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Ranger, The Mars Adventure of Mark

Author: Qiu Xinren, Zhou Taimin
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Cooperated with Scratch teachers, 16 chapters are coming soon.
(Due to the software upgrade, the content in the book may not match the latest software version.)

Thanks to the cooperation with Scratch teachers, we are developing sixteen chapters about learning graphical programming with Ranger——The Mars Adventure of Mark. You can check preview courses below. We will keep updating more courses online.

Chapter 1:Beginning

Me Auriga is a new mainboard developed by Makeblock after mCore. It is specially designed for users who love Arduino open hardware products. Me Auriga not only includes expansion ports for driving motors and sensors, but also integrates a dual encoder motor driver. It allows you to specify the motor speed in order to create more accurate applications. This chapter is to help you fully understand electronic modules and mechanical parts used in mBot Ranger Robot Kit

Chapter 2:Argot

This chapter includes introduction of mBlock interface and examples showing how to programming with mBlock. You will learn how to use the mBlock to control the RGB LEDs by connecting the mainboard Me Auriga with the computer via USB cable

Chapter 3:Friends 

Segway is a new kind of vehicles which uses the gyroscope on its body to obtain data of its posture. Then it will use the algorithm stored in the microprocessor to analyze the data, thus to control the motion of motor to keep balance. We will learn how assemble a self-balance robot, how to connect the robot with mBlock, upgrade firmware for the robot in mBlock, and see how the robot keep balance in this chapter.

Chapter 4:On standby

If we want the vehicle with only two wheels to maintain balance, we’ll need to add high-precision sensors and set complex algorithm for the vehicle. But when we add an additional wheel on this vehicle, then it will be able to stand upright on the floor easily. We will introduce Points, Lines, and Planes through assembling a three-wheeled robot. We then will observe how this robot works and learn how to write programs to control the robot remotely.

Chapter 5:Contact

This chapter is to recognize the buzzer on Me Auriga. We will learn how to use mBlock to play a piece of music with Ranger. With the buzzer, Ranger will be able to make a beep sound, play some well-known songs, and express its emotions freely. The sound of the buzzer can also become a small debugging tool for programs. Let’s start from the five notes of Close Encounters of the Third Kind to creating your own music by practicing “forever” and “repeat…times” block in mBlock.

Chapter 6:Light energy

It is important to know how to make and use variables properly during programming. With the help of variables, it is possible to reduce unnecessary readings of sensor and make advanced control over the system using the content of the variables. In this chapter, we will use variables to store the data of light sensor and interact with our cute panda and the magical mBot Ranger robot.

Chapter 7:Launch of Interstellar Voyage

We’ve learned the method of utilizing variables from last chapter, while in this chapter, we need to apply it into a new sensor – accelerometer / gyroscope with integration of our little mBlock fairy character, to complete all our challenging missions successfully

Chapter 8:Challenge

The design of mBot Ranger, because of the addition of an encoded motor control system, allows the movements of the robot to be more precise and predictable. The main content of this chapter is to familiarize you on how the use of an encoder motor, combined with instructions, can accomplish a more complex control of the robot.

Chapter 9:Tracking

The most common method of maintaining a safe course of travelling on a given route is to establish a track, such as our commonly seen train or high-speed railway. In addition, there is also the technology of using special sensors to allow cars to move on tracks that have corresponding materials laid on it. E.g., magnetic induction unmanned vehicles using magnetic field lines, as well as IR line-follower vehicles, which can travel on either a white or black line track. These are automotive equipment in factories to solve manpower shortages. Now, we will learn how to use the IR line-follower module to allow Ranger to keep advancing by maintaining it on the black track.

Chapter 10:Barrier

In robot field, the ability to detect space and distance usually decides whether a machine can move safely within an area. In this chapter, we will learn how to use ultrasonic sensor to detect distance, and to assist mBot Ranger to avoid obstacles, so that it can walk a safe path.

Chapter 11:Dust

In this chapter, we add the concept of (proportional control) to the program. We utilize the difference between target value and measured value of the sensor to zoom in or zoom out in an appropriate proportion to control the robot’s movements. Compared with the method of using a value more than or less than a fixed judgment value, this approach can keep the system more stable and reduce excessive correction. In this chapter we use gyroscope again. But we directly use the value obtained from the sensor to change the control output. For example, use rotating graphs, or change the advancing direction of mBot Ranger.

Chapter 12:Guidance

In this chapter we introduce the application of dual-light sensor-light following robot. There are two onboard light sensors in Ranger. By utilizing the detection difference of light sensor, Ranger can identify where the light source is. Then, it traces the light source to move on. We can take a flashlight in hand to guide Ranger to advance and make a turn, making it a light following robot.

Chapter 13:Password

In this chapter we will learn how to apply the sound sensors of Ranger. We can find the change of sound volume through comparison of volume value of sound sensors. control vehicle. We can use sound sensor as a simple switch to control Ranger’s LED light and motors, making it a voice 

Chapter 14:Decision

When executing a task , the judgment of a condition with priority must be carefully considered. In this chapter, not just with line following, we should know how to avoid obstacles. Is keeping online more important or avoidance of collision a key point – different ideas lead to different programs. Now, let’s have a try!

Chapter 15:Difficulty

We will learn how to use line following sensor to detect the boundary of the floor. It allows Ranger not to go beyond the boundary. Instead, it recedes and makes a turn when encountering the boundary. Meanwhile, we must utilize ultrasonic sensor to look for objects, impact them and complete the task.

Chapter 16:Gift

12 three-color RGB LED lights located on the Ranger’s mainboard Me Auriga, which are arranged in a circular. As for these LED lights, they should be properly applied. This chapter describes how to use 12 LED lights on the Me Auriga. It coordinates variables and mathematical calculations to create a different lighting effect

(Due to the software upgrade, the content in the book may not match the latest software version.)

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