One of the projects that my oldest son and I have been (s l o o o o w l y) working on is a robot. The first version was great since it helped introduce him to the concept of “iterations” (i.e. start small, tackle one or two “features” first, learn from what you do, make another version, repeat) and me to basic electronics. Really, it wasn’t great–in fact it never even got to the point of moving, but we learned a lot.
For the 2nd iteration, we’re controlling it with an Arduino. Part of that is made easier by using a motorshield sold by Adafruit. Since I want my son to take as much control of this project as he can, I let him do all of the soldering–I did do a bit of desoldering, though, when we decided to make the shield stackable.
The whole experience was really fantastic, and by the end he became very proficient at soldering.
The kit has a lot of pieces to solder, so I’m not sure I would recommend it as a “first” experience with soldering.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.
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This is the most adorable thing I’ve seen all day. Worst thing is… I don’t even know how to solder yet >_<
I’m about start the Arduino tutorials with my daughter this weekend. After that, we’re going to tackle building the Minty Boost kit. It’s great to know other parents are connecting with their kids via electronics and Adafruit!
@Seattleandrew There are some GREAT soldering tutorials linked in the the tutorials section here (I like the curious inventor ones). My daughter and I are learning together this weekend. Adafruit sells a great soldering kit, and you can even get an “I learned to solder” badge if you order it with one of the easy kits. No time like the present!