Half-term Robots

Six young students aged 11 to 15 came for a week of robot-building.  Here are a couple of videos.

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This Weekend’s Main Event

A royal wedding and FA cup final were not enough to put off our latest roboteers.  Thanushree, Nicola, Xavier and Vivienne crafted some curvy masterpieces, adding lights and gold paint to show off enough bling to rival Miss Markle’s jewellery.  Monster batteries and high-speed motors delivered the sort of power that Manchester United were lacking on the day.  Four functioning robots emerged to complete the competition maze and went home with their creators to be shown off to friends and family.

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Richmond Robotics Workshop

Saturday saw a trip down to Richmond Library for a robotic workshop, which I ran with Avye.  The hot weather did not stop a room full of kids turning up to build and program their Raspberry Pi robots.

Take a look at Avye’s blog for some great pictures, videos and a detailed write-up.

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CoderDojo Coolest Projects

I had a great day out at the CoderDojo Coolest Projects event in London this weekend.  The event showcased the amazing, crazy, weird and wonderful projects created by attendees of the various CoderDojo coding clubs in the UK.  Best of all, my very talented student, Avye, won the prize for the best hardware project!  Read her blog here.

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March Robots: Technical Challenges are No Obstacle!

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This month’s robot builders were Leo and dad, Ben, and Raphael.  When you start out in software development and robotics you need to be prepared for challenges.  This weekend we had our fair share!  Power problems, WiFi problems and remote … Continue reading

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Google Voice Kit Experimentation Setup

I finally got some serious shed time today (first day this year!).  I put together the setup below:

Google AIY Prototyping Setup

This takes the Google AIY Voice Kit out of its cardboard box.  I soldered pins onto the voice hat, which will allow me to connect (and hence voice-control) a number of things such as lights and servo motors.  The ultimate aim is to voice-control a robot built by a friend’s daughter (who is 10 and incredibly creative in digital making).

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Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Challenge

This week I had the pleasure of judging the Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Challenge. This event saw 12 schools compete in a freezing cold RAF Museum in Hendon to win a place at the finals at the Big Bang Fair in March.

All the robots were built using the same Lego Mindstorms kit.  There were two key challenges.  In the speed test, the robots had to run along a 4m track.  In the robotics challenge students could use a variety of techniques to navigate around the board and pick up objects.  Students were also assessed on their robot’s design and programming  and their process and teamwork.  Some ingenious mechanical contraptions were created to grab, pinch and lift and some clever coding used to get the robots to behave.  All-in-all it was encouraging to see some real engineering talent coming from this great initiative.

Congratulations to Reading Girls School and Camden School for Girls for qualifying for the finals in March.

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