Robodyssey’s primary mission is to teach Computational Litteracy by using robotics, wearable displays and embedded controllers, to develop and provide instruction, instructional materials to teach students the intellectual tools that they will need to be successful pursuing a degree and eventually a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM. These intellectual tools include not only the specific skills of building, trouble-shooting and eventually designing electronic circuits and integrating computer software with electronic hardware for robots, but also the more universal skills of using the scientific method, developing computer code to accomplish tasks and collecting and analyzing data.
This system has been piloted and implemented for more than a decade in high schools across the county. Students learn the fundamentals of electronics by engaging in problem solving activities involving robotics that requires a knowledge of electronics to complete successfully. Presenting a problem that has an open ended solution encourages students to learn more than the basics.
Robots are part electronics and part machine:
- Sensors gather information from the environment, which is often a very ‘noisy’ place.
- Logic calculates how to respond to signals from the sensors.
- Controllers deliver and condition power to actuators- motors, solenoids, lights, speakers, etc., to interact with the physical world in some way.
- Chassis or mechanical structures hold a robot’s pieces together as it interacts with the world.
Most robots rely on electronics to connect sensors, logic controller, and actuators. Controllers may be simple electronic circuits using discrete analog devices, or programmable digital computers, re-programmable to do entirely different things without being physically rewired. Roboticists may use programming languages to give their robots logical behaviors.
About the Founder
David Peins is currently president and primary teacher for library and private school programs. Previously an adjunct faculty member at Raritan Valley Community College in Bridgewater New Jersey teaching Electricity and AutoCAD for HVAC, he retired from public education after 28 years of service where he taught a variety of traditional shop classes since 1987. He graduated from Trenton State College in 1978 and taught junior high school shop for one year. He decided to take a job in industry and, after ten years as a machinist, drafter, machine shop supervisor and designer, he returned to the classroom ready to change the world. He has since earned a Masters of Education in Vocational Education from Rutgers University. In order to develop mechanisms precise enough and durable enough to make the robotics creations of his dreams a reality, Mr. Peins began manufacturing robots and robotics accessories for his students in his own shop. To this day, students refer to this magical parts factory as “Aisle 13, K-Mart.” Many schools have closed their traditional ‘Hands-On’ school shops and replaced them with academic classrooms. The need for a company that provides educational robots and robotics programs, teaches hands-on basic electronics and the integration of embedded controllers and software with electronic hardware has never been greater. Robodyssey developed out of a love of engineering and design and a need to develop a way to get kids interested in pursuing careers in science and engineering. “I figured I had waited long enough for the robots I had dreamed about as a child. This generation holds the key to the Robotics revolution. The technology exists, now we need people in the field with good imaginations! I plan to do everything I can to get more young people interested in Robotics.” Contact David