Bookshelves, low hanging lights, sensor-controlled doors and roaming students and staff, usually commonplace in the ordinary library, became tricky obstacles for students, and more importantly, their drones, to duck and dodge, Australian Ninja Warrior style.
We’ve been using drones in the classroom at Moama Anglican Grammar for some time now, and we have a number of models, including the Phantom 2, Parrot AR Swann and entry level Raptor.
We came across the CoDrone Pro and CoDrone Lite however, and found the added feature of them being programmable, reason to purchase one of each.
The CoDrone Pro arrived first at school and uses the integrated development environment (IDE) Arduino.
The supporting website Robolink provides links to the software to download that includes robokit smart inventor board drivers.
A remote comes with the CoDrone that needs to be assembled.
This is documented systematically on the Robolink website.
I’ve found assembling the CoDrone remote is a great task for the class to do together and discuss the various aspects of the remote. Once these steps are complete, it is time to code and upload to the CoDrone.
Learning to code in Arduino is relativity easy as the Robolink website provides tutorials ranging from beginner to advanced.
Additionally, the Arduino IDE includes a library of functions ready to be used. Starting with the basic tutorials on the Robolink website enabled the students to quickly have a go at flying (and crashing) the CoDrone in the classroom.
The CoDrone Lite arrived during this time and the major differences is the use of Snap! a code block-based programming language and less reliance on the remote controller.
Snap! (formerly BYOB) is a visual, drag-and-drop programming language.
Students enjoyed the Snap! environment and created code for the CoDrone faster, and code that was more accurate.
Working through the tutorials and missions on the Robolink website is worthwhile for students.
Part of the assessment for this unit of work was a Coding Folio that included the programs created and run on the CoDrone by each student.
The major assessment task however, was the creation of a flight path that navigated the machine successfully to its destination, avoiding all obstacles.
We chose to develop a flight path through our library.
Students found this fun and engaging, and the flight path task has since morphed into our schools inaugural “Drone Race”.
Organised and run by the programming class, the school saw a series of heats with year level champions then going toe-to-toe in a sudden death round.
Eventually the champion of the champions emerged to claim the title in what was a hard fought battle.