As if building a robot wasn’t fun enough, the new mBot takes it to the next level, allowing students to program the robot once it’s built. This is achieved using the mBlock drag and drop interface (based on Scratch), that allows students of all ages to implement commands and instructions for all of the robot’s sensors and attachments.
What the robot looks like is entirely up to the creator but it certainly helps that the main body is compatible with LEGO. This infinite extensibility is a huge bonus because nobody wants to create a robot that looks the same as somebody else’s.
When it comes to the functionality of the robot, it all depends on how you use the sensors (light, infrared, ultrasonic, line follower). You could potentially create your own Google self-driving car that roams around the classroom, following a mapped out road and avoiding obstacles.
For education, Makeblock have created two online manuals that can be downloaded to help parents and teachers get the most out of mBot. These tutorials are updated regularly and are developed and maintained by teachers. Check them out here.