Get ready to build a robot in Level D!
Level D is the final level in the Intro to Robotics series. Intro to Robotics is designed to start at the very beginning and systematically teach students electronics, programming, and then how to combine those skills to build a functional robot.
Along the way they will learn how to use common electrical components, read schematics, troubleshoot, and craft every line of computer code.
Haven't completed Levels A-C yet? Click here to view our Levels A-D package set.
Teaching several students? Click here to purchase additional component kits.
Teaching a group of students in a classroom or co-op setting? Click here for institutional ordering and pricing information.
LEVEL D CURRICULUM AND KIT CONTENTS
- 460 page curriculum containing 18 step-by-step lessons (downloadable PDF file)
- Upper Chassis Plate with Breadboard Attached x1
- Lower Chassis Plate x1
- Assorted Chassis Hardware x1
- Rear Caster Assembly with Ball Bearing Wheel x1
- Male-to-Male Jumper Wires x1
- Male-to-Female Jumper Wires x2
- IR Obstacle Sensor x 2
- IR Line Sensor x 2
- Plastic IR Sensor Mounting Hardware x1
- Ultrasonic Range Sensor with Plastic Mounting Plate x1
- Camera and Ultrasonic Sensor Mounting Hardware x1
- Raspberry Pi Chassis Mounting Bracket and Hardware x1
- Motor Drive Integrated Circuit x1
- Small Screwdriver (#2 Phillips) x1
- DC Motor with Wires and Mounting Hardware x2
- Wheel and Tire Assembly x 2
- 6xAA Battery Pack with Velcro Mounting Strips x1
- 9-Volt to 5-Volt Voltage Regulator x1
- Digital Multimeter x1
LEVEL D SCOPE AND SEQUENCE
- Learn to protect and recover operating files and project data
- Use a digital multimeter (included in kit)
- Construct the robot chassis including wheels, motor mounts, and motors
- Control the robot remotely via VNC
- Add and configure various sensors, an audio amplifier, and speaker
- Use a camera to collect information and see the world from the robot's point of view
- Set up the mobile power system including gaining understanding of benefits and drawbacks of various battery power options
- Learn to drive and troubleshoot motors through code including coordinating multiple motors
- Set up keyboard control of robot while accounting for focus, keypress, and repeat rate issues
- Build a webpage and use CGI scripts to control the robot remotely
- Use a web page to view video generated by the robot and trigger the robot to play audio files
- Continue to improve troubleshooting skills for both electrical circuits and computer programs.
- Continue to gain the skills to independently tackle advanced projects found online.
- Gain the skills to systematically plan large projects including identifying needed functionality, part compatibility, and keep appropriate documentation
CURIOUS WHAT USERS HAVE TO SAY?
Click here to view testimonials and reviews from our users.
LEVEL D FAQ
Q. Neither my student or I have any experience with electronics, programming, or robotics. Where do we start?
A. All students should start with Level A which is designed to teach skills from the very beginning and requires no previous knowledge. Click here to learn more
Q. Does my student need to complete Levels A, B, and C before starting Level D?
A. Yes. Please be sure your student completes Levels A-C first. Level D builds on the skills learned in Levels A-C. Your student will also need the electrical components kits from Levels A-C to complete Level D.
Q. How many lessons are in Level D and how long does each lesson take?
A. There are 18 lessons and each lesson will take approximately 90-120 minutes to complete. We recommend aiming to complete 1-2 lessons per week. A single level will take 9-18 weeks to complete depending on lesson frequency.
Please note, the concepts in Level D are similar in complexity to those taught in Level C. Upper middle school and lower high school students should consider proceeding at a very slow pace, building in significant practice time.
Middle school students should aim to complete Levels A and B in 1+ school year and Levels C and D in 1-2 school years (we strongly encourage moving at your child's individual pace--there's plenty of time to complete all four levels!). Middle school students may also find it helpful to only complete Levels A and B during middle school and save Levels C and D for high school.
High school students can aim to complete A-D over the course of a school year if desired. Extra time outside of lessons should be built in to allow the student to practice skills between lessons. We recommend high school students schedule 4-5 hours a week to complete all four levels in a single school year.
Adults can expect to spend approximately 15 hours completing Level A, 25 hours completing Level B, 30 hours completing Level C, and 25-30 hours completing Level D.
Q. Can the curriculum be used by the student independently?
A. Yes, the Intro to Robotics curriculum is written directly to the student and assumes both student (and parent) have no background in electronics, programming, or robotics. How successful a student will be at self-teaching will depend on age, maturity level, and motivation of the student. Levels C and D will generally present a significant challenge to a middle school student and we'd encourage a parent to work along with them so they can feel successful using the program.
