SMART:Blox SR4 Expansion Programming Kit for Secondary education

The Polytech SMART:Blox SR4 Expansion Programming Kit for Secondary education is a comprehensive package designed to enhance educational experiences in programming and robotics. It is an extension kit to the R4 Programmable Robot Set.

It includes SMART:Blox with the ARD:icon Microcontroller and Development software, and various peripherals, sensors, building blocks and building blocks base.

  • ARD:icon© Microcontroller
  • SMART:Blox base, blocks, sensors & devices as follows:
    • 5 x RJ11 cables with 3-pin interface B, 6-wire, 30 cm
    • Analog sound sensor (Microphone)
    • Light sensor (LDR)
    • Color sensor
    • Angle/Rotation sensor
    • Red LED
  • USB cable
  • ARD:icon© software

Features of the ARD:icon Microcontroller

  • 4 Analog I/O Ports RJ11
  • 5 Digital I/O Ports RJ11
  • 1 Joystick Port/RJ11
  • 1 Serial COM Port
  • 1 SPI Serial Communication Port/RJ11
  • 1 I2C Communication Port for interfacing with other ADR:icon/RJ11
  • Connection to tablet or computer

Programming capabilities with block-based commands

  • Mathematical operations
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Functions
  • Variables and constants
  • Loops
  • Delays
  • Real-time functions
  • Loop programming
  • Robotic motion programming

The SR4 kit is an expansion for the R4/KC13+, accompanied by various peripherals, sensors, and actuators, along with Polytech’s ARD:icon development and programming software and the necessary educational and support materials. The ARD:icon software provides an educational platform with all the teaching applications, tutorials, videos, and content that form a comprehensive educational solution.

It enables the control and activation of the robot using sensors and actuators and serves as a complete solution for exploring all the capabilities of the R4 robot.

Overview

ARD:icon, developed by Polytech, is a small computer designed to facilitate education in computer science and computational thinking. It is especially suitable for beginners, offering a robust introduction through a variety of sensors, interfaces, and a dedicated programming environment.

ARD:icon serves as an excellent tool for introducing students to programming and robotics. Its intuitive graphical interface, multilingual support, and comprehensive simulation capabilities make it a powerful educational platform.

Educational Capabilities

The set offers a comprehensive educational solution for learning basic and advanced principles of programming and robotics. The ARD:icon software includes:

  • Educational applications
  • Tutorials
  • Videos
  • Educational content

With this set, students can develop skills in programming and robotics while exploring the use of various sensors and actuators, contributing to their knowledge in STEM fields.

Key Features and Components

  1. Rich Sensor and Interface Set
    • Equipped with multiple sensors.
    • Interfaces for various devices, including motors and LEDs.
  2. Programming Environments
    • Comes with Polytech’s proprietary ARD:icon programming environment.
    • Compatible with multiple Arduino IDEs, allowing flexibility in programming choices.
  3. Tile Language Programming
    • Utilizes a graphical tile language to make programming intuitive and engaging.
    • Ideal for beginners, resembling a game-like experience.
    • Supports multiple languages including English, Greek, French, and Russian.
  4. Code Generation
    • Converts graphical programming into Arduino (C++) and C code.
    • Displays the generated code in pop-up windows for educational purposes.
  5. Open Source Libraries
    • Incorporates open source libraries.
    • Provides an accessible and powerful programming environment.
  6. Driver Libraries
    • Rich set of drivers for sensors and interface devices.
    • Each library is integrated into the ARD:icon application, corresponding to a specific icon.
  7. Simulation Capabilities
    • Includes a simulator to test and visualize code execution.
    • Displays all simulated devices to help students debug and refine their designs before physical implementation.

Specialized Features for Robotic Arm Programming

  • 3D Space Programming
    • Allows programming of robotic arm movements in a 3D space.
  • Monitoring and Visualization
    • Monitors arm movement in the X-Y-Z plane with 3D graphics.
    • Continuous tracking of the movement of the four arm motors.

Benefits

  • Engaging Learning Environment
    • The tile language and game-like interface make learning to code fun and accessible.
  • Comprehensive Teaching Solution
    • ARD:icon offers a complete package with educational content, software, and hardware integration.
  • Multilingual Support
    • Provides software and content in multiple languages to cater to a diverse student population.
  • Practical Learning
    • Students can simulate and visualize their projects, gaining hands-on experience in debugging and functional testing.

The ARD:icon© Software

The ARD:icon© software that accompanies every POLYTECH STEM set is a visual programming editor by Polytech that uses drag-and-drop blocks a powerful teaching and programming tool for:

  • the strengthening of computational and algorithmic thinking
  • developing skills for computer programming, robotics, automation and familiarity with programming code
  • the design of basic technical and scientific applications, mathematical calculations and other technological solutions with a view to the whole range of STEM applications

In addition, it offers a modern method for teaching these fundamental concepts to students through a variety of activities, exercises and group assignments based on STEM methodology.

ARD:icon© software offers an educational platform with teaching applications, aids, videos and content that make up an integrated solution. The software environment and the entire content is offered in English, Greek or Russian language. ARD:icon, using a block language environment with built-in real programming commands, offers a unique programming platform that automatically generates and exports the code defined by the student in Arduino language (the controller’s natural language based on C++) and simultaneously in C language in a split window.

The main teaching subsystems offered are:

  • ARD:icon© SB – Circuit programming and simulation software using the equipment and hardware offered per set.
  • ΑRD:icon© EB – An eBook format application which incorporates the curriculum and enables students through the software instructions (C.A.I.) to perform activities on their own outside of the teaching period (Self paced training) but also within the teaching period under the supervision of the teacher.
  • ARD:icon© CS – A subsystem of the platform based on Polytech software, Academus CRS – class interaction and management system – for interactive teaching activities with tools to assist the teacher in the presentation of lessons.

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