One of the main thoughts with my Raspberry Pi club at school is always around how I can deliver great projects with spending the minimum amount of money. My budget for the year is relatively low so I have to make every penny count. I was therefore really excited when 4Tronix send me an Agobo robot to review and test.
The build was relatively simple and I have a sample worksheet I used with the club to download from here.
This poses an age old question, how do you share one robot with a whole club of students? It took a moment of thinking outside of the box to come up with a relatively simple plan. The Agobo runs from a Raspberry Pi model A+ with WIFI connectivity.
My starting point was to the run the A+ from a fixed power supply rather than the battery, connect it to my Raspberry Pi WIFI network and establish its IP address.
I then created 8 students folders containing the essential libraries and sample code in folders called student1 up to student8.
I got each student to SSH into the Agobo Pi from their Raspberry Pis – which they loved and found very exciting. With each student having their own work area on the Agobo they were able to tinker with their code and save it without affecting anyone else.
There was an obvious disadvantage to this method:
Firstly being tethered with a charger the students were unable to fully test their code until I shut it down and powered it back on with the battery pack. Not being fully sure of how long the battery would last I didn’t want to run it from there the whole time.
Secondly, the code needs to end cleanly with agobo.cleanup() so the students were told that they could only run the program one at a time and it should come to an end cleanly and not be stopped.
Once everyone had finished their task I rebooted the Agobo after switching over to the batter pack, checked the IP address hadn’t changed again and got the students to log back into their folder and run their code. This worked really well and I was very pleased that I was able to share 1 robot amongst 8 students.