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An anonymous MAKE subscriber writes in to let us know about this very cool wireless robotics platform based on the Arduino and an XBee. The purpose of the project was to teach their 9-year old son about programming in Processing. What a great way to introduce programming to kids!

I built a wireless robotics platform from a cheap R/C car, an Arduino with XBee shield, small microswitch sensors, and a Processing program running on a remote computer to control the vehicle. The vehicle is completely controlled by the code running on the remote computer which allows very rapid prototyping of the code to tell the vehicle what to do and how to react to the sensor events received from the vehicle. I’m hoping this is a good way to teach my 9-year old son about programming.

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Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    If not for the dynamic nature of robotics (which is part of what makes it so exciting), I would already be planning the robotics curriculum for my now-2-year-old son. I enjoy making this stuff so much, and I can only imagine how much fun it will be to share it.

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      2 years old? What are you waiting for?! Just kidding.

      My kids became interested in robotics around 5-6. Lots of fun!

  2. Rich says:

    But wait – aren’t I supposed to say something horrible about the Arduino and that it’s the wrong tool for this job?

    Just kidding – very cool. I might just have to do something similar with my Arduino board.

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      I always thought of the micro controller debates similar to fighting about the weight of a hammer. You may use a 22oz hammer. I might use a 16oz hammer. Does it make it the wrong tool? Not really. Yes, maybe a smaller hammer would work better for a small nail, but at the end of the day they are both hammers, and the nail got hit! :)

      On thing I am particularly fond of with the Arduino culture, is the seemingly endless sharing of information. It’s such a great community!