STS PI explorer HAT

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Teacher Overview

This project is designed to show the students how more developed robots can also be connected to the internet and controlled remotely without the need for a human controller present. Internet protocol (IP) is a very old networking protocol that was designed to allocate an address to all the devices connected to the Internet. We are currently predominantly using IPv4 which has the ability to allocate up to 4,294,967,296 addresses which sounds huge, but these addresses have already been fully used and we need more addresses to meet demand. The reason there are so many devices is the technology has become very cheap over the past 20 years and everyone is trying to connect more devices to the Internet, so they can be interconnected and provide more data for their controllers.

The next protocol is IPv6 which provides significantly more addresses[i], and theoretically we shouldn’t ever run out of IPv6 addresses. There are many examples of devices that have been connected to the Internet that has added greater utility for those devices. Look at fitness related devices, like the Fitbit, where we can now monitor our own biometrics to achieve higher levels of fitness and the cost is relatively very cheap compared to a similar device produced 10 years ago.

The Raspberry Pi acts as the controller for many robotics projects, it is a simple version of the controllers that are placed in more complicated robots and as the Raspberry Pi develops there will be more it can do. Show the students YouTube videos of the Boston Robotics projects, these robots are able to walk, run, jump, open doors and perform a wide range of other tasks. These developed projects may have a collection of processors that all work together, allowing each processor to focus on a smaller task.

A robot is defined as a machine that can automatically complete a specific task, this makes a lot of devices around us robots by this definition, they don’t all look like R2D2 or C3PO. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of machines/robots that are attached to the internet and can be remotely accessed and/or send data via the Internet. By 2020 there are predicted to be over 20 billion devices connected to the internet, which is why we need IPv6 to allow more IP addresses to be allocated to these devices.

 

Suggested Year Group

The suggested age group is 13+, due to the nature of this project and the skills it is developing.

 

Learning Outcomes

  • Instruct the students how to assemble the STS-Pi correctly;

  • Illustrate to the students how devices connected to the Internet can be controlled;

  • Teach the students how to look for ways to develop this project with additional peripherals.

 

Hardware Required

Component

Raspberry Pi + Case

Raspbian SD Card

Explorer HAT Pro

STS-Pi Chassis

Motor

Wheels

Male Female Wires

HDMI

Wireless Keyboard

Wireless Mouse

Power Bank

Component Number (Peli Case)

(Base) 4 + 5

(Base) 5

(Base) 8

(Level 1) 2

(Level 1) 2

(Base) 25

(Level 1) 3

(Level 1) 3

(Level 1) 3

(Level 1) 5

(Level 1) 4

 

VIDEO GUIDE

 

Conclusion

This project is focused more on the hardware than software as it is very important that students understand electronics and connections between the Raspberry Pi and the additional hardware. Make sure the students understand that + needs to connect to + and – is connected to -.

Instruct the students how to add additional components to the Raspberry Pi and how this can easily be coded. Using an ultrasonic sensor could prevent the STS-Pi from hitting a wall, and even start to automate the STS-Pi as it can stay within a dedicated range. Adding a GPS then allows full movement automation as a route could be programmed in and the GPS chip allows the STS-Pi to be aware of its location. Instruct the students to look for opportunities to develop their own robotics project, research online and look for complex problems that a solution can be made for.