Mixing education with entertainment, DJI’s Robomaster project is nurturing a new generation of engineers and inventors, introducing them to robotics and programming in a fun, engaging way. The Robomaster S1 is their first commercial available product from this venture, providing children and parents with approachable access to intelligent robotics at home!
What is the Robomaster S1?
The Robomaster S1 is an advanced educational robot built to unlock potential in students. A product of DJI’s yearly RoboMaster robotics competition (which over 20,000 students from more than 400 schools have participated in) the S1 gives users an in-depth understanding of science, maths, physics and programming through a captivating gaming-style experience.
Robomaster S1 at a glance
- Self-built customisable remote control robot
- 46 DIY Programmable Components
- 6 Programmable AI modules
- Onboard camera with Low latency HD FPV
- 4WD omnidirection movement thanks to mecanum wheels
- Innovative hands on learning ‘toy’
- Remote controllable via smartphone app, gamepad or programming
What does it come with?
The Robomaster S1 comes in kit form as part of the experience is learning how to construct and alter the robot. A screwdriver is included alongside a box of fixtures/modules and paired with their online video guides anyone can construct the robot for/with their child or student.
The wheels must be built up from components, chassis configured, canon attached, intelligent modules connected and battery inserted to bring the robot together before the experiments and fun can begin.
The array of inputs and outputs include 7 motors, 6 hit detectors, 7 infrared sensors, 1 visual sensor a microphone, speaker, two gyroscopes and 21 LED lights.
The included servo-targeted canon fires small gel beads. These are shipped in a small container and need to soak in water to expand to their full size (additional ‘ammunition’ is available to purchase in bottles). They are then loaded into a magazine, inserted into the back of the blaster for battles.
Controlling the S1
The can be controlled via the mobile app wirelessly via wifi (which in turn can be managed with the gamepad clamp seen below), directly with a mouse, or remotely via a router. It was designed to be flexible and thus can be raced around like a remote control car (admittedly at a top speed of around 8mph) or actuated carefully to perform a task.
Through programming, the units cameras and sensors also allow it to follow taped or drawn lines and respond to gestures.
An introduction to AI technology
The Robomasters various sensors combine enabling it to recognise gestures, sounds and other S1 units. These are introduced via game modes and races against other Robotmaster S1 robots, alongside other challenges.
- The mecanum 12-roller wheels enable the robot to travel forward and backward but also strafe sideways, providing incredible agility.
- An infra-red canon can ‘fire’ signals to other robots paired with a large servo actuated blaster that fires gel beads (with a limited pitch angle to protect parents!).
Programming language support
- HD FPV Camera with object recognition capabilities that can follow (both people or other robots) or understand instructions.
- Pressure sensitive sensors placed around the robot let it feel impacts from beads fired from other robots.
- Microphone and speaker for remote communication with others and recognition of claps to perform tasks.
The S1 supports both scratch 3.0 and python programming languages. You can ‘teach’ the robot to move and recognise shapes, follow lines on the floor, respond to gestures; the possibilities beyond this seem endless. As the user gets more adept with the technology, they can graduate from the scratch object orientated setup to full python programming.
A programming environment is available for Mac and PC (alongside the usual drivers) whilst applications are available for both iOS and Android devices.
When is it coming out?
At release DJI stated that the S1 would only be available in the US, Japan and China but we have since heard they potentially have plans to bring it to the UK and Europe. We are really excited to get our hands on this product and will update this article with dates as we hear them.
For now you can learn more about the DJI Robomaster S1 on the DJI website.
RC Geeks : Robot Fanatics
Looking for educational toys for children? Check the robotics section of our webstore. Also read our Hexbug Robot Wars review, and our Sphero Mini review. Interested in using robotics around the house? Check out our reviews of the Xiaomi Roborock 2 and the Roborock Xiaowa Lite! If you have any questions about the Robomaster S1, please leave them in the section below.