How to Help Children Learn Microcontroller and Hardware?
In 2008 I was an engineer in a company which helps Apple to produce their iPodTouch, and one day I was thinking about how to use the iPodTouch to make a phone call? Then this simple thought through the process soon become a question about how to help children learn microcontroller and hardware easily and joyfully. This is an experimental project, and the is the process of it.
．Phase 1 : iPodReader
At first I was thinking about using bluetooth to control the microcontroller and then use it to control cell phone. But after research, bluetooth have to be approved by Apple and they won't allow anyone to use their bluetooth to control cell phone because that's kinda a conflict with their iPhone. However, at the end I decided to turn this idea into an experimental project, and the first goal is to use iPodtouch to controll cell phone by any means. So, I chose light resistance to do the job.
．Phase 2 : Remote Control Car
Use three relays to control two motors. With the control table as below, there are six different directions can be maneuvered. Relay1/D1 is used to control left wheel's on/off status. Relay2/D2 is used to control the right wheel's on/off status. Then relay3/D3 is used to control the current's direction, so we can use the relay3 to reverse the motor.
．Think : How to Engage Children with Microcontroller by a Interesting Way ?
LEGO has a great microcontroller NXT aiming at making it super easy to use and build things. However according to the statistical result, most of the users of NXT are still adults. After I tried NXT, I found it's still too difficult that might decrease and stop kid's interest in learning it. Furthermore, NXT is still too expensive for parents. And for most of parents, NXT is also too difficult for them to understand, and then how would parents buy a very expensive toy that even themself don't understand how it works to their children?
Therefore, I believe we could make a device which is a lot more affordable and easy for parents and kid to buy and play, a device which is really simple and allows children to build their imagination into reality without too much difficulty, and also gives them a clue that there might be something interesting happening in it. With this curiosity, it might one day, when they have some basic knowledge, drive them to take one step further in learning this amazing digital world.
1. A simple box which could instantly connect to the smart phone
with one simple button. 2. There are four or more gateways
which could individually connect to specific devices.
3. Each gateway has a corresponding touch button to controll the device such as servo and motor, and those buttons could be rearranged in anyway we want on the screen.
3. Children could use this control port and LEGO to create their own design in a very simple way
．Think : How to Make Learning Electronic knowledge Also Fun And Easy? LEGO 3D Circuit
Electronic components and wires are relatively hard for young kids to play and learn. Could we make it more fun by combining electronic components and wires with LEGO?
Simple LED circuit
Electronic Toy Car Which Will Follow The Black Line
Some Other Onteresting Circuits
If the light of the room becomes dark, the LED will be turned on.
If the MIC sensor detects a sound, then the car will run for a period of time.
When the light sensor detects the shadow, it will make a turn. If the sensor is moved out the shadow, the car will go straight line again.