BOE–Bot is short for Board of Education robot. It is the trade name of a robot kit that is used in junior high, high school and college robotics classes. It consists of a main circuit board (the Board of Education) and breadboard, a plug–in BASIC Stamp microcontroller, two servo motors to drive the wheels, and an aluminum chassis that the parts bolt onto. Students can use Erector set parts, Lego blocks, and additional servos to build custom projects. The BOE-bot has been manufactured and sold by Parallax Inc since 1998.
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The green detachable main circuit, mounted on the top of the robot is called the Board of Education . The microcontroller which plugs into a socket on the green circuit board is called the BASIC Stamp . The BASIC Stamp is programmed in PBASIC. The rear wheel is a drilled polyethylene ball held in place with a cotter pin. Wheels are machined to fit on the servo spline and held in place with a screw. The BASIC Stamp is easy to program. The Boe–Bot is small, approximately four inches wide, and runs on four AA batteries. It is well documented.
The Boe–Bot can be adjusted to walk on six legs, sense objects, or pick up things by adding extra pieces sold by Parallax Inc. These include additions like the PING ultrasonic distance sensor.
There is no soldering required.
The robot may be programmed to follow a line, solve a maze, follow light, or communicate with another robot. Input/output (I/O) projects can be built on the breadboard which is sufficient to hold anywhere from 2–4 components — LEDs, resistors, ICs etc.). Mounting holes and slots on the chassis may be used to add custom robotic equipment. The BOE–Bot is programmed using the PBASIC language.
Dr. Estelle M. Eke is a proponent of the BOE–bot. Students in her classes at Sacramento State University use it as a starting point to build their class robotics projects. The Boe–Bot was developed by Professor Chuck Schoeffler of the University of Idaho Industrial Technology Education program. The Boe–Bot robot is marketed by Parallax, Inc. as an educational kit for their "Stamps In Class" program.
The Boe–Bot can be assembled by students as young as twelve and it teaches the PBASIC programming language.
The Boe–Bot is used in universities including: the University at Buffalo's Mechatronics Program, the Louisiana Tech University College of Engineering and Science, and the California State University, Sacramento's College of Continuing Education's Mechatronics Program. The California State University Fresno, uses the Boe–Bot in their Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering Laboratory course. The Game Institute uses the Boe–Bot Robot kit in their Introduction to Robotics course. Parallax has built custom kits for mechatronics courses and provided them for universities including California State University, Sacramento, Shasta College and Louisiana Tech University.
The Boe–Bot is featured in Parallax workbooks and is Experiment #116 in the book "123 Robotics Experiments for the Evil Genius" by Michael Predko.
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