Spyglass Series - Advanced Arduino Robotics

Advanced Arduino Robotics

Speaker: Joan Horvath, Rich Cameron, Simon Huss
Cost: $375 plus approximately $100 in purchased materials (robot kit and add-ons)*
Ages: 12-15

Online except for optional in-person debugging session and final showcase day. Zoom links will be sent upon registration for online portion.


Tuesdays & Thursdays for four weeks:
Session Type Date (s) Time
Online #1 Tue. July 27 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM PDT
Online #2 Tue. July 29 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM PDT
Online #3 Tue. August 3 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM PDT
Debugging session (in-person or online) Thur. August 5 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM PDT in-person
or 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM PDT online 
Online #4 Tue. August 10 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM PDT
Online #5 Thur. August 12 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM PDT
Online #6 Tue. August 17 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM PDT
Optional In-Person Showcase (can still participate virtually) Thur. August 19 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM PDT


*Participants must attend the entire series. Financial aid is available!

This course will teach students with some knowledge of robotics how to create a small robot that can run autonomously under the control of an Arduino microcontroller. Arduinos are very flexible open-source microcontrollers with a large ecosystem of compatible sensors, motors and other things. In this Spyglass course students will be assisted in creating a basic self-balancing robot kit and programming it to move, sense its environment, and maybe even navigate autonomously.  

This course assumes some basic knowledge of computer coding. Arduino programming will be done in the C programming language.  

In class, students will learn how the Arduino works, and get some assistance with assembling their kits (although it will be assumed that they will work on it some outside of class). Then they will move on to more advanced behaviors. On one of the days in Week 2, students will have the option of either coming to IEA for hands-on assistance with robot assembly or joining online for one-on-one instruction. 

On the last day of class, IEA will host a robot showcase for students to share the behaviors their robot has learned, and perhaps show off its aesthetics too. Students can either bring their robot to IEA or take a video of it that they will post to Flipgrid to share with their other students.  

Students will need use of a laptop or desktop computer (not a tablet or Chromebook) to develop code, which is then uploaded to the robot. Mac, Windows or Linux is acceptable.  

About the Speaker

Joan Horvath and Rich “Whosawhatsis” Cameron are the co-founders of Nonscriptum LLC (www.nonscriptum.com). Since 2015 their Pasadena-based consulting and training firm has focused on teaching educators and scientists how to use maker tech, with a particular focus on teaching math and science with 3D printing. Joan is an MIT alumna, recovering rocket scientist and educator. Rich is an open-source 3D printer hacker who designed the RepRap Wallace and Bukito 3D printers. They are working on their eight book together, which teaches calculus with 3D printed models.