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Have you heard of the Meet Edison Robot?
Most recognizable by his orange shell and LEGO™ compatibility, Edison is an educational robot targeted for elementary and middle school classrooms. Meet Edison can be programmed using Edware, which is similar to flow-chart style programming, or a modified version of Python called EdPy.
Are you on a mission to bring robotics to your classroom? Did you find these robots in a quick google search and think, “wait, this can’t be any good…who sells an educational robot for $50…? It’s probably fake…?!”
If that’s you, and you’re trying to decide whether Edison is right for you, we’re going to save you some time and tell you a few reasons why you shouldn’t buy into the Meet Edison craze.
It’s too inexpensive
We feel that this particular robot provides too much value for the price. For the $50 price-point you’ll have a fully functional robot equipped with IR line trackers, IR distance sensors, 2X LED’s, 3X Buttons, a buzzer, and an IR remote receiver that can be programmed in hundreds of configurations. You won’t get the pleasure of spending hours of your life in your mom’s basement as you accidentally wire the polarity backwards on your battery pack (whoops!).
And, for all you teachers out there, you won’t get to tell your Sup that you’re spending $10,000 of his budget buying only 20 robot kits. Darn! (We both know how disappointed he’ll be!) The most unfortunate part of it all, is that the Edison works with every operating system (Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS).
This leads me to point #2…
You’ll have to download a Chrome Browser
So, for all you Internet Explorer fans out there (do you exist?!), you’ll have to get a copy of the Chrome Browser to program the Edison. All you have to do is install the Edware or EdPy App from the Chrome App store (or launch either from the Chrome browser), and you’ll be ready to create robot programs.
Because it’s so easy, you’re probably upset that they don’t include a 1000 page manual in all 45 languages except English. And you don’t have to install the program from a Floppy Disk. What a bummer!
Most robot kits only allow development on Windows. If you’re the kind of person who likes to discriminate against computer operating systems, then this relationship isn’t going to work.
On top of that, you’ll need to learn their cryptic programming language.
You need to program in a Cryptic Language
Also, the Edison robots speak in a cryptic language, which means you’ll be spending MINUTES (not HOURS) learning how to program it.
If you want to turn on the motors, you’ll have to find the correct control block that says “Dual Drive” with a picture of spinning wheels. The LED’s turn on using a picture of an LED that says “Flash LED”. This language is not only foreign, but it’s almost intuitive. Therefore, you don’t even need to know how to read.
Students won’t pay attention to you
The Meet Edison robot body has Lego™ connectors that students can use to expand the design of their robot. Since most kids know how to use a Lego™ by the time they’re 3 years 7 months and 10 days old, your teaching job will be at jeopardy.
Students will be too busy being creative building forts and adding features onto their Edison robots. As a result, you’ll have trouble prying the robots out of their hands.
Now Available by Learn Robotics
Learn Robotics is a distributor for the Meet Edison robots. We hope you enjoyed this satirical article about Edison. If you’re looking for an affordable robotics solution, we can’t recommend Edison enough.
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You can also purchase your LR ED Bundle, here.
Lastly, if you’d like to bring Edison to your school, we also offer online & on-site training programs for educators. Find out more on our Learn Robotics Academy page or contact one of our Robotics Learning Specialists, today.