DJI sets up education branch, launches first product
China's DJI Innovations is probably best known for its consumer and enterprise drones, and maybe even its smartphone stabilizers, but last year the company launched an educational robot platform named after its annual RoboMaster Robotics Competition. Now the S1 has been joined by the EP Core, the first product in DJI's new Education branch.
"The RoboMaster EP Core was designed with both the experiences of instructor and student in mind to ensure engagement around STEAM subjects, including artificial intelligence, robotics, programming, and other cutting-edge science and technology," said Jianrong Gao, Head of DJI Education."
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math education, and the EP Core gives students of all abilities hands-on robotics and coding learning opportunities, while providing tutors with supplemental materials to support classroom projects.
The ground-based rover rocks a similar four-wheel base to the RoboMaster S1, with robust steel construction and a platform that can be built, disassembled and modified. Four sensory modules are included, which allow students to connect and power third-party sensors, for example, and its baseplate is compatible with Lego blocks for creative expansion. The bot sports a bevy of ports to allow for connection to up to 39 programmable components, including third-party modules, and it comes with a robot arm and gripper for picking up objects.
Students can look to the platform for an introduction to artificial intelligence (AI) too. Its intelligent controller supports six AI functions, which can be instructed to register lines, vision markers, claps, gestures, people and other robots, with supported programming languages including Scratch, Python, FPV control, custom UI and multi-machine communication.
A software development kit is available to teachers, to help them assist students in diving under the hood and finding out how everything works, while also enabling the creation of interesting projects. The platform is supported by an "engaging curriculum" for CSTA and NGSS middle schoolers, and DJI has also developed a Competition Kit so that teachers can host classroom build/coding competitions.
The RoboMaster EP Core is up for order now. No pricing has been revealed, but those interested in finding out more can register with DJI Education. DJI has also revealed that it's partnering with universities around the globe to offer drone and robotics engineering scholarships, helping to plant the seeds for future roboticists, coders and engineers.
Product page: DJI RoboMaster EP Core