Remember that in your hands you do not have a toy or a product for the end customer, but a sophisticated educational tool, designed to provide schools and universities with an experimentation platform to support teaching.
The Roobokart’s sensor equipment and the possibility of programming its microcontroller allow it to be used in many teaching subjects, such as microcontrollers, C ++ language, Physics, Mathematics, automatic controls, systems, numerical filters, etc …
The Roobokart also allows students to learn the use and programming of the STMicroelectronics technologies it is equipped with.
The implementation provided is intended to be only a reference and a starting point, but everyone is free to develop a new implementation, even partial but which supports the didactic objective, also by adding hardware expansions that extend its functionality.
Step 1: The assembly of the Roobokart
The Roobokart is composed of a chassis and electronic boards that allow it to be programmed to move independently.
Assembly of the chassis is simple and intuitive. In the kit are included in paper format, the instructions for the assembly of all the parts.
Once the chassis assembly is complete, the electronics can be added.
and instructions are available in this document RooboKart_Instructions_of_Assembly
THE INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED ARE FOR THE ASSEMBLY OF THE ROOBOKART v2. IF YOU HAVE THE ROOBOKART v3 YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE NECESSITY TO MOUNT THE NUCLE CARD BECAUSE THE STM32F401RE MICROCONTROLLER IS ALREADY INTEGRATED INTO THE BOARD
Step 2: Verification of the Roobokart assembly
Verification of the assembly allows you to check that all connections have been made correctly and that therefore the STM32 microcontroller is able to receive information from the sensors and is able to correctly control the two motors.
For this purpose, a precompiled code that performs some tests has been released at the following link. At the moment the test source code has not been released, it will be soon, but as you become more familiar with the development environment you can develop a code yourself that performs tests.
The method of carrying out the tests is described in the MANUAL_VERIFICATION_MONTAGGIO_ROOBOKART manual
Please follow all the instructions contained in the manual
THESE INSTRUCTIONS APPLY TO ROOBOKART V2 ONLY. THE VERIFICATION CODE FOR THE ROOBOKART V3 IS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE MOMENT
Step 3: Roobokart programming
3.1 Toolchain installation
The toolchain, literally chain of tools, is the set of tools that allow us to write programming code in a language that can be read by a human being and obtain an executable code from the microcontroller. Once the executable code has been obtained, it must be written into the microcontroller’s memory for it to execute it.
The video tutorial below illustrates how to install the software we use in Roobopoli
3.2 The building of Roobokart source code
The microcontroller code is an Open Source project and is freely downloadable from the archive:
The video tutorial below illustrates the procedure for downloading the code, and building it
3.3 The building of the multi-applications project
Starting from version 2.0, multi application is supported, that is, it is possible to choose which application to compile for the Roobokart.
The video tutorial that follows, illustrates the building of the multi-application project
Step 4: The sensor’s calibration
The Roobokart is equipped with sensors that need to be calibrated, since the values provided depend on local conditions and do not allow us to predetermine them.
For example, infrared sensors are sensitive to sunlight, but also to neon light or the flickering of LED lights. Even the color sensor, to detect the color of the traffic light, may need to be calibrated, since the LEDs in your city may be less bright than others, for example.
For this purpose we have prepared a calibration manual to help you in this calibration phase available at the following link
Sensor calibration requires that once the values have been changed, the project is recompiled as described in the previous step.
Step 5: Starting the Roobokart
The reference code requires that the Roobokart2 is positioned with the right infrared sensor on the right white line of the carriageway, and that the blue button on the Nucleo board is pressed
On the seven-segment display each time you press the blue button, you will see the messages “spd” and “go”
When you see the message “go” press the blue button one last time and the Roobokart will start moving on Roobopoli
Step 6: At Roobokart school
At this point you are able to modify the code to calibrate the sensors, compile the project, download the binary file on the Roobokart and start it
Roobopoli is not a game, it is an educational project that aims to enable students to learn
As previously said there are many things you can teach using the Roobokart and we are sure that you will be able to imagine them by yourself, however to help you become familiar with the platform, we provide you with a programming manual that you can freely download at the following link
The manual includes a series of challenges of increasing complexity that you can propose to your students.