Sparki for Design / Programming Class

Hey, Arcbotics community. I’m planning a freshman “intro to engineering/into to comp sci” class. My thought was to introduce the Sparki through various task challenges, and then work from there teaching them programming as they complete mini challenges with the Sparki.
One of my ideas is to teach them some CAD and have them design a bump system for the back end of their Sparki. We could use a 3D printer to let their designs be made real and then they could attach and program this new aspect of the robot. The final project would be having the new Sparkis navigate a forest of obstacles and see whose bump system designs worked best. My question is, could the Sparki accommodate electronically the addition of “on/off” touch sensors. I see there are some open ports on the side of the LCD but I don’t know how to leverage them.

Hi Chia,

Sparki can definitely accommodate that. We have a map of the expansion port here: … sion-port/

You can use the pins as arduino pins, with pinMode and digitalWrite:

Here’s an example of how to use these with a switch:

Let us know if there’s anything else you’re curious about!