【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. robotics /roʊˈbɒt ɪks/ (n.) – the use of technology to make and operate robots
Example: He wanted to study robotics.
2. input /ˈin-ˌpu̇t/ (v.) – to put something in
Example: You can input data on the device through your computer.
3. add-on /ad-ˌän, -ˌȯn/ (n.) – a part or an accessory that can be added on a device
Example: The robot’s add-ons are sold separately.
4. preset /prē-ˌset/ (adj.) – being set or included beforehand
Example: The device had a preset function to turn off when not in use.
5. outreach /ˈau̇t-ˌrēch/ (n.) – an activity or campaign to give help and services in a community
Example: We launched an outreach to promote computer education in rural areas.
Read the text below.
A robot initially manufactured for vacuum cleaning is now a vital tool for robotics education.
The iRobot Corporation first introduced its disc-shaped robotic vacuum called “Roomba” in 2002. After five years, iRobot released “Create”—a programmable robot modeled after Roomba. In December 2014, “Create 2” was launched as the second-generation of the Roomba-based robots.
The brand’s latest version comes with a USB cable, which users can use to connect their robots to their computers in order to add programs. Also, the device allows users to add microcomputers and input other programming languages. The preassembled robot is built with a drill template to ensure safer and easier attachment of add-ons.
Users can control the robots manually through a cable and wirelessly through a microcontroller. Create 2 can be set in semi-manual mode where it would gather data on the surroundings through its sensors and operate according to preset programs.
Among the projects done with Create were Robotic Printer and Bionic Hamster. The former enabled the device to print text or images on floors, while the latter lets the animal control the robot by running inside an attached sphere.
For Create 2, iRobot listed three project ideas—a camera robot that lets the user see the robot’s vision, a mobile robotic DJ that plays music, and a light painting bot that creates images on the floor using LED lights.
The iRobot Create 2 is an affordable educational tool for aspiring robot developers because it costs only $200. It is part of the company’s outreach, which aims to improve the STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education in the United States.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Would you buy iRobot Create 2? Why or why not?
· What would your own iRobot Create look like?
· Do you think it is important to learn how to create robots? Why or why not?
· Should a program on robotics be part of your education’s curriculum? Please explain your answer.