Hello World! Welcome to the Robot In A Can Blog. My name is Ben and the vision of building recycled electronics projects for a living has been my dream since I was 15. I started getting serious about it when a great professor tasked me with a project. She wanted me to try building some educational materials, specifically to build hardware labs for the Raspberry Pi (an awesome very small, very cheap computer that represents a big idea).
The first labs I made were sloppy and inefficient. I observed lots of problems that made this subject difficult to teach in a classroom settings. I wanted a solution that was cleaner and easy to follow. So naturally, I jumped into an electronics dumpster to start fishing for materials to make prototypes. Then I started teaching with them to test them out. The project became my Undergraduate thesis at the University of Guelph in 2014. I found it incredibly challenging and rewarding building useful educational resource materials then teaching and testing lessons.
“Every maker of video games knows something that the makers of curriculum don't seem to understand. You'll never see a video game being advertised as being easy. Kids who do not like school will tell you it's not because it's too hard. It's because it's--boring”
― Seymour Papert
Engaging ways to teach that are not boring, challenging, and effective? It CAN be done! Our research is about how we can create that experience. It is now June of 2018 and I am continuing this task. About 8 prototypes later and I am always looking for ways to make better educational materials. This obsession has slowly grown into what is now the Robot In A Can project!
Figuring out my own identity, while clarifying the vision for the company is challenging. Learning how to realize this idea is an exciting adventure. I am excited to bring this project to life, watch the product evolve, and enjoy the process.
I have decided to write about what I am learning and my thoughts on the way! I am also here to recount the tales and some of the R & D that have brought the project to this point. I look forward to having a few guests post their own perspective and opinions too.
Thanks for reading.