Future is here! More and more sectors of society are taking advantage of – or are facing – the use of “smart” machines, which are called, sometimes with abuse of language, “robots”.

But what is a robot, and how does it differ from a simple “machine”? It is not easy to draw a clear dividing line, and this debate will be left to the philosophers (or perhaps around a cup of coffee at Les Ingéniaux 😊 )

Society has never been so much interested and concerned with this topic. Several kids own robotic kits, and they fantasize about creating personalized interactive objects. But they often find themselves quickly limited by the basic kits… without knowing that there are limitless affordable possibilities to expand! To unleash your robotic creativity, it is important to receive an introduction to the existing range of off-the-shelf components (electronic boards, sensors, actuators), and to have an idea of how all these elements interact, controlled by software.

A child uses a multimeter on an Arduino board

One of the most interesting starting points is offered by the Arduino development boards. This project, “open source” both in the software and in hardware components, has made available to the whole community of enthusiasts simple access kits, and a sharing platform that allows everyone to start (light LEDs on, as simple as that!), then, easily learn everything it takes to arrive at much more complex and rewarding creations.

And for those who are passionate about this topic, the next step takes them into the world of ROS (Robot Operating System), a set of very powerful software tools, which go much further in sophistication!

A child uses a multimeter on an Arduino board

A final word for the hardware (the “shell” enclosing the electronics and software): a robot is not only made of bits and wires, but also of an external body, wheels, covers, decorative elements… everything that protects him and makes him look nice and friendly!

With Les Ingéniaux, you also get the possibility to access 3D tools and printers that will help you give a shape to your robotic creations.