For the past eight years, Pitsco has affected classrooms and robotics competitions around the world with TETRIX® robotics. The TETRIX MAX and PRIME building systems have brought simplicity, reliability, and quality to the remote-controlled robotics space, and now we're bringing those same virtues to autonomous robotics with the introduction of the TETRIX PRIZM™ Robotics Controller.
“When developing the TETRIX PRIZM Robotics Controller, we wanted it to be very easy to use – plug-and-play for the classroom,” said Paul Uttley, Pitsco R&D manager. “We also knew that PRIZM had the opportunity to be used in robotics competitions, so it had to be approachable yet robust enough and with a high enough ceiling that experienced students who are competing could push the limits as well.”
For classroom or competition robotics, the PRIZM controller comes packed with features in terms of power and expandability. The device contains six standard servo motor ports, two continuous rotation servo ports, eight sensor ports, a battery port, and two DC motor ports. If that isn't enough, an expansion port offers the option to add motors, sensors, and even another PRIZM controller.
Some teachers might be skeptical of robotics, but with many studies pointing to the growth of robotics in the workforce, STEM education has never been more important. Robotics integrates all aspects of STEM in a way no other subject can. The capability to teach students about robotics and coding is critical for educators, and PRIZM provides everything students and teachers need for easy entry into the world of coding and engineering real-world robots.
PRIZM is built upon Arduino architecture and is programmed using the Arduino Software (IDE), meaning that PRIZM users have access to the massive Arduino online community and support materials to teach beginners the basics of coding. To make life for budding programmers even easier, Pitsco also provides a free downloadable PRIZM Arduino library, a plug-in to the Arduino Software (IDE) that supplies coding shortcuts for PRIZM. Students may use the code provided as a jumping-off point to learn about the platform prior to scripting their own code.
To make teaching and learning with the PRIZM an even greater experience, our robotics experts created a comprehensive programming guide. The guide contains 15 total activities. Five getting-started activities get students familiarized with using the Arduino Software (IDE) and PRIZM to control motors and sensors, and 10 complete activities teach the basics of programming a robot to perform various tasks. The TETRIX MAX Programmable and Dual-Control Robotics Sets that include the PRIZM Controller come with a printed copy of the PRIZM Programming Guide, or the guide can be downloaded for free at www.TETRIXrobotics.com/PRIZMdownloads.
“This is a project we’ve discussed for a long time, and we’ve had a goal to develop an addition to TETRIX that would be a game changer for Pitsco Education,” said Uttley. “We are excited because we have accomplished that goal, and I can’t wait to see it in action in the classroom and on the competition floor.”
PRIZM is now available for purchase at www.TETRIXrobotics.com. The robotics controller can be purchased as a stand-alone product for customers who own a MAX set or as a part of the TETRIX MAX Programmable and Dual-Robotics Sets. This is a huge step for TETRIX, and we know our customers will do wonderful things with PRIZM.