WELCOME TO THE
ROBOT REVOLUTION.

With the rise of open source hardware and 3d printing,  students can do much more than assemble robots – now it is affordable to design and bring them home! 

Our electronics kit is included with weekly tuition at no additional cost*. We think it’s the start of a new generation of robotics education – robotics 2.0

 *Take home kit for ages 9+

Robotics 2.0 - A fun new way to discover STEM..

We take open source systems used to solve real world problems, and make them easy AND fun for young people to play with. We simplify electrics, add protection to components, and we have developed a modular building system made with 3d printed parts, so it all goes together like Lego. Now that students can affordably use real world tools, the possibilities are infinite!

  • Students learn to design, customize and 3d print their robots & electronic gadgets.
  • Suitable for 9yrs upwards, or advanced 8 year olds with coding exposure.
  • We also have a Creator’s program for 7-8 year olds including Engineering Lego®, screen free coding and 3d design using the award winning Maker’s Empire app.
  • 2 x 13/14 week terms per year, monthly payments spread out over 6 months per term (12 months for two terms covering academic year).
  • Commitment for 1 term at a time, cancel commitment within first month if not suitable.
  • During beginner term students make and take home gadgets like a talking robotic pet that reacts to its environment, a wire buzz game, a talking height measuring device, a memory game, and many more. During second or third term students can make and program fully autonomous robots. See FAQ below for more details.
  • Begin programming with Arduino Blockly (difficulty level: somewhere between Scratch and text based coding).
  • Graduate to programming in Python and C++ with more experience.

For new and returning club members aged 9+ we’ve got some cool projects in store..

We’ll be inventing gadgets from parts in our bring-home Inventor Box (included in monthly tuition cost). One of the things we’ll be making is the walking – dancing OTTO DIY robot!
 
 

Weekly Creator’s club for 7-8 year olds

Learn coding screen free with engineering Lego®, design a 3d printable pet, brand new challenges for 2020!

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

In our beginner robotics program we teach all the concepts from the beginning,  so no previous coding, electronics or design experience is required. However students should be capable of quickly grasping the concepts we teach. If you find the program is not suitable you can cancel in the first month without further financial commitment.

We have clubs in Athlone, Mullingar, Portlaoise, Naas, Newbridge, Waterford, Kilkenny and Limerick.

Autumn term begins mid / late September. Spring term begins late feb / early March. You can login to your parent account at any time to see the list of dates for classes. Alternatively you can see the term dates on our booking page.

The monthly cost including kit for ages 9+ is €35.50 – 39.50 depending on the number of weeks in the coming term at your local club. For Creator’s club the cost is  €26.50 – 29.50, tuition only, depending on number of weeks in the term. You can see the price when you click through on the booking page. There are 5 monthly payments in total for one term covering tuition and kit. Since most of our students follow on to the next term, the monthly payment  continues  without any need to start / stop.  With the advent of 3d printing and open source hardware, learning robotics is now more affordable than ever before.

Ages  7-8

Students love making 3d designs at home – so if they have access to a tablet they can bring it to class on days we are doing 3d design (we’ll let you know ahead of time). Otherwise no device needed.

Ages 9+

Students can bring their electronics kit home to play with and modify – so they will need a laptop or tablet (preferably a laptop). Students should bring their device to class so they can save their work. Ideally they should have a backpack large enough to store their device, its charger, and the box for the electronics kit (2.4L size – 20cm long x 20cm wide  x 10cm high).

Payment is debited from your card on the first of every month. With our subscription based system, you will have paid less than the value of kit and tuition during the term in order to spread the payments evenly (most of our customers stay for more than one term). The minimum commitment for this program is for the duration of 1 term. Last payment for autumn term will be taken on the 1st of February (6 payments total), and last payment for spring/summer term is 1st August. We require full commitment for the duration of the program in order for the system to work effectively (purchase of hardware, software and consumables). If you decide this program is not suitable you can cancel your commitment in the first month. First payment is 1st September for Autumn term, and 1st March for spring / summer term. If you register after beginning of term  a covering charge may be added to your first month’s payment. If you wish to continue after term finishes your subscription will continue as normal. If you wish to opt out after completion of the first term please write an email to info@sparkademy.ie and we will cease your subscription once the term is paid in full.

The beginner Inventor Box contains an Arduino compatible controller, light sensor, RGD Leds, ultrasonic sensor, servo motors, capacitative touch sensors, programmable joystick, sound sensor, buzzer. 

Included accessories: Storage container, usb cable, battery connector (batteries not included), screwdriver and fastner kit, crocadile cables, dupont cables and 3 pin sensor connectors.

All sensors and actuators are protected in 3d printed enclosures. At the core of the kit is a 3d printed box that can easily have all the other components attached onto it – just like building with Lego. It can be quickly converted from a game controller into a talking robot, or any other gadget you can think of putting together; with this platform the possibilities are endless!

We may have some limited places available on our Autonomous Tank program (not suitable without some previous exposure to coding) and that kit includes a 3d printed tracked vehicle, n20 motors, bluetooth adapter, arduino compatible controller, rechargable LiPo battery, line following sensors, ultrasonic sensor, beginner friendly motor driver, and custom 3d prints of students’ design.

We begin with teaching the basics of electronics, 3d design, and simple block based coding. Following that we get on to the fun projects students can take home and play with, including..

  • Talking robotic pet that reacts to its environment
  • Laser shooting range
  • Wire buzz game
  • Talking height measuring device
  • Memory and reaction games
  • Light sensing lamp with gesture control
  • Game controller
  • Automatic gate
  • Programmable electronic instrument

The kit is fully expandable in the following term with more open source sensors such as radar, gesture sensor, heart rate sensor, programmable display and animated LEDs. Just imagine the type of gadgets you can invent with these components! We will complete the program by building and programming an OTTO DIY walking-talking programmable robot.

In some of our existing classes we are designing 3d printed robotic cars and wifi connected devices. Once students learn the basics of coding and electronics they can graduate to programming the same devices with languages such as Python and Javascript – hands on, and brains on – we believe this is the most interesting path towards learning how to code or design things.

Deirdre Flynn, Athlone - Aug 2019
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"Enda is so looking forward to getting back into the swing of it again! 😀 He had an amazing time at the summer camp. Thank you for everything."
Ber Carroll, Portlaoise Aug 2019
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"Frankie was busy all summer creating and coming up with ideas. Thank you all so much for the work you do, it's fantastic for kids like Frankie who have the creative mind and just need the tools and encouragement to develop it. Frankie can't wait to get back to classes"
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About us

We believe the best way to prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist is to bridge the gap between the creative and the engineering mind. Our programs are developed by our own engineers and educationalists to help future engineers think like artists and vice versa. 

Sparkademy is now running for its third year, with many of the original students still coming to work on cool projects with their peers. We have over 85% student term to term retention. During our tenure in STEM education we became increasingly frustrated with the lack of suitable learning systems available in the marketplace; most are quite limited in the scope of what can be done, or become very expensive to make more interesting and creative projects.

At the same time there is a worldwide explosion in the maker movement – putting 3d printing and electronics tools into the hands of ordinary people. Still, these new technologies are inaccessible to many people since there  is usually a learning curve to get started.

We have developed our own learning system to help our students engage their creativity, using the type of affordable components that are found in the real world, yet now for the first time, are easy to use  – Welcome to robotics 2.0!

The team

MD: Ross Rabette BE, Kate Rabette M SHRD

Instructors

East: Brian Carey B Ed.

North midlands: Daniel Gomes M Eng.

Southeast: Donnacha Griffin B Ed.

Midwest: Patrick Shelton B Ed.