Matthew takes control of robot research project

Taken from: http://www.northampton.ac.uk/news/matthew-takes-control-of-robot-research-project/




Matthew Hole
A sixth-form student has spent the summer at the University of Northampton investigating the possibility of controlling DIY robots with a computer half the size of a credit card.
Matthew Hole, who attends Wrenn Academy in Wellingborough, has been awarded a Nuffield Research Placement – a scheme which offers sixth formers the chance to work on university research projects during the summer.
During his time at the University, Matthew used a BBC micro:bit computer  to control a junkbot – a robot made from junk, such as a drinks can, powered by a kit.
Junkbots have previously been controlled by a Raspberry Pi computer, but the University’s Associate Professor in Computing and Immersive Technologies, Dr Scott Turner, saw the potential to harness the micro:bit.
“The micro:bit has been given away free to every Year 7 pupil in the UK, so it made sense to investigate how well it could control a junkbot.
“Matthew worked incredibly hard on the research project, overcoming several problems, and was successful in harnessing the micro:bit to control a junkbot.
“He used his experience to produce an action pack, which will be available for schools to refer to so that pupils can learn how to control a junkbot with the micro:bit – so Matthew’s research has the potential to benefit thousands of young people across the UK and beyond.”
Matthew said: “The project has definitely helped me to develop my problem solving skills: I’ve learnt how to break projects down into small pieces and work on them methodically, which has been really useful,” said Matthew, who has received a bursary to carry out his work.
“To be able to work on an action pack that will be available for schools to use is also a fantastic thing to have on my CV.”

To learn more about the junkbots project contact: scott.turner@northampton.ac.uk


If you'd like to find out more about Computing at the University of Northampton go to: www.computing.northampton.ac.uk. All views and opinions are the author's and do not necessarily reflected those of any organisation they are associated with