I am talking to Bambi Brewer about the new Finch Robot 2.0. Bambi is the director of Engineering at Birdbrain Technologies, the creators of the Finch Robot. Bambi works from the beginning to the end of the development process to design new products, ensure software is reliable and easy to use, and create curriculum pathways to help take robotics projects to the next level.
She has a bachelor in math and physics from Rhodes College, and a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. She has experience in education at all levels and has been designing robotics curricula since 2013. In her free time, she raises a teenager and knits obsessively.
Let’s have a look at the Finch Robot v2, BirdBrain’s latest creation. It’s of course the successor of the popular first Finch Robot and a big shift is the use of the BBC micro:bit as a computational brain of this robot. The finch is a robot that targets kids from Kindergarten to college and allows them to experience their coding creations in a hands-on, physical way.
The micro:bit already features quite a few sensors, such as the accelerometer or buttons. But Finch 2.0 adds even more cool stuff: a whiteboard marker holder, color LEDs, buzzer, light sensor, distance sensor and even line tracking sensor. It’s powered by a rechargeable battery that lasts 7+ hours. And little details make it special for me – things as visual markers on the wheels so you can count the iterations easily.
That’s the geeky hardware bit – the software looks even more exciting with block-based programming in all forms and apps as well as text-based coding supported. We go into details in the interview.