Fosscomm 2022

FOSSBot: A DIY open source robot for all the educational levels
2022-11-20, 11:30–12:00 (Europe/Athens), Room III

FOSSBot is a DIY educational robot that was developed by GFOSS and the Harokopio university of Athens during the last year. Due to its wide variety of functionalities, the robot can be used in all levels of education, from Kindergarten to High School.

The robot has multiple sensors, such as ultrasonic, photoresistance, and temperature sensors, odometers, a speaker, a pencil case and other carefully designed parts to facilitate various educational activities. As a result the robot has the ability to follow a line, to record and play user messages, to understand if it is dark or shiny or even to draw shapes on the floor.

Apart from the design of the robot and the development of its hardware composition, which makes it an ideal low-cost education STEM solution, a software application allows both the management of the robot and its programming using three coding modes of various complexity, from simple buttons with pre-programmed actions, to visual blocks of code that can be combined in a graphical UI and tested directly on the robot, and Python programming commands that control the main library of the robot.

FOSSBot can be accessed via a platform. The creation of this platform was based on Fossbot, which has a variety of sensors for conducting experiments in the education of children and adolescents. The purpose of creating both the platform and the robot is to create an environment where it will be possible for students to acquire knowledge through exercises at a practical level, to become familiar with technology from an early age and to develop imagination, computational and critical thinking.

The presentation lasts around a half hour. The presentation will start with the speakers introducing the FOSSBot project and its features, explaining the logic behind the project, the hardware and the software and how continuous integration(CI) works. Part of the presentation will also be a demonstration of the programming modes and how to use each one of them in. The greatest importance we will give to the Blockly UI, since it is the feature that it was custom made for our project! The participants will also have the chance to have a glimpse at the simulation enviroment that was created specifically for our project.

Eleftheria Papageorgiou is a graduate of the Department of Informatics and Telematics of Harokopio University in Athens as well as a member of the team that created FOSSBot. She has also been selected as a contributor to the Google Summer of Code 2022 program for the GFOSS organization and specifically to the project “A DIY Robot kit for educators”, related to Educational Robotics. She is mainly engaged in Educational Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Software Programming.

Iraklis Varlamis is an Associate Professor in Data Management at Harokopio University of Athens and a member of the directors' board of the GFOSS. He holds a PhD in Informatics from Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece and an MSc in Information Systems Engineering from UMIST, UK. He has been involved as a technical coordinator in a number of EU-funded projects concerning knowledge management, data mining and Machine Learning. He has also co-ordinated several EU and National R&D projects concerning data management and personalized delivery of information. He has authored more than 200 articles concerning text and graph mining and intelligent applications in social networks and the web and received more than 3700 citations. Through GFOSS he has mentored several students in Google Summer of Code projects on the development of text mining solutions for Greek regulatory and legal documents and on the development of educational 3D printable robots.