PCS Robotics for STEM Education
- Industry research from the International Federation of Robotics reports 1.2MM entertainment and hobby robotics units sold in 2013, with over 7.5MM projected from 2014 to 2017.
- Robotics is a natural educational platform, a “prime enabler” because it integrates multiple areas
- PCS has proprietary K12 robotics materials including controllers, software, and curriculum
- PCS has an established a network of 7,000 customers and lab sites, many of whom are robotics customers
- Robotics is one of the fastest growing industries on the planet
PCS Robotics features the PCS Brain and Cortex, our own microcontroller and programming software designed specifically with the educator in mind. Multiple levels of programming in the Cortex empowers students from the elementary level to high school, and the open architecture of the device makes it a perfect complement for university and hobbyist applications.
From an educator’s perspective, we wanted The Brain to be easy to use and flexible
– that’s why it has physical hooks that allow it connect to fischertechnik, LEGO, K’NEX, VEX, Erector etc. You can even bolt it on to R/C hobby systems. Educators working in technical education will often have a lot of legacy materials in their store room – kits from LEGO, fischertechnik, VEX, etc. – and The Brain can bring new life to them.
Different levels of programming prepare students for real world programming challenges. Cortex, the software that drives The Brain, was designed for educational applications as well. The first level is a GUI with drag-and-drop icons in a simple-to-use environment that is appropriate for any beginner whether they be hobbyists wanting a simple solution or elementary students just starting out in robotics. The next level is the Arduino code output; here users can choose to see the code they have produced with the drag-and-drop program they put together. In doing so, Cortex provides the perfect transition from understanding basic programming concepts, to learning how to create code in an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
Finally, besides our educator friendly hardware and software, PCS has developed multiple volumes of STEM curriculum and robotics kits that address mechanical engineering, robotics, electronics, and applied mathematics as well as hundreds of other activities and challenges for educators utilizing robotics in the classroom. In a nutshell, PCS loves Robotics! Check out our new Discover Robotics kits and other Discover products that address computer science physics, engineering, and more.
For all of our shareholders following the PCS story, you should know that the business of robotics is exploding, and its applications in education are extraordinary since it is a natural platform for embedding science, technology, engineering, math and 21st century skills. Here are some quick statistics on educational robotics:
First LEGO League, a major robotics competition, hosted over 19,134 teams worldwide with over 212,000 students in 2011. There are over 100 robotics competitions annually.
Thousands of the nation’s 2.7 million Boy Scouts will earn the BSA Merit Badge in Robotics this year.
Science Olympiad, conducted in over 14,000 schools nationwide, includes a Sumo Robotics division now for students.
The United States now has an official National Robotics Week the purpose of which is celebrate the US as a leader in robotics technology development, educate the public about how robotics technology impacts society, to advocate for increase funding for research, and to inspire students of all ages to pursue careers in robotics and other STEM fields.
and is working hard to expand our offerings and increase revenues in this area. Check out our RiQ retail robotics offering and our new Discover Robotics kits that address computer science and physics. See pictures of students working with PCS Robotics gear at the PCS EdventuresLab in Boise and Eagle,