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April 2001

ROVer Ranch

ROVer Ranch features resources for teaching or learning about robotic engineering, the development of robots, and their elements and systems.
The site is appealing, with a simple, uncluttered layout and few graphics. The 3-D robot simulations require a Windows platform, but the rest of the site works on all platforms.
Links to the main sections of the site are in the left-side menu, and a handy site map is available. An outside link opens in a new window, so a user can just close the window to return to the main page.
Anyone with even the slightest interest in robots and robotics should enjoy this page. ROVer Ranch provides background information in Robots 101 to familiarize users with important aspects of robotics. The teacher's guide correlates the lessons with national science and math standards and links to other educational resources. A host of activities, such as Take a Robot Qwhiz! and Make a Balloon-powered Nanorover! will keep students coming back for more. Best of all, a set of programs allows visitors to build and test their own robots in a 3-D VRML environment! Users of robot simulations must register but it's free.