R4 Programmable Robot Set for S.T.E.M. Secondary Education

The R4 robotic mechanism is a sophisticated 4WD robotics model building set designed for educational purposes. It combines the functionalities of a four-wheel-drive vehicle and a 4-degrees-of-motion robotic arm with a grabber, providing a versatile platform for excelling in robotics, programming, and sensor integration.

It is selected as a suitable educational material in secondary STEM-Robotics education in School (grades 1-3) by the Hellenic Ministry of Education.

The R4 robotic mechanism set offers a comprehensive educational platform for learning robotics, microcontroller programming, and sensor integration. Its combination of a 4WD base and a 4-degrees-of-motion robotic arm provides a versatile tool for exploring various aspects of robotics and automation, making it an excellent choice for students and educators looking to enhance their STEM curriculum.

The R4 robot can be expanded by adding the SMART:Blox SR4 Programming STEM Kit, but also combined with the basic SMART:Blox programming STEM sets S1 and S2.

Mechanical and Drive System

  • 4-Degrees-of-Motion Robotic Arm
    • Allows for precise manipulation with four degrees of freedom.
    • Equipped with a grabber arm for picking up and handling objects.
  • 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) System
    • Provides robust mobility and stability on various surfaces.
    • Ensures the robot can perform a range of movements and motions.

Microcontroller and Programming

  • Arduino Microcontroller
    • Open architecture for extensive customization and programming.
    • Programmable using a tile language with an icon-based GUI, making it accessible for beginners.
  • Programming Environment
    • Supports basic programming in C language.
    • Offers a user-friendly interface for developing control algorithms and integrating sensors.

Peripheral and Sensor Units

  • Obstacle Avoidance Function
    • Uses sensors to detect and avoid obstacles autonomously.
  • Ultrasonic Object Tracking Function
    • Employs ultrasonic sensors to track objects and navigate accordingly.
  • Line Tracking
    • Follows pre-defined paths using line tracking sensors.
    • Ideal for learning about automation and guided navigation.

Remote Control and Expandability

  • Multiple Remote Control Modes
    • Bluetooth Control: Allows for wireless control using a smartphone or tablet.
    • Infrared Remote Control: Includes an infrared receiver for short-range wireless control.
  • Expandable Design
    • High-strength car base with acrylic mechanical arm for durability.
    • RJ11 type connections for easy addition of other sensors and modules.
    • Open-type microcomputer development unit, facilitating the integration of additional peripherals.

The entire R4 robotic set is stored in a durable plastic case along with all its supporting hardware for added safety.

The R4 robotic set is designed to be easy to build, with no complex assembly circuits, making it suitable for students and hobbyists. It aims to provide hands-on experience in:

  • Robotics and Automation:
    • Combining the mechanical arm and 4WD car to create a smart mechanical arm car.
    • Learning the principles of robotic movement and control.
  • Microcontroller Programming:
    • Programming the Arduino ARDmicrocontroller using tile language and icon GUI.
    • Basic C language programming for more advanced control and customization.
  • Sensor Integration:
    • Implementing and programming obstacle avoidance and line tracking functions.
    • Using ultrasonic sensors for object tracking and navigation.

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