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Projects to get stuck into

These open-ended projects can be worked on over the course of several days or weeks and are ideal for letting students who already have interest in coding, robotics, making and inventing explore their passions.

2019 Candy dispenser challenge

Edison candy dispenser

This project, which was featured as the 2019 Edison robot design contest, is all about a favourite of kids everywhere: candy! To complete this challenge, you need to use one or more Edison robots to create a unique candy dispenser design. The details of the design, how it dispenses the treat and the choice of candy are all up to you!

The first thing to do is brainstorm. You will then need to plan your invention. Next you will need to build and iterate to get your design working how you want. Download and use the planning guide which will help you work through all of these steps as you learn about decomposition and the design-build-test cycle

Here are some things to think about as you design and build:

  • What candy will your design dispense?
  • How will you trigger your creation to dispense candy?
  • Will you use music or lights in your design at all?
  • Which programming language (EdBlocks, EdScratch or EdPy) will you use to bring your creation to life?
2019 Candy dispenser challenge

EdTank obstacle course

If you have an EdCreate kit as well as at least one Edison robot, you can turn the EdTank into the moving test subject for some active design thinking.

The investigation:

Many real-world vehicles, like bulldozers and snowmobiles, use treads instead of wheels. Why?

What advantages do treads give a vehicle compared to standard wheels? What are the trade-offs that come with this swap?

The plan:

First up, you will need to build the EdTank by following either the video or book-based instructions

Next, you need to design an obstacle course prototype using materials like construction paper. Prototyping is an important step in the engineering design process and a good way to test the merit of your obstacle course ideas. Once you are happy with your obstacle course concept, create a larger version of the obstacle course. It needs to be big enough to drive the EdTank through.

Test the EdTank to see if it can make it through the course. You can program the robot using barcodes paired to TV remote controls, then drive the robots through the course. Or, for an added challenge, code the robot to navigate the course independently using any of the robot programming languages. Record how the EdTank does either by taking notes or by filming the robot in action.

Before you deconstruct your obstacle course, break down your EdTank and re-attach Edison’s wheels. Now that your robot is back to its original self, try testing it to see if it can make it through the course. Be sure to record your observations again so you can compare them to the results of the EdTank.

Which robot does better with which obstacles? Why is that? Are there any obstacles neither robot can complete? If so, can you create a solution that lets the robot clear that obstacle?

What’s next?

Completed these projects and keen to continue your journey with Edison? Why not take on a design challenge or one the EdCreate EdChallenge projectsYou can also check out the other learn-at-home pathways for more options.

Don’t forget – if you have any questions for our team, you can always contact us.

Did you create something amazing? Have an idea for a project we could share? Send us your ideas, pics and videos at social@microbric.com or add them to the online community of Edison awesomeness on Pinterest, FacebookTwitterInstagram or YouTube.

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Heads up

The Australian Federal Parliament has passed a law that extends goods and services tax (GST) to low value imports of physical goods imported by consumers from 1 July 2018.

This means that all customers purchasing Edison robots and accessories with an Australian shipping address must now pay GST. The GST will be automatically added to your purchase and show as a line item on your invoice.

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