So Many Pieces! Assembling a Robot Arm

When I opened the box of our new Robot Arm Kit and saw the number of pieces, I wondered how on earth I was going to put it together! Once upon a time, I would cringe at having to get a screwdriver to open a battery compartment!  I’m proud to say that, not only did I manage to put the Robot Arm together, it actually worked too!

To my surprise, I found the assembly process enjoyable, relaxing and very rewarding.  The most challenging aspect for me was identifying the variety of screws, nuts and bolts, as many were quite similar.  The kit also came with a controller that also required some assembly.  We also purchased a USB Interface Kit, allowing us to connect the Robot Arm to a computer and program it via the supplied Robot Arm software.

Curriculum resources are also available for this technology such as Robotic Arm Edge Activities & Curriculum.


A Scratch Project Thank You!

Star Wars Day Scratch Screenshot

After creating our “Star Wars Day” Scratch project and publishing it at the end of March, I hadn’t revisited it until the day that it was to be used for our “Star Wars Technology” display.  When I logged into my Scratch account I was totally amazed to discovered that the project had been viewed more than 13,000 times and had more than 400 comments!  It was also exciting to see that the project had been remixed more than 30 times meaning that other Scratch users have used this project as a basis for something new.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to view, play, like, favourite, comment and remix this project!

Star Wars Day – Tablet & Keyboard Version

Star Wars Day – MaKey MaKey Version


If Luke Skywalker was here today…

I am currently working with one of our ICT teachers, Roger Barrow, planning a unit of work about Computer Aided Design and 3D Printing.  In particular, this unit of work will focus on the themes of “Star Wars Technology” and “Life Changing Technology”.

The famous scene from Star Wars Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke Skywalker confronts Darth Vader, provided the inspiration to pose this question, “If Luke Skywalker was here today, how could we provide an affordable and functional prosthetic arm?”  If you Google the term, “3D printed prosthetics”, you will be presented with incredible projects such Robohand and Project Daniel.

Apart from researching ways 3D printing is changing the manufacturing of prosthetic limbs, students will be introduced to Tinkercad, one of our favourite, free CAD tools.  Ideally, we would love to give students the opportunity to design and print their own full size prosthetic limbs, but are limited by time and the capabilities of our much-loved UP PLUS 3D printer.  So, we have scaled down the project giving students the opportunity to design a prosthetic arm for our Luke Skywalker action figure.

Star Wars Technology

I recently created and 3D printed my own designs and, by the time I got to version 3, I was please with the results.  Of course, there are many different ways to approach this design and I can’t wait to see how our students approach this task!

Skywalker Arm V3 Screenshot