Introducing Puppet Masters
Over the summer we’ve been hard at work on a new class that we’ll roll out to our Foundations (ages 10-12) and Journey (ages 12+) classes. With a few notable exceptions, automating puppets is very similar a robotics class and a “must take” for anyone who likes to see their creations come to life!
Puppet Masters will be the first time we teach about the fundamentals of working with servo motors. Servos are a bit different than your typical motor – in additional to movement, it’s possible to provide specific directions such as “move to position 90 degrees”, rather than just spin. As a result, servo motors can be used in applications where very precise movements are required. For our puppet, we’ll have some fun movements like waving, walking, and dancing. In other applications combinations of servos provide some really cool automated capability.
The mariachi style puppet and hardware kit comes to us from a small vendor called MonkMakes, based in the UK. MonkMakes provides a number of maker educational products. For those that have previously taken our robots class, we used a motor control board, also from MonkMakes. The Puppet Kit has everything we need to quickly code up some fun projects using the Python programming language. We have purchased a number of these kits for use in the studio. If your innovator is interested in building and continuing to work with a puppet at home, we’ll be more than happy to pass along purchasing instructions.
There’s a TON of fun things that can be done with servos and puppets. We’re going cover the basics how to code servos with Python then work on some fun movements – waving, walking, even some dancing…
With basic movements down, we’ll be looking at some complex animations, even using game joysticks to control movements. We have a few ideas for competitions – including puppet volleyball, that we’re experimenting as an option. We’re certain this class is going to be a blast! Physical computing (where code meets the real world) is a great way to introduce your youngster to the amazing field of computer science
Check out our seasonal enrollment page for more details on registering for this class: http://predicate.us/#enroll. New to Predicate? Don’t forget to enroll for a Jumpstart class before fall: http://predicate.us/jumpstart.html.