Many of the robot STEM kits contain either semi-intelligent controllers or full-fledged computers that are programmable.  In most cases these controllers and computers can be reprogrammed, either replacing some/all of their open source software or extending it.  Most of these controllers/computers can be programmed in either Python or C++.  Given that most of these robots have robust communication facilities, it is even possible to reprogram as they are performing their previously assigned activity and task.

Potential projects could include:

  • Activity Logger: Automatically log robot activity and key statistics for analysis and later playback.  In an advanced version, teach the robot how to do something, record the activity and then have the robot automatically repeat the taught activity.
  • Adaptive Dashboard: Create a web and/or phone based adaptive dashboard application which can work with any robot.  This would require software development both internal and external to the robots.
  • Attack and Defend: There are a variety of games like soccer and capture the flag where robots can learn to play both offensive and defensive positions.
  • Automatic Navigation: A robot can automatically navigate to either a relative location from its current position or a named location on a previously defined map.
  • Explorer / Map Builder: A robot can explore its location and construct a 2 or 3D map.
  • Flock Management: Gather a collection of robots and develop the software to manage them in the achievment of different goals.
  • Monitor and Patrol: A robot can patrol a location, monitoring for various activities and report any extraordinary events.
  • Racer: Create a race track and have the robot learn the fastest way around the track.  With multiple robot racers, have them race each other around the track in a competitive manner.

These projects can be simple or complex.  They should contain interchangeable modules/libraries that can be used in multiple projects.  All of these projects are already part of existing commercial and proprieatary systems.  All represent a great way to learn, develop your skills and find that dream career and job.