there is already a growing need to teach at other levels of education everything related to new technologies, and that involves the operation of robots.

Educational robotics serves to simplify engineering concepts, so that they can be more accessible for understanding at different stages of education.

It is necessary to train competent professionals from very early on who can carry out maintenance, design and operation of robots, who are capable of quickly adapting to changes in technology. Studying educational robotics serves to expand knowledge towards secondary, primary and initial education students.

Educational robotics in primary school

Niña aprendiendo robotica

It is important that the new generations are clear about the concept of robotics, because the world in which they are going to develop as professionals or in which they are going to learn a trade, will be closely linked to the development of this industry. It is important to give them the tools from childhood, so that they have a less forced transition when entering robotics.

A step towards adequate educational robotics is to create an environment where the use, study and application of robots for daily tasks is normalized. But also, that from children they understand engineering concepts in a way that, for their young age, they can process. The latter would lead to a much earlier development of abstract reasoning, logical reasoning, and understanding of mathematics and programming.

The development of robotics during this stage can promote teamwork, encourage curiosity, promote the use of new technologies and develop much more critical thinking to generate ideas that in fact develop more technology.

Educational robotics can improve a child's skills during this stage, and develop new capabilities. Traditional education sometimes loses sight of the diversity of talent that exists in a classroom, so many children feel that they have a duty to excel in certain areas where they may not have the best skills. But with the integration of new technology learning into the classroom, such as robotics, it is possible for many children to discover their true potential. This not only makes a much more pleasant and diverse study environment, but also strengthens the child's self-esteem.

The first knowledge of robotics

Diseño de robot avanzado

The first approach with robotics can come from fun. Educational robotics for young children or school-age children, allows teaching the basic functions of robotics, in the way that children learn most things during that stage, through games.

Although in some classrooms, robotics is not yet a formal part of the school curriculum, they do implement recreational and educational activities based on robotics, to give children a first approach to this branch of study.

An effective tool for educational robotics in children is precisely the use of robots. An educational robot can be purchased to show how robotics works; some are removable or disassembled, which allows you to get to know them in a more playful way. On the other hand, it is important that this robot allows developing the ability to create new models.

For children of a little school age or between the ages of 9 and 11, it is necessary to determine which is their predominant personality. There are children more prone to creativity, so design activities are ideal, that is, tasks that involve the entire design and planning part of robots.Other children will prefer something much more manual, in this case, it is necessary to have tools that allow them to assemble robots and also explain the basic principles of their operation. Thus, they can develop their construction skills.

There is a group of children who perhaps encompass both aspects, creativity with construction, and would be the children who would be more focused towards programming the robot. For these children, the use of basic programming languages ​​is vital, so it is important to teach them, through mathematical games, how digital logic works, and thus give way to the study of more complex programming languages.

A suitable way to learn robotics is to unite all these types of children in groups and establish dynamics with educational robots, where they have the opportunity to develop their own ideas and innovate with technology.

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