In this video, we take a look at Makeblock and some of their popular Robotics Kits.


Hey guys, Pat here with core electronics and today I'm going to introduce you to Makeblock.

Now Makeblock was a company founded in 2011, in Shenzhen, China. It's a highway-based company that introduces robotics and programming to the educator and making it as accessible as possible to the educator and as easy as possible to get started for the student.

Now in front of me here I have three of the products from Makeblock we have the M bot kit here, we have the M Bot Ranger and the ultimate kit 2.0. So, one of the ways that Makeblock makes it so easy for the educator and the student and makes it so accessible to start programming with these robot kits is through the M Bot integrated development environment. Now this integrated development environment is built around the scratch platform which basically has a graphical interface that allows you to basically drag-and-drop different functions for the programming into an easy-to-use platform, making it easy to follow the logical flow of the program that you're trying to develop.

Now as well as this scratch platform mate block also supports the Arduino IDE. So, each of these robotic kits has a different Arduino chip inside of them, which is why we're able to support the Arduino IDE editing platform making it easy for educators and students to use and get started if they have any experience at all with Arduino. As well as being a good introduction to Arduino so that we can expand upon all our knowledge that we find from the Makeblock series and expand that into different projects with Arduino. Now let's take a quick look at the M block IDE on the computer.

So, here we are in the M block IDE development environment. Now the first thing we want to do to start a new project is underneath the scripts we want to select the robots’ category which is the greenish blue category here. Next we want to just drag across the M bot program and this just basically initializes the program to say that we want to write a program on the Arduino and as an example next thing we can do is we can add a repeat function just drag and drop that right in here and basically what this does is anything inside this repeat bracket will repeat 10 times we can actually change this number so it will change that to a 5 and now we can go back to the robotics tab and we have all the functionality that the robot will have for instance the N bot with its RGB LED on top, we can select the set LED function we can choose the port so that basically says what port the LED is on and then we can select the RGB values from 0 to 255, any number in between there and now let's just make a quick blink program because it's nice and simple. So, then we'll just go back to control in the scripts tab and add this weight function in here so that basically tells the Arduino IDE to program in a delay, so we'll go back to the LED in under the robotics tab, chuck in the LED port there, back to control add another wait for a second, we'll set this to red.

So, once we've got the program written in the M Blocks IDE we can simply click the upload to Arduino button up here, which basically uploads the script that it's compiled from your scratch program and uploads it to the board on the robot. So that was a quick look at the M block IDE, now let's take a look at a few of the kits available from Makeblock so first up we have the M bot it's available in both Bluetooth and it's also available with a 2.4 GHz serial connection, on the front here you can see the two eye looking things, actually transceiver modules, so that can actually sense the distance between the robot and a wall say or another object, down the bottom of the robot it's got a line following sensor, so we can actually implement a line following program that will follow a black line on white background and then we can actually go as far as conjoining those two functionalities together, so that we have a line following robot that will actually sense an object in front of it and stop if there is an object in front of it. So next up in the middle here we have the M Bot Ranger now the Ranger shares a lot of functionality with the M bot including its transceiver module at the front its line following module and a lot of RGB LEDs. Now the Ranger adds an RGB LED ring in the center and we also have a configurable design now.

So, we're able to take apart the Ranger and configure it into different projects and different designs and it really encourages creativity with the students. Now the final kit we have here today is the ultimate 2.0. The ultimate 2.0 is a massive expansion on the M Bot Ranger and the M Bot including, all the modules and LEDs that come with the M Bot and the N Bot Ranger as well as adding additional modules including, a gyroscope and accelerometer and a few more. Now the M Bot Ranger also includes a Raspberry Pi compatible microcontroller, so we can interface with both Arduino and Raspberry Pi on the ultimate kit. The ultimate kit adds more mechanical parts, so it's a lot more configurable than both the M Bot Ranger and the M bot as well as adding more projects to the list possible with Makeblock. So today we've seen who Makeblock is and how they're trying to revolutionize education in robotics and in the following videos I'll be doing an in-depth overview of each of these individual robotic kits so stay tuned for that.

Thanks a lot for watching.



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