DJI RoboMaster EP Core review – a great educational robot

The DJI RoboMaster EP Core is the second ground-based robot from DJI with a focus on STEAM education in schools. Let’s take a look and review the EP Core to see if it’s the perfect robot for STEAM education and the modern classroom.

The RoboMaster EP Core is the second educational robot from DJI with a new robotic arm. The EP Core is identical to the original S1 when it comes to the brains and body and wheels with the only difference being the robotic arm. You can even hot-swap the robotic arm for the turret if you wanted to. Other than the new robotic arm, the DJI RoboMaster EP Core is only for schools and other educational institutions, a real bummer.

The build process

While building the EP Core, I noticed the instruction manual had been updated over the S1’s manual making a few of the steps easier to follow and understand. An example of this is the inclusion of the correct amount of lubricant need for the wheels.

The build process was great and was made easier as the car part of the RoboMaster is identical to the RoboMaster S1. Building the robotic arm was also easy to do with clear instructions. You can watch the full sped up build process below:

I’m not sure if the RoboMaster S1 I got my hands on a few weeks ago had a damaged battery door that didn’t seem to click in. This time around with the EP Core, there was no issue with the battery door, and clicked in and locked correctly.

To get the robotic arms working was a bit of a process, not sure if it was my fault or the app not picking up the arm. When I first turned the EP Core, the robotic arm wouldn’t show in the app, but the gripper claw did, which was a little odd as all the servos connect via the same cable. I had to disconnect and reconnect the cables a few times to get it to pick up the arm and was also required to calibrate it to get it working correctly. Once it was set up, it worked flawlessly as all DJI products do.

What makes it different?

The obvious difference with the EP Core RoboMaster over the S1 is the added robotic arm with a gripper on the end. The robotic arm is controlled by two servos, one that lifts it up and down and the other which moves it forward and backward. The RoboMaster EP Core also comes with a power unit that allows you to power devices with 3.3, 5, or 12 volts direct from the battery. It also comes with four data units allowing for third-party devices to be connected and controlled by the robot.

The robotic arm in action

Controlling the arm is very easy to do. In the RoboMaster app controls show up on the screen to control the arm and gripper. You simply slide two sliders and allows you to move the arm forward or backward as well as up and down. Another slider is used to open and close the gripper. If you are wanting to carry objects around with the arm, you have to turn on weight mode, which activates the servos, and stops the arm from lowering from the weight of the object.

Coding the robot

As it is an educational robot, the EP Core can be controlled using Scratch right in the app as well as Python. The robot can also be connected to a computer to be coded as well. You can also control the accessories connected to the analog module to get the RoboMaster doing exactly what you want it to. It also comes with an infrared distance sensor to give the robot object avoidance.

Outcome

The RoboMaster EP Core is another great educational robot from DJI. A few changes made with the EP Core from the S1 makes it even better than before. It’s great to see DJI working hard on creating education products that work well and do what they say they will.

The robotic arm is a cool way for students to code and see a physical result in doing so. The only thing is that the general public can’t buy the EP Core.

The RoboMaster EP Core is available to educational institutes via DJI’s website. The exact price of the robot isn’t shown on the website and is given to you once you work out an order with DJI.

Thanks to DJI for sending out the RoboMaster EP Core for review purposes.

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