Today we had a Robots and Rovers workshop at Monday Club. This was a follow up workshop to last week’s visit to the Tin Toys and Tales exhibition at Liskeard Museum and is a part of the Club’s current Space theme.
We began our workshop looking through a slideshow of robots from television and film and we talked about the different styles of robots and their roles. We talked about how some of the robots did household or maintenance tasks (e.g. Robbie, V.I.N.cent, Wall-E) and about how some of them acted as companions for humans. We saw robots who were intended as weapons or to perform useful tasks but who developed personalities of their own (e.g. Johnny Five, Data). We also saw robots who had come to Earth from Space and helped people here (e.g. Bumblebee, The Iron Giant).
After this we looked at some robots in use around the world today. We talked about industrial robots designed to do simple repetitive tasks, and then watched short clips of Baxter, ASIMO, Nao, and Curiosity, and talked about their abilities and the jobs they do.
Finally, we looked at some robots that are available at clubs in Plymouth for kids and young people to learn to program and experiment with, including Sphero and Ozobot. We talked about how these worked and watched some video of Ozobots that one of our members had programmed last week at one of the local clubs.
Next we played with a big lot of different robots and robot toys that one of our members brought in. These were in all shapes and sizes, there were wind-up robots, electronic money boxes, big retro robots, and all sorts of toys.
We watched a video from the Kids Invent Stuff YouTube channel which is running a competition at the moment for 5-11 year olds to invent a household robot. Some of the kids in the group drew robots and ideas while others played Mekorama, a puzzle game where you have to guide a little robot round a level, and made levels of their own.
It was a fun workshop and hopefully some of the ideas will be entered into the competition!