Promoting children’s coding ability with AI robot technique

Bridging the IT gap between the general public and the disabled 권동호 기자l승인2023.01.17l수정2023.01.17 13:04

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▲ AI Control / CEO Park June-Hyung

My coding teacher: i-COBOT

Incumbent primary school teachers involved in development

AI Control, founded in April 2020, is an edu-tech and smart device company that developed i-COBOT, a coding robot for children’s education that allows children to learn coding and to see their result. I-Cobot is a coding robot with various functions implemented so that children can actually check coding while learning it. It is equipped with 5 types of sensors including IR, temperature and humidity, illumination and sound sensors, and 3 types of motor, speaker and RGB LED output devices. It is possible for children to implement the system by making the robot move while they do coding and to check if what they have done is correct. For example, a sound sensor can be used to detect sounds occurring in the surroundings through a microphone, and an IR sensor can be used to distinguish between black and white and move along a line. It is also possible to code to get out of the maze with an IR sensor by installing obstacles around instead of lines. In addition to driving using a motor, it is also possible to play songs by generating continuous musical scale values (frequency) with a mini speaker. 

I-Cobot can be coded with scratch, entry, and arduino, and plans to sell textbooks developed by teachers who are currently conducting coding education at elementary schools in February next year. The textbook contains cartoons that are easy for children to understand about solving environmental problems through coding with help of the three cute animal characters. Through this, not only the regular coding curriculum, but also additional learning is possible.

 

Coding process at a glance

Block coding board: Co-Book

The reason children have difficulty in coding is because the structure of coding is invisible. If you put in a command and test the finished product through a machine, you can confirm that it works, but it is difficult to visually see what is wrong and why it works properly. Things that are invisible to the naked eye can also act as a factor that discourages children from studying. 

AI Control is developing Co-Book, a block coding board that allows children to learn coding easy and fun when they enter coding into robots as well as robots to compensate for this. Co-Book is a tool that helps children visually understand the structure of invisible coding by using a board of 6 rows and 4 columns and about 40 structural blocks. Blocks are used instead of commands, and coding is completed when blocks are inserted. As it is a board game familiar to children, children can approach it more closely. After coding a function suitable for a mode in a block shape, it is transmitted to I-Cobot or an app, and the robot operates according to the coded contents or on the app screen. One of its strengths is that it does not require a computer or tablet, which is an essential element for coding, and there is no need to worry about losing parts because the product has a separate space for storing chips and a space for playing. 

AI Control has completed Co-BOOK patent registration and provides a block coding app that makes it easy to understand coding and the operation principle of robots. The app is also to be built to provide easy-to-follow coding videos for each chapter alongside forming an online community for children to submit problems and share answers every two weeks. AI Control said, “We plan to hold a coding contest using I-Cobot and a coding school or robot school using the upcoming vacation period.” 

 

Implementation of autonomous driving with ROS

Self-driving mobile platform: CAMP-1

One of the fields that is receiving the most attention in the automotive industry is autonomous driving. Autonomous driving is one of the core technologies of the 4th industrial revolution, and it is a field that requires education to develop future technical manpower. 

AI Control’s CAMP-1 is a mobile platform that can implement autonomous driving through ROS (Robot Operation System), the most widely used communication-based robot operating system in industrial settings. CAMP-1 is a platform that implements artificial intelligence image processing technology for object recognition and is already being used in several science museums and schools. 

The self-driving technology used in CAMP-1 was developed by AI Control based on camera image processing. AI Control, which performed self-driving mobile exhibition services at the National Science Museum, also developed a quadruped walking robot platform that helps development of various autonomous driving technologies. The company also developed an autonomous driving platform that can be used in various environments and an automatic drone battery exchange system using a terrain recognition automatic take-off and landing system. CAMP-1, incorporating these technologies, received many favorable reviews from teachers and parents at the Robo World 2022.

 

Bridging the IT gap between the disabled and the general public

Information and communication aids for the disabled: EA series

ESG management, which has become a recent corporate trend, aims for companies to develop products using eco-friendly materials and to develop products that can be used by the socially underprivileged. 

The EA series developed by AI Control is a good example of this ESG management. The EA series is an abbreviation of Everything is Available, and as its name suggests, it is a mouse for the physically handicapped that helps people who have had difficulty using the Internet or smart devices. AI Control was selected for the ‘Development of Assistive Devices for Information Communication’ by the National Information Society Agency within two months of the company’s establishment. The company has developed a wireless inertial sensor head mouse and breathing switch, and the EA series to which it is applied is a device that can operate the mouse using the movement of the head or lips without manual operation. It is not difficult to use and can be used freely by moving lightly, and above all, it can be used on computers, smartphones, tablets, and Windows, Android, and iOS operating systems. In the EA series, there is the EA-1, which is a headset type that allows you to surf the web without any inconvenience by operating it with the movement of your head, and the EA-2, which supports more real and advanced work than the EA-1. AI Control is not satisfied with this and is currently developing EA-3, which can use smart devices with maximum efficiency through lip manipulation and jaw movement in addition to the functions and operation methods of EA-2. The company has carried out a project to distribute EA-1 free of charge to schools for the physically handicapped, and is seeking to enter overseas markets targeting the United States, Europe, and Arab countries. 

Thanks to these advanced technology, AI Control was selected for the ‘in-house venture fostering program’ by the Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development, Keimyung University’s quadrupedal robot development service agreement, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute’s FAMILY company, and Gyeonggi TP Startup Club IP stepping stone success case. CEO Park June-Hyung said, “The purpose of technology is to make people convenient and safe. We will continue to challenge ourselves so that anyone can freely enjoy and utilize various technologies that make us convenient.” 


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