Drones are cool. That is undisputed!
Making a drone is even cooler, and there are lots of ways to go about this. I am currently making one from scratch and you can follow this cool robot project here
as soon as I get round to posting about it.
A drone is another name for an Unmanned Air Vehicle, i.e. a machine that flies by itself, which makes it a robot.
They are used in all kind of applications, one of our favourites is using them to drop aid for people in need - this might be in a warzone, after a flood etc.
We have been playing around with one of the popular Parrot Drones, they are so tiny but reasonably easy to fly and good fun.
Our main reason for choosing this one is that it has bluetooth, and thus we can write our own code and control it from our mac or tablet - which you know is the first thing we did when we took it out of the box!
Other than that I have also been taking it around to schools, kids have really enjoyed learning about drones and flying robots, though I must admit it didn't survive their crash landings for very long!
This is an interesting humanoidish robot
from Aldebaran. It has a lot of interesting features, the creepiest I find is the way it follows you with its gaze as you walk around the room. You can train/program it to recognise faces, again, something I find rather disturbing, but I'm sure many people would think this is great.
It is very much like a human version of siri or bixby - though its speech recognition really needs some work. I was foolish enough to take it to one of the schools that I work with as I thought it would be fun to introduce one of our workshops with Nao.
I had set up some question and answer responses, simple things like "how was your weekend?" and it would respond with something silly like "I was put away in a box the whole time" at least that was the plan anyway.
Kids being kids, they began bombarding it with questions and giggling fits, but eventually did manage to ask the correct questions. In return, occassionally, Nao recognised what they were saying correctly, but now and again it also managed to translate their innocent questions into swear words! So embarrassing - luckily I know them quite well, so it went down ok...
Arduino and making stuff with arduino is probably one of the easiest ways to get started in robotics especially if you're looking to get away from ready made robot kits and drag and drop programming.
Our online course "make a robot the easy way"
shows you how to get started with Arduino and how to make a fully working robot with sensors as well.
We've made it easy to follow, with no jargon, so do check it out.
Check back here soon as we update it with more cool robots, pictures and videos.