Make a cellbot

On Friday, our teacher told us about cellbots. A cellbot is a robot controlled by a cell phone. Here is a video of one that a guy and his kid made together in one day.

What’s really cool is that you just use a cell phone to control the robot. There are kits that cost about 100 bucks. I am going to ask for this for my birthday in November. I hope I get it! We have old phones at our house that nobody uses anymore and I’m going to use them to make this cellbot go.

The way it works is like this. You have one cell phone on the robot and the other cell phone in your hand. You call the cellbot phone and use the other cell phone screen to direct the forward and backwards. I think there are some with arms you can move too. This is the coolest thing ever.

How to buy a robot for your class

Our class has to get the money we need to buy our Lego system to build a robot. We are doing a bake sale, a car wash and we need a sponsor. Well, it looks like we have one. Miss Melissa at Orlando’s Best Limos says she likes what we are doing. Her grandson, Trevor, is in our class. She is going to give us a dollar for each dollar we get by ourselves. That mean’s we only need to get half the money now. Yeah!

Our school is a private school and we don’t have extra money for everything we want to do. We do a candy drive and we do a book fair but that money goes for the library books and computer lab.

We are glad to get a sponsor. We have their poster on our wall in the classroom. It shows their limos and a girl in her prom dress.

A good book about robots

Today I read a really good book about robots by Mark Beyer. Some of the things I learned were”

  • The word robots comes from a play written in 1923
  • There was a robot in England that catches slugs. Yuck!

I thought it was sort of funny that he says someday there will robot vacume cleaners. My mom has one! Then my teacher showed me that the book was written in 2002. In science time that was a long time ago.

I think the book is still good to read. It would be good for any kid who don’t know about robots.

Robotics Rules

This writer called Issac Assimov wrote science fiction and he made up robot laws. These laws are about how robots are supposed to act.

The go like this

A robot may not injure a human, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings except where those orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Today at school, we had to talk in our group about the rules for robots. Mr. Parker gave us questions to ask in the group.

  1. What does inaction mean? What is an example of inaction? How would a person be injured through inaction?
  2. What does it mean “where the orders would conflict”?
  3. What does the third law mean?
  4. Why would we need these laws?
  5. Do you think three law is enough? What would be another law you think is important?

My group thinks inaction means not doing action. Not doing something you are supposed to be doing. A person could be injured if the robot needed to help them but did not. If a person was drowning in the swimming pool and the robot just stood there on the side and did not throw a floatie or give them a stick to grab.

When the orders would conflict is when they are opposite each other. Like if a person told the robot not to throw the floatie when the robot should throw the floatie.

A robot needs to know how to save itself. That’s the thrid law.

My group thinks these laws are not super clear and kinda say the same thing. The robot would need to be able to think for itself and we don’t know if there are any robots that can do that. And what if a robot needs to hurt one human to help another human? How does the robot know which human to save?

We know that robots are tools. And we program them to do what we want. The first rule would be that humans should not make a robot who would not try to take over the world.


Getting Started

We are going to use the EV3 system by Lego to do this. We are fundraising to buy this curriculum for our school. There are five robots for beginners. They are: Track3r, Spik3r, R3ptar, Gripp3r and Ev3rstorm. I think Gripp3r is the coolest because he can pick up stuff and move it. We are going to have a vote to see which one we like the best. Go to the Lego build a robot page and you can see for yourself which one you like the best.

Please pick Gripp3r!