If math + science = success, than Elad Inbar, founder and CEO of RobotsLAB, hopes to add to that equation with his company’s new STEM-BOT 3D, which allows students to print their own robot.
“The 3D printer is the ‘industrial revolution’ of our time,” said Inbar.
San Francisco, Calif.-based RobotsLAB, which specializes in robots and education, introduced STEM-BOT 3D in early February and has already demonstrated it before several thousand teachers at national conferences in Austin and Orlando.
Although there are no sales yet, because of school purchase cycles, RobotsLAB expects hundreds of schools to order STEM-BOT 3D by the end of 2014.
“This is going to be huge. It is important to show students the overall life-cycle of a product and bring real-world applicability to what they are learning in school,” Inbar said. “We bring to life abstract concepts of math and science using robots.”
The STEM-BOT 3D program teaches students how to 3D print a robot, assemble it, work on the electronics, and program it using Scratch.
While the STEM-BOT 3D robot has a price tag $599, the STEM-BOT 3D Class package, offered through RobotsLAB’s new STEM-U, lists for $7,485.
The package includes 15 STEM BOTS, 15 software licenses for programming, all electronics and sensors pre-assembled on the board, all wires and servo parts and 3D printing files of the parts, as well as teacher and student books.
Inbar called the STEM-BOT 3D program a “revolutionary approach to engineering and computer science education.”
The program is modular. Teachers can focus on assembly and 3D printing, by only ordering the motors and electronics; focus on the programming by ordering a pre-built robot; or focus on everything in between, said Inbar.
The curriculum is designed to introduce students to the process of design, manufacturing and construction of a complex robot. After the STEM-BOT 3D construction is complete, students then focus on using their creation to solve problems based around mathematics and physics.
“Robots are the most enjoyable and exciting tools a teacher can bring to the classroom,” said Inbar, adding that the program can be tailored to all levels of education.