M.A.R.K. Arduino robot for education
The M.A.R.K. robot is an educational platform for teaching robotics and programming, from secondary school through to higher education establishments. Its modular design makes it an evolutionary tool “immune” to hardware obsolescence. It is a robotics kit designed by our very own GR Lab engineering department!
Including €0.20 for ecotax
The inspiration behind M.A.R.K.
The M.A.R.K. project (for Modular Arduino Robot Kit) grew from a common observation concerning electronics and robotics products: they are rapidly obsolete, often because components stop being produced or cannot be repaired.
This can be extremely problematic when used intensively in teaching situations. The fundamental principle behind M.A.R.K. is therefore to offer an Arduino-based robotics platform that can be renewed indefinitely, created from “off-the-shelf” components and using open-source technology.
M.A.R.K. is a robot of French design, created for education and to stand the test of time!
A scalable and adaptable mobile robot
We chose the components for our M.A.R.K. educational robot with a view to providing the most comprehensive robotics and electronics teaching tool possible. But this does not mean that it’s frozen in time, since you can choose between the Arduino and Grove platforms.
Whether you want to repair the robot, upgrade a component or add new features, changing and adding sensors and actuators couldn’t be easier! And holes are provided on the chassis to make installation simpler.
There is also a wide choice of motorisation options, because although it comes with Pololu MP 6V micro metal gearmotors offering a reduction ratio of 298:1, you can replace these with any of the other 6V micro metal gearmotors in the same range if necessary.
Who is M.A.R.K. for?
Our M.A.R.K. Arduino-based mobile robot is above all an educational tool. So we have done everything we can to make it simple to use:
- Easy to assemble, no soldering (we’ve done that for you) and comes with the necessary tools (allow between 2 and 3 hours)
- Assembly instructions (in French)
- Library details (in French)
We designed the robot initially for higher education establishments teaching technology, electrical engineering and computer science, but it is also perfectly suitable for secondary school pupils and blocks are available for programming in Scratch. Scratch is an ideal way of introducing people to programming. It is also widely used as a gateway to programming in Arduino, a language often covered at the age of about 14.
Installing Scratch blocks for the M.A.R.K. robot
This pack of blocks can be downloaded from the Génération Robots GitHub (click on the green “clone or download” button).
Below are the installation instructions for the Scratch block pack that can be used with our M.A.R.K robot:
- Open mBlock 3
- Go to the Extensions tab
- Then go to Manage Extensions
- Click on Add Extension
- Choose “zip file”
- Select the downloaded file: the blocks will appear!
Description of the Scratch blocks for the M.A.R.K. robot:
- GR LAB - generate the code: new program block.
- Read ultrasonic pin [ ]: returns the value measured by the ultrasonic sensor in cm.
- Imu [ ]: returns the accelerometer/gyroscope value on the x/y/z axis, or the temperature in °C or °F.
- Read encoder pin [ ] [ ]: returns the number of rotations measured by the encoder to the specified address.
- I2C motor driver adresse [ ] set motor [1 / 2] to [ ] %: activates a motor at a given power level. A negative value makes the motor turn in the opposite direction. The address must be the same as the address set physically on the motor driver.
- I2C motor driver adresse [ ] stop motor [1 / 2] : stops the motor in question.
- You can use the existing Seeed Grove smile project extension for the LCD display.
List of M.A.R.K. educational robot components
- 1 x Arduino-compatible Mega type board
- 1 x Grove Mega Shield
- 2 x SPDT micro switches
- 1 x Grove I2C motor driver
- 2 x Grove ultrasonic sensor
- 1 x Grove RGB LCD display
- 1 x Grove UART WiFi module
- 1 x Grove LED bar module
- 1 x Grove 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope module
- 1 x Grove joystick
- 1 x Grove infrared reflectance sensor
- 1 x Grove voltage divider
- 1 x Servo motor
- 1 x Pair of 60 x 8 mm wheels
- 2 x Idler wheels
- 2 x Pololu MP 6V dual-shaft 298:1 micro metal gearmotors
- 1 x Pair of motor encoders
- 2 x Micro metal gearmotor brackets
- 1 x Li-ion 7.4V 2,200 mAh battery
- 1 x Li-ion battery charger
- 1 x Acrylic chassis, cables and screws
- 2 x Ultrasonic sensor holders
- 1 x Precision screwdriver set