Please note, all students should complete Levels A-C prior to moving on to Level D.
Q. What if I have a question or run into a problem?
A. We are thrilled to help! Contact us via email and we will help you get back on the right track.
Q. Are technical updates to the curriculum available after purchase?
A. Yes! The Raspberry Pi operating system tends to change fairly regularly. Sometimes the changes are minor, such as moving a menu item, and sometimes the changes are major, such as fundamental changes to the operating system. Minor updates are posted to the curriculum resource page as soon as they are known and documentation is available (a link to the resource page can be found in the footer of this website). Major changes are incorporated into updates to the curriculum. We tend to release curriculum updates every few months. These updates are available to download via the curriculum download link you receive after placing your order.
Q. Will we need additional equipment?
A. In addition to this curriculum and the Level D parts kit purchased with it, you will need:
- AA Batteries x6
- These are used to power the robot, we recommend rechargeable batteries, click here to learn more
- 9v Battery
- USB Drive
- Electrical Tape
- Used to build a track on the floor for the robot to follow; use black electrical tape if you have light colored flooring, use white electrical tape if you have dark colored flooring
USB to SD Card Adapter (optional)
- Optional activity in Lesson D-1 shows students how to back up their SD card to their computer, click here to see links to adapters
Besides the items above, you’ll need the same items you have on hand from working through Levels A - C:
- Level A, B, and C Curriculum and Component Kits
- Computer Monitor
- A television can also be used provided it has HDMI inputs
- Please note, a laptop computer or Chromebook will not work for this purpose
- HDMI cable
- Likely attached to your computer monitor
- AA Batteries x2
Keyboard and Mouse
- Please use a wired keyboard and mouse if possible. Wireless models do not work reliably with the Raspberry Pi. Visit the Level A Resource List for a list of inexpensive keyboard and mouse options.
Internet access (wired or wireless)
- For this level of the course, internet access is required to download libraries and modules.
- A Desktop Computer, Laptop, or Chromebook
- Must be connected to the home network via a wired or wireless connection (this can be the family’s regular computer as it will be used in networking lessons)
- Anti-Static Mat
- Highly recommend to prevent damage to more sensitive equipment such as the Raspberry Pi camera; click here to find one at a bargain price.
Q. How will I receive my order?
A. The PDF file containing the curriculum can be downloaded following purchase. The component kit will be mailed to you within a few business days.
We do not offer printed copies of the curriculum for several reasons:
- When reviewing concepts, students benefit greatly from being able to search the curriculum document for information about a skill they are working with.
- The technology students will be working with changes regularly and we typically update the curriculum every 2-3 months to assure students are working with the latest information. Sometimes the changes are significant (screen layout, menu options, procedures, etc.) It is advantageous for students to have access to this updated information via the electronic copy of the curriculum. We want them to keep moving forward with their lessons, not getting stuck and frustrated because a menu option changed.
- We want to save some trees and keep your cost down! Our program is lengthy and the book would not only be heavy to carry around, it's simply unnecessary to print it. All lessons can be read and completed with the file pulled up on a tablet, laptop or desktop.
- If you wish to print a full copy of the curriculum, we recommend The Homeschool Printing Company for their quality work and reasonable prices.
Q. Why does this program teach Python instead of a different programming language?
A. We teach Python for a several reasons:
- Python is currently the fastest growing computer language. Companies such as YouTube, Dropbox, Google, Quora, Instagram, Spotify, Reddit, and Yahoo Maps used Python to build their platforms. While programming languages tend to come and go over time, Python is well rooted and is likely to be a popular language for many years.
- Python is particularly well suited to beginners. The code is intuitive and easy to read. It also requires far fewer lines of code to accomplish tasks compared to other popular languages such as C++ and Java.
Q. Are the curriculum and kit reusable for other students in the family?
Yes! The contents of the kit and the curriculum are fully reusable for multiple students in the same family. Please note, the curriculum may not be resold or given away to another family. If teaching multiple students simultaneously, it may be helpful to purchase multiple component kits so each student has their own set but this is not required. Click here
to purchase an additional component kit. Schools and co-ops, please click here
for ordering and pricing information.
Q. Can I use this curriculum for high school credit for a home schooled student?
A. Yes, generally speaking, each level of the Intro to Robotics program is equivalent to 0.25 credit hours. So completing two levels would be equivalent to 0.5 credits and completing four levels would be equivalent to 1.0 credits. Please note, assigning credit to homeschooled students is dependent on your state's specific homeschooling laws, please consult them if you have questions.