Kathy Ceceri

What Newbies Can Learn by Making Simple Robots

Date: This event took place live on February 12 2015

Presented by: Kathy Ceceri

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes.

Cost: Free

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Making Simple Robots is based on one idea: Anybody can build a robot! That includes kids, English majors, school teachers, and grandparents. If you can knit, sew, or fold a flat piece of paper into a box, you can build a no-tech robotic part. If you can use a hot glue gun, you can learn to solder basic electronics into a low-tech robot that reacts to its environment. And if you can figure out how to use the apps on your smart phone, you can learn enough programming to communicate with a simple robot.

In this webcast you learn:

  • Why simple robots are good learning tools for newbies because in the real world robots are getting simpler all the time.
  • While newbies can go far with just basic arts-and-crafts skills, to take it to the next level they need to work on traditional making skills like electronics and soldering, programming, and 3D printing.
  • Getting up that steep learning curve is easier when you learn to troubleshoot, scaffold projects with kits & tutorials, and improvise when a goal seems out of reach.
  • It helps to adopt the engineer's mindset: you fail, you learn, you try again. Accept that making is messy, and when you're starting out don't worry if it looks good, as long as it works. Use making simple robots to build up your persistence muscles.
  • Seek out help from how-to videos, message boards, and classes at your local makerspace. And if you have some skill that's lacking among your circle of makers, don't be afraid pay it forward by sharing your expertise with others.

About Kathy Ceceri

Kathy Ceceri is the author of "Making Simple Robots: Exploring Cutting-Edge Robotics With Everyday Stuff" from Maker Media and other STEAM activity books for kids, families, and adult beginners, including "Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future." Currently the Homeschooling Expert at About.com, she helped create the GeekMom blog and book, was a top writer for Wired.com's GeekDad blog, and contributed more than a dozen projects to the Geek Dad series of books. Twitter: @kathyceceri