Using drones for learning Programming


#1

Dear Everybody,

We are working a new Software Development of 3 years for college-level underprivileged students in Philippines. We are using innovative technologies such as Lego Mindstorm, Raspberry Pi and 3D Printing. It is our wish to introduce programming using the drones, giving the opportunity to the students to find tangible and fun results.

I found that Parrot drones and Minidrones would be the best option, thanks to the back community of developers.

Until now I found that one of the starting options could be able to control the drones using NodeJS. As we don’t have many resources, I would like to convine this with the Raspberries, so we don’t need to buy new Android/iOS devices.

As I didn’t find yet any Educational content of this topics, I wanted to know your opinion and if you ahd new suggestions.

Thanks a lot,

Alberot


#2

Hi Alberot,
we just launch our new EDU website on edu.parrot.com
Have a look there !
Jerome


#3

Hi Jerome,

That’s great! Just on time. I saw the activities website, it will be very useful indeed.

We are now hesitating what hardware to get first. The only suppliers we can find in Philippines they got Rolling Spider and Jumping Sumo. And unfortunately we don’t have any Android device yet, only 12 Raspberry Pi 3.

Our class is of 24 students (17-19 years old) and we have an initial budget of around 850 euros.

My first idea was to get initially 8 Rolling Spider with 8 Extra battery and charger, and create a first workshop utilizing Node JS in the Raspberry Pi. And if we can find some other sponsors, in the future get this new Airbone Bundles or Jumping Sumo.

Can someone with experience recommend us about this?

Thanks,

Alberto


#4

Both Jumping and Rolling are great product to play and to program with !
Be aware that Rolling are BLE and Jumping are WIFI.
Best,
Jerome


#5

hi Alberot, one thing that is nice is that you needn’t necessarily use the sdk, since the protocol documents are open and if you are on wifi with the jumping sumo, as I am using, all you have to do is connect to a socket and write and read packed data.

so, there are a number of lessons, including data formats, networking, and threading, but I’m not so sure it’s beginner, although perhaps the interest of the thing draws your students in.

one thing I will say, though is that its quite a bit of a drag dealing with such short battery times and the need to recharge constantly and being downtime is a bit of a killer and one really needs patience. I could see that if your class is only say 1 hour it might be anti-cilmatic to get one run in and then have to recharge.

in my case, so far, I have only one battery, and even if I had another, I think I’d have to get some separate charging unit. I think I probably need 3 to keep myself happy.

I have a project to implement my own real-time controller for the jumping sumo and having a program do some “auto-navigation” by sending back images and making decisions on things matched from the images. So, there are a number of lessons there.


#6

Hi Alberot,

this is exactly what we have done for the devoxx4kids. Have a look at our repository that contains many workshops for kids.

In general: https://github.com/Devoxx4KidsDE/
And here is the workshop for kids to control the Sumo with Scratch: https://github.com/Devoxx4KidsDE/workshop-jumping-sumo-4-scratch

cheers
Stefan


#7

Hey @stefan-hoehn, I need to find the right time to contact you :slight_smile: your project is amazing !


#8

Thanks for the compliment. I am happy to have a conversation with you. I am pretty passionate about it :slight_smile:

If you like we can have a call about it or support you in any way! Or just use the workshop(s). Everything is open source.

cheers
Stefan