Lego Robots deployed in the community

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Guest blog by Wing (Natalie) Leung, 1st year Robotics student at UWE Bristol. Natalie describes delivering the Lego Mindstorm session that Luca Caruso (another intern) and herself designed and developed during the course of their internship.

This was the first time the Lego Mindstorms session was run – thank you so much to the old library community STEM club for inviting us to deliver these sessions!

Children from different age ranges were fascinated by our cool robots and had the opportunity to get hands on, building their robot from scratch and programming it to complete the task.

In the 1st session, the engineer design process was introduced to the kids through the fun design and building activity. They were challenged to solve the real-life application of buying from a warehouse – their task was to design a warehouse robot that helps the workers deliver the boxes to the right place.

Children built their cars using the instructions and then got creative in designing a carrying mechanism to transport an item safely from a designated start point to the endpoint – the challenge. They needed to think like an engineer. And carefully consider the number of pieces they used as sustainability and cost are also important.

In the 2nd session, children got to learn some simple programming. A program was provided, but they needed to figure out how to make it quicker to win the little competition. We introduced them to simple coding blocks like movements and if-statement, then they were able to understand the code and change some parameters to increase the speed without crashing.

These sessions were a perfect introduction to robotics and taster of engineering. The kids learnt simple robotic concepts like path planning and sensors, all whilst having fun playing with the robots.

Parent’s feedback was that they had never seen their kids being that focused on something.

The DETI Inspire team hopes to deploy more Lego Mindstorm sessions in the next academic year….watch this space to find out more!

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