About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2232-2238
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1445

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

COCCIBOT: TRANSFORMING THE MBOT PEDAGOGICAL ROBOT TO BE USED FROM KINDERGARTEN TO SECONDARY SCHOOL

A. Messaoud, M. Romero

Laval University (CANADA)
Pedagogical robots are increasingly popular from kindergarten to secondary education. The pedagogical potential of educational robotics for knowledge modeling is based on the combination of constructivism (Piaget, 1974) and constructionism approaches (Alimisis, 2013; Kafai & Resnick, 1996; Papert, 1986). In this context, there is a growing number of educational robots with different designs and functions. Among these educational robots, BeeBot, LEGO WeDo and mBot are the most popular technologies. In this study, we choose mBot due to the open source orientation and the optimal relation between its functions and its cost. mBot is appropriate for older primary school children but does not suit kindergarten children due to an open architecture, which allows to touch directly the Arduino electronic board. In order to adapt mBot for younger users, the CocciBot project had two main objectives. The first objective is to adapt the robot for younger users by encapsulating its exposed board in a “shell” with character and life aiming to create a positive impact on the emotional level. The second objective is to add the autonomous programming feature for straightforward and less complicated usage.

After some research and experimentations, CocciBot came to life. It is a transformation of a conventional lifeless mBot into a colorful living robot by designing a shell of a ladybug, an insect much loved by the children. The design was inspired by the popular red-and-black North American seven-spotted species. In addition to the esthetic dimension, the ladybug offers a voluminous cavity for the mBot bulky body.

CocciBot is intended to be used in pedagogical scenarios where it travels on a programmed itinerary. Besides the already existing feature of programming and control via the mBlock software, the user can now interact with CocciBot through a seven-button interface designed to imitate the black dots on the real ladybug. We implemented seven basic functions by assigning one function to each button for ergonomic usability: “Forward”, “Backward”, “Left”, “Right”, “Pause”, “Clear” and “Go”. The movement is constrained to orthogonal directions on a grid-based physical surface representing the space where the scenario takes place. We also implemented few simple feedback signals consisting of sound and light.

Pedagogically speaking, teachers could easily integrate CocciBot in collaborative learning activities aiming a variety of subjects where students can be instructed to co-program the robot and engage in active discussions and co-creation of content.

As a future work, we plan to enrich the movement pattern by adding a diagonal direction to the robot path. We also think of improving the audio-visual feedback system of CocciBot to make it more responsive and keep users more engaged. Finally, from the experiments that will be carried out, we consider elaborating a set of general and specific guidelines in the usage of robots for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics learning.

References:
[1] Alimisis, D. (2013). Educational robotics: Open questions and new challenges. Themes in Science and Technology Education, 6(1), 63-71.
[2] Kafai, Y. B., & Resnick, M. (1996). Constructionism in practice: Designing, thinking, and learning in a digital world. Routledge.
[3] Papert, S. (1986). Constructionism: A new opportunity for elementary science education. MIT, Media Laboratory.
[4] Piaget, J. (1974). Réussir et comprendre. Presses universitaires de France.
@InProceedings{MESSAOUD2016COC,
author = {Messaoud, A. and Romero, M.},
title = {COCCIBOT: TRANSFORMING THE MBOT PEDAGOGICAL ROBOT TO BE USED FROM KINDERGARTEN TO SECONDARY SCHOOL},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1445},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1445},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {2232-2238}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Messaoud AU - M. Romero
TI - COCCIBOT: TRANSFORMING THE MBOT PEDAGOGICAL ROBOT TO BE USED FROM KINDERGARTEN TO SECONDARY SCHOOL
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1445
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 2232
EP - 2238
ER -
A. Messaoud, M. Romero (2016) COCCIBOT: TRANSFORMING THE MBOT PEDAGOGICAL ROBOT TO BE USED FROM KINDERGARTEN TO SECONDARY SCHOOL, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 2232-2238.
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