Cheap Programmable Robots for Elementary Students

Cheap Programmable Robots for Elementary Students

Teaching kids how to fall in love with programming at a young age can have resounding effects on their relationship with STEM fields as they mature. In a digital-dependent world that generates jobs in robotics and programming, it’s important we equip young people with the skills they need to get a grip on coding.

From as young as elementary age, schools and parents can begin introducing kids to the powers of programming robots. Robotics kits teach kids about math, science, technology, and engineering as much as they teach young students about working in a team, communicating their ideas, coming to collective decisions, etc.

The good news is these kits don’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, parents and teachers alike can choose from a variety of cheap programmable robots that will change the way they think about and interact with science.

Let’s take a look at the features that makes these must-have cheap programmable robots.

Robots with Wheels

Many robotics developers are turning to robots with wheels (no pun intended) to get young kids hooked. After all, kids who have played with a remote-controlled car have already explored the basics of controlling a robot on wheels. This is just the next baby step—to join in on the construction and programming process.

These types of robots vary in challenge level and the degree of construction required. Yet, most kits require some of these basic components: press fit wheels, right angle gear motor, reflectance sensors, dual motor driver shield for Arduino, Arduino compatible development board, USB cable

battery, battery connector, and male to female jumper wires.

Simple design structures, wiring, and coding allow students to focus on the basics of building their robot. As students build, they begin to problem solve and practice following a specific protocol. Some kits scale down the building process dramatically by using cardboard or wood casting that does not require welding, perfect for elementary school students.

Many robots with wheels kits include ultrasonic sensors that prevent the robot from running into walls. Other kits come with an accompanying mobile app that students can download and then program their robot from the comfort of their familiar smartphone or tablet device. Parents can also look for cheap programmable robots with wheels that include a tutorial CD to guide students in the building process and help them gain a deeper understanding of technology and electronics.

These robotics kits retail for a reasonable price. The most basic kits range from $50-60, making this the perfect robotics starter gift to keep your child wanting more.


Robotic Arms

Elementary kids who use robotic arms can learn about engineering precision, complex technology, and finite mechanical skills at play to make the operation a success. Furthermore, students will have a pre-existing framework to draw on. Elementary students can think about a construction crane moving heavy building machinery from one end of a worksite to another, or the toy claw machine at a shopping mall that cherry picks stuffed animals out of the large glass case.

Given the frame of reference, students will be more inspired to build their very own robotic arms. Luckily, there are many robotics developers with just that thought in mind. Better yet, parents and schools can buy robotics arms that are cheap programmable robots.

Students who participate in building a robotic arm will focus on coding more than construction. That’s why robotic arm developers have kept the building blocks simple. Most kits do not require any welding. In fact, a simple screwdriver and attention to detail are all it takes.

Many robotic arm kits are based on an Arduino control system that requires an Arduino controller, 55g servo, and smaller 9g servo to power the arm. Structural frame bearings and screws are also included. Using computer programming skills, students will learn the basics needed to move objects, mount a camera, or even attach a solar panel and track movements of the sun.

Robotic arms can be used in the classroom or at home to teach kids about problem-solving and to execute with great precision. While some robotic arms kits can come at a high price, others are made especially for families to afford. Low-priced robotics arms range from approximately $100-150.


Flying Kits

What kid wouldn’t love to see their self-designed bot fly in the sky above them, for everyone to see? Drones of today are not only a growing trend, they’re also an incredibly versatile teaching tool for kids as young as elementary age. Drones vary greatly in size, function, construction, and cost, yet they all have valuable lessons for kids to grab ahold of.

When you hear the word “drone,” maybe you automatically assume that purchasing one would be out of your price range. But the truth is drones range drastically in related cost, some for an affordable price of around $50. If not for a single household, robotics clubs and after-school programs can also consider such kits.

Most drones kits include basic building materials like a LINK debugger, communication module, 2.4G wireless module, axis flight control board, forward propellers, backward propellers, motors, and battery. While some may include remote controllers, many can also be controlled from a smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth capabilities.

Since these kits emphasize coding, construction is flexible. Some flying robotics kits include up to 11 different configurations for building a drone that is uniquely your own. Wiring is kept easy, no soldering required, so kids young as 6 and 7 can see what drones are all about.

Getting young kids involved in science has never been so easy. Cheap programmable robots provide the perfect avenue for kids to develop their interests in STEM while they think through complicated issues that real-world science presents. Kids who reach their full potential in science at a young age have all the encouragement needed to go out and do great things in the world of STEM as adults, to solve the most pressing problems of the day.