Marty the Educational Robot from Robotical – a review #Education #Robotics #Scratch
In 2016, Edinburgh-based Robotical introduced their robotic platform, Marty the Robot. Successfully funded through a Crowdfunding campaign, the robot has now been updated to version 2, via another successful campaign, and is now available to buy from their online shop. Michael Horne from recantha.co.uk reviews this new version.
Next up was programming in Scratch. I’m always a little apprehensive about Scratch (being from a text-based programming background) but I needn’t have worried. Even with my rudimentary Scratch knowledge, I was able (on my phone, no less!) to program Marty to do a sequence of movements based on the blocks provided.
I’m pleased to say that Marty exceeds expectations as far as all these questions are concerned. (I)t hits the spot as far as robotics in education is concerned. It is easy to use in the first instance – you can have a play right from the off by using the app on a tablet/phone and just moving the little dude about using remote control. That’s before you even get onto the more complex Scratch-based programming and, eventually, adding a Pi and using Python. It has quick wins all the way along.
As evidenced by the video, and from a short Twitter conversation I had with another trial user, the platform is robust and, if it’s treated with a child’s care, it should stand up to repeated usage. Calibration of the platform is easy, using the app.. The servos are metal-geared, too, so the animation of the robot is smooth and these motors will last much longer than plastic-geared servos.
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