Pomelo is an educational robot that is suitable for primary school classrooms. Its aim is to teach coding to younger kids in a simple way.
Pomelo can be programmed to move in desired patterns and directions through physical code-blocks. Teachers can create and assign puzzles or mazes to the students using the aforementioned code blocks. This would, in turn, make them interested in STEM fields.
Learning is best done through playing. Thus, the rudiments for programming can be thought in its best manner through physical toys such as Pomelo. We believe that learning to think like a programmer is not only beneficial to the future programmer but it is beneficial for everyone since skills like problem-solving and analytical thinking are essential for everybody.
To make the interaction between Pomelo and the students more natural, Pomelo has an appearance that children would be comfortable playing with. To accomplish this, we showed different designs to elementary school students and a majority of students said that they preferred to play with the dog-like design.
Pomelo is programmable through the pysical code blocks that are similar to "ABC" block in visual. The kids can put the block together and create a program! To create these aforementioned code blocks we placed an ArUco marker on the top left corner of all sides of the blocks. The camera in the front of the robot reads these markers from top to bottom and performs the moves accordingly.
We wanted to add emotions to Pomelo to make the interaction less mechanical and more organic. To do this we added eyes on the screen at the front of the robot. Now, using the screen Pomelo can be sad or happy depending on the situation.
We used Raspberry Pi 3 as our main processor and the Pololu DRV8835 motor driver to control our two back Micro DC Motor wheels. Pomelo has a rear-wheel drive and a caster wheel in front, providing the movement needed for completing the code-block tasks. In order to process the code-block images, we installed a RasPi Camera and used the OpenCV ArUco library. We also used XPT2046, a 4.3’’ LCD screen, to display Pomelo’s eyes.
This is our presantation at the Pycon UK Conference about our project.
We were the first High School group accepted to the Student Design competition of the Human Robot Interaction conference. At the conference we earned the "Delegates Choice Award" for the Student Design category. Our paper was Published on both The ACM Digital Libary and the IEEE Digital Libary
We participated in FabLearn Asia’20 Students Showcase and Demo with one of our prototypes. We presented our project to the participants in our booth. We also got the chance to test our robot with the kids at the conference.
Our Project was accepted to the Constructivsm 2020 conference. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic this year the conference was cancelled, however, the proceedings were still published on the Trinty College digital libary.
The Connected Learning Summit 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic and therefore the conference was postponed to 2021. Our paper “Pomelo, A Collaborative Education Technology Interaction Robot” was accepted to conference in the Showcase category. (updates will be posted)