STEM

iRobot Debuts Roomba-Based Robot Platform for STEM Ed

iRobot has unveiled a preassembled robot platform, dubbed Create 2, designed to give students, teachers and developers hands-on experience programming robots.

Based on the company's Roomba, the new platform is a result of iRobot's outreach program and is being released alongside new online resources, such as files for 3D printing replacement parts, templates for drilling faceplates and instructions for educational projects.

Projects available include:

  • "Camera Bot," which challenges users to pair the platform with a microcomputer and a camera;
  • "DJ Create," which turns the platform into a roaming DJ with music controlled through Bluetooth;
  • "Lightpainting," a tutorial that guides students through programming the Create 2 to produce images with LED lights that are visible with long-exposure photography; and
  • "Tethered Driving', a project in which users connect the robot and control its movement through a computer.

"As a global leader in robotics technology, iRobot believes its greatest social responsibility is to ignite students' passion for STEM-related careers through the excitement of robots," said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot, in a prepared statement. "Robots have a cool factor unlike any other learning tool. Create 2, with its online resources, reliable hardware born of the award winning Roomba, and ease of customization simply delivers more robot than anything available to students and educators at or near its price. We are so excited to be able to make this available to the educational community."

The Create 2 is available for K-12 and higher education institutions for $199.99. Educational discounts are available as well. More information about Create 2 is available at irobot.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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