Jade is a fantastic new educational robot from Canada. Jade is quite small, being about 15cm square by about 7cm high, but it is packed full of technology and is highly programmable using either Scratch or C. It has several features that make it particularly suitable for use in robotics classes:
- It is constructed so that all the main components are visible. They are also labelled on the circuit board;
- It includes 3 distance sensors (two on the front, one on the rear)
- It has 3 light sensors (two on the front, one on the rear);
- It has a set of 3 line tracking sensors underneath;
- It also has a spectrometer underneath, so it can do a bit of real science, measuring light reflected from the surface over which is travelling at various visible and infra-red wavelengths;
- Also on board is an OLED display and a set of buttons for controlling it locally, so it doesn’t need a computer to operate.
- It gets around on individually motorised tracks, so it is highly maneuverable;
- It is even expandable, having the facility to mount and control a 3D-printed gripper. It can also have a camera attached.
Jade was the centrepiece of our presence at the Suffolk Show in 2015 and 2016