Vorpal Mimsy Educational Robot v1.1Edit
The Vorpal Mimsy Educational Robot version 1.1 (henceforth, Mimsy) was launched in June, 2015 and was desinged to support a variety of STEM classroom activities. It is available as both a kit and a fully built and tested robot so that it may serve the needs for a wide range of grades and teacher technology comfort levels.
Mimsy Specifications Edit
Mimsy has the following hardware and features:
- Size: Including grip/arm actuator in "down" position: 11" long by 8" wide by 8" tall.
- Weight: with typical batteries installed: 2 pounds 12 ounces.
- Arduino Nano v3.0 microcontroller with a Funduino IO shield for easy connections.
- Sensors: Ultrasonic Rangefinder, ambient light sensor (on top of robot), line tracking light sensor (on bottom of robot), sound sensor, battery voltage level sensor.
- Additional Sensor Support: Any Arduino compatible sensor may be used in unused IO ports.
- Display: 16 character by 2 line monochrome LCD display (white characters on blue background).
- Buttons: two pushbuttons are conveniently located on top of the robot.
- Buzzer: a passive peizo-electric buzzer can be used to generate tones.
- Drive train: two continuous rotation servo motors drive left-side and right-side wheels in a 2:3 gear ratio.
- Actuator: Mimsy comes standard with an grip/arm actuator, able to pick up small objects. Two "flags" are included, allowing students to play capture the flag or do other activities.
- Power: Mimsy is powered by six AA batteries.
- Running time: with disposable alkaline AA batteries about 1 hour of continuous drive train use. With 1900 mAH NIMH rechargeable AA batteries about 2 hours of continuous drive train use. Run times are much longer if the drive train is not in continuous operation. We do not recommend rechargables greater than 1900 mAH because sometimes they can be too "fat" to fit properly in the battery holder.
Preloaded Software (v1.1d) Edit
The current preloaded software, Vorpal Mimsy Firmware 1.1d , contains the following general features and functions:
- Functions to run motor tests and test individual sensors.
- Seven autonomous programs including line following, obstacle avoidance, light-seeking, dark-seeking, and other behaviors.
- A teleoperated mode that allows human control using bluetooth or USB tethering in conjunction with the free Vorpal Commander Android App. (Other platforms will be supported soon including Chromebook, Windows, Mac, and iPad).
Open Source Components Edit
Mimsy uses open source technologies such as the Arduino Nano microcontroller, standard Arduino compatible sensors, and the standard Arduino IDE.
All Mimsy structural parts are cut from a CNC router and the Mimsy DXF Files are free for educational non-profit use.
Contributed Extensions Edit
Mimsy is not meant to be merely a robot, it is meant to be an extensible STEM learning platform.
Vorpal Robotics encourages educators, students, and hobbyists to contribute their own extensions by adding to this Wikia (and uploading supporting files where necessary like software or 3D printer files).
Be aware that anything you post to Wikia is covered by the Wikia License and you are in effect contributing your ideas to the public.
See Mimsy Extensions: How to Contribute for more information and tips on how to post your work.
Future Work Edit
Mimsy is the first of what Vorpal Robotics plans to be a full line of technology products for educators. Right now add-on accessories are under development to support an even larger array of classroom learning experiences, including simulation experiences for search-and-rescue, planetary exploration, remote sensing, maze running, swarm behavior, and more. In addition, educators and hobbyists are encouraged to post their own extensions, hardware accessories, and software hacks for the benefit of STEM education.
See Also Edit
Basic Information For Educators and Hobbyists Edit
- Vorpal Mimsy Preloaded Software Manual
- Vorpal Mimsy Build Instructions
- Vorpal Commander Android App Manual
- Vorpal Mimsy Classroom Activities Master List (lesson plans, learning activities, classroom ideas)
Technical Information Edit
- Vorpal Mimsy List of Parts
- Vorpal Mimsy Arduino IO Pin Summary (IO pins that various devices are connected to)
- Vorpal Mimsy Serial Control Protocol (Protocol used to control Mimsy using USB serial tethering or Bluetooth serial, you could use this to write your own remote control app.)
Extensions, Hacks and Contributions Edit
- Vorpal Mimsy Contributed Extensions (hardware and software extensions and hacks)
- Vorpal Mimsy Hardware Hack Example Page (copy this style when documenting a hardware hack)
- Vorpal Mimsy Software Hack Example Page (copy this style when documenting a software hack)
- Vorpal Mimsy Complex Hack Example Page (copy this style when documenting a hack that involves both hardware and software)
- Vorpal Mimsy Accessory Mounting Guide (a description of mounting holes and ports available for your extensions and hacks)
- Vorpal Mimsy Feature Requests (use this page to post your ideas for future improvements)