What a week! Nearly 100 kids and their parents visited Empow Studios over the course of National Robotics Week for events like visits with iRobot and Wolfram Mathematica, a robot zoo, an electronic robotic art activity, and workshops in stop motion and NXT robotics.
We kicked off the week with a visit from iRobot, known for industrial, military, and consumer robots that perform mission-critical tasks like scouting dangerous environments, assisting with rescue missions, and even keeping your floors clean. Kids learned about robots that can help people clean their houses, that can help with yard work, and that can even find their way around a hospital. The kids had a blast running Scoobas over people’s feet and cleaning out our gutter, filled with simulated (construction paper) leaves.
Representatives from Wolfram Research – including Stephen Wolfram himself – visited Empow Studios and worked with kids as they built and programmed robots, learned about light and sound sensors, played with the Sphero 2.0 and more. Wolfram Research is one of the world’s most respected computer, web, and cloud software companies. It is the creator of Mathematica, used by engineers and educators worldwide, and the newly launched Connected Devices Project, which seeks to catalog every electronic device and household appliance that makes up the Internet of Things.
Stephen Wolfram took the opportunity to teach programming using the Wolfram Language to several kids and their excited parents.
LEGO NXT and EV3 robots came to life at the (Robot) Zoo. Kids tested out the pre-programmed robots, learned about distance sensors and other parts involved, and even tried out a bit of programming themselves.
During our Electronic Robotic Art workshop, kids took apart recycled electronics – keyboards, computer mice, laptops and a variety of other parts – to make some creative robot sculptures. Glitter, glue, scissors, and lots of creativity were in full use during the Craft Bots event, as participants designed and built their own robotic creations.
Teleporting robots, attack roosters, and robotic geckos were all in a day’s work at the Stop Motion Robotics workshop. Events wrapped up with a LEGO NXT Workshop, in which students built awesome NXT projects, making their creations move using an NXT programming language.
Anyone who attended one of our National Robotics Week events was also entered into a drawing to win a Sphero 2.0 – a robotic ball that you can control with your smartphone, race with friends, and use to antagonize pets (and maybe even very tolerant small children!). The lucky winner will be announced on our Facebook Page shortly.