People often ask how old you need to be to get started with robotics. The truth is we’ve seen students as young as 6 years old assembling and controlling our BiBli robots and the ages seem to just get younger and younger.
My friend Alex recently sent me a video of his daughter who had won some acclaim at her school in Brooklyn as part of her attempt to determine if robots can do everyday tasks.
I love how excited she is but also how she asks an important questions.
How will robots integrate into our lives?
What limitations are there and how can they be overcome with solid engineering?
These are just some of the questions this next generations of makers, coders and robotics gurus have to answer.
Whether you are installing Linux, Raspbian or BiBli operating systems to your Raspberry Pi’s SD card the process is always the same. It does involve opening up the command line but it’s actually a great way to learn the basics of Linux.
1. The image, or compiled source code is going to be called filename.img. I like to put the image right in my root directory but it typically would be in /Downloads if you found it online.
2. You will first need to make sure the SD card is formatted. We’re not going to get into partitioning however for advanced users you may want to pre-format your SD card into different sizes. For most people simply insert the SD card into your computer using an SD card reader.
Important: This is for advanced users only. Using ‘sudo’ will allow you to completely erase a drive with no warning.
3. You can find the name of your SD card by typing:
sudo diskutil list
4. Your computer should detect it, however you may need to first unmount the disk as it becomes ‘busy’ when you plug it into the reader. This command simply involves typing:
sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
5. Start copying. This is going to take a while and you won’t see any log or response until it’s done. We use ‘dd’ which is a command and it’s pretty easy to rember. The ‘if’ stands for input file and the ‘of’ stands for output file. Your directory, file and disk names may very.
sudo dd if=biblios2.0.img of=/dev/disk2
6. Check the status by opening a new window and running this command.
Robots are so much fun. Over the past 4 years we’ve worked to create a hardware and software combination that was open and easy yet powerful. Qi Liu is a PhD candidate at CU’s College of Electrical Engineering. She’s also one of the original architects of the BiBli hardware and operating system. Recently she’s been working to create a self-balancing 2WD robot called MiraBot. It’s part of a project funded in part by CU Boulder.
Where to see MiraBot
Come see MiraBot and some BiBli robots and learn talk first-hand with real robotics engineers and get a chance to control these innovative new robots.
Bring the kids and join us as we celebrate National Engineering Week. This open-house event will feature hands-on engineering design stations, including but not limited to:
BB8 Robot Challenge
Star Wars Green Screen Activity
Keva Planks Station
BiBli Robot Swarm
MiraBot Robot Prototype
Maker Space Demonstrations
3D Printing Station…and much more!
How does MiraBot work?
Qi has developed software that works in conjunction with the 2WD motor control and a gyroscope. The software detects the state of the motors and adjusts them to keep the robot upright. Existing BiBli robots use a 3rd wheel – a caster. Qi likes to say that MiraBot never gives up – which is true just watch the above video.
This is great innovation and progression – the question is…what will YOUR robot do?
We’re now accepting developer invite requests to be the first to trial our BiBli OS Version 2.0. BiBli turns any Raspberry Pi 3 into a roaming, talking, media playing Wi-Fi controlled social robot. The cost will be $5 for a download or $19 for a pre-loaded 16GB sd card.