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Week 1: Final Project Brainstorming

I want to try to incorporate the fabrication skills I learn in this class into my teaching, specifically through MIT App Inventor. I've taught many robotics-focused MIT App Inventor workshops for young students, and oftentimes, the students, families, or teachers want to get their own set of the hardware to continue the learning and exploration at home. However, many schools and families can't afford the LEGO Mindstorms we use (several hundred dollars each without all of the cool sensors and modular extensions). I want to see if I can make my own Wifi and/or BLE-connected robotic quadcopter set affordably, and if that works, I want to see if I can turn that into another lesson for the students.

I've built a few of my own quadcopters from a purchased set before, so I'm relatively familiar with the pieces involved. I think much of the challenge will be in programming the quadcopter to communicate with a mobile phone running MIT App Inventor in real time. MIT App Inventor also has an extension for communicating over BLE. Although it is not too robust, I plan to build upon it to increase its functionality.