Remote Robotics Education Playground Concept

To @cleoqc @moderators @emily.eissenberg

Any chance you all could create a “run your code on one of our robots” playground?

DI/ModRobotics could create a 10’ by 20’ walled “Remote Robot Playground” in one of your garages. Paint a gray road network with broken and solid yellow center-lines for passing and no passing zones and lane side (maybe some with a bike lane, robot violators will be docked execution time?).

Add stop signs, round-abouts, speed limit signs, parking lots, and a two way traffic light controlled intersection. Paint a row of homes on one end wall, each with a “address number” on a mailbox at the end painted on the floor driveways. Paint a strip-mall of stores on the other end with a common parking lot having a one way entry, line of parking spots, and one way exit back to the road network.

Equip each “remote programming controlled robot” with a pycam, a front servo mounted distance sensor, a rear mounted fixed distance sensor, and perhaps no line followers to make it challenging.

Extend the concept of “connect to robot” you currently have for Blockly, (or the web page command concept of the RemoteCameraRobot), to offer a secure login protected landing page where users can see which robot is “available”, connect to a robot, and run their programs.

Users can snap a photo to “see” what the robot is seeing, and use OpenCV to perform line following and object recognition to navigate from a “robot home” to a “robot bank” to withdraw some currency, then navigate to the “robot supermarket” to buy some spare parts, and then navigate back to the proper “robot home”, backing up to the robot garage (which should have recharging contacts that mate to the robot’s rear.) The user should check the robot’s recharging status [not_charging, need_charging, charging] to make sure the robot is properly docked at the “robot garage”.

Offer reservation time slots for 80% of the robots to educators, with a support chat feature. Now we’re talking remote robotics education!

Offer an end of the school year competition for the best from each educational institution, with a free “Non-remote GoPiGo3 Educators Kit” to the winning school?

Please, please keep expanding opportunities for learning with the GoPiGo and Gigglebot robots!

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BTW, you also might be able to create a ROS virtual robot playground using a set of remotely controlled virtual ROS GoPiGo3 nodes in the virtual playground. Less fun, and requires more user knowledge, but possible none the less.

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This would be a grand project for the team! Not many of us are working in-house these days, but our Product Team will bring discuss this in their next meeting!

Thanks for the suggestion and I’ll keep you updated.


The logistics might be a bit screwy, but the concept has merit, especially in our “post-apocalypse” world of today.


The Construct, which does a lot of online training for ROS, has something like this. They call it RoBox - you run a TurtleBot 3. Info here:


I was looking over their curriculum. Do you have an opinion of their free “Python 3 for Robotics” course?

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I took it since it was free - didn’t teach me any Python I didn’t already know, but it gave a good sense for their online environment. Overall I’ve been happy with their courses. There are occasional typos and things that don’t work (which is annoying), but the developers watch the forums and are pretty responsive in addressing issues. A bit pricey, but I think it’s been a much more efficient way for me to learn than trying to look it all up on my own. Enough to get me over the hump at least. They just released a ROS2 intro course in Python (some of their courses come in both Python and C++ flavors).

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