Project: Meccatronix

Project: Meccatronix is a robotics and engineering curriculum that is currently being developed as a pilot program. The curriculum is divided into three phases that are designed to teach basic fundamentals of engineering, design, robotics and coding and promotes teamwork and collaboration. Meccatronix is being offered to high school and middle school grade levels in areas around the world where robotics programs are not offered. In addition to learning robotics and engineering, teams from participating schools will collaborate with each other remotely through telepresence and interactive technologies and will work together in a virtual 3-D environment.

Check out the videos in the slider below to learn more about Meccano robots. Meccano has a YouTube channel with more great videos that illustrate different features of their robots and kits as well as tutorials on building and coding.

Curriculum Phase 1

Phase one will lay the foundation and teach basic engineering, robotics and programming concepts. Teams will be provided with personal robot kits and will work together to assemble each robot according to the instructions (included with the kits and available by download). Once they have built their robot, students will program their robot to perform different functions and tasks using a simple and intuitive coding program called Scratch.

Phase two gives students the opportunity to use innovation and design their own robot using the same modular parts that they built the kit robot with. The personal robots can be disassembled and reconfigured to become something out of their imagination, and they can be reprogrammed as well. Teams will be given assignments that require them to work in collaboration with other teams around the globe and demonstrate their ability to work together to accomplish goals or solve problems.

Phase three brings it all together and results in a new design for a system or component that will evolve to become part of Z-NEV. A collective design group (or groups) will be formed from the teams and they will collaborate to research, design, test and build a scale model of a new Z-NEV innovation; a concept vessel, a submersible, a robotic arm, automated loading ramp, etc.

Meccano is a robotics and engineering toy brand that grew out of Erector brand, which has been around since 1913. Meccano manufactures modular robotics kits and construction sets that are full of 3-D printed modular building pieces. Their robotics kits include personal robots like their Meccanoid line and the new M.A.X. Robot. The kits come with simple instructions and there are different apps that can be used to control the robots and program them using a basic coding language called Scratch.

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