Friday, March 12, 2010

National Robotics Week

The first annual National Robotics Week is April 10-18, 2010. The purpose of National Robotics Week is to:

  • Celebrate the US as a leader in robotics technology development
  • Educate the public about how robotics technology impacts society, both now and in the future
  • Advocate for increased funding for robotics technology research and development
  • Inspire students of all ages to pursue careers in robotics and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-related fields
Why is robotics important?

  • Robotics technology is a growing industry which creates high-tech jobs in the US
  • Robotics technologies are helping to improve healthcare, national defense, homeland security, energy, manufacturing, logistics, transportation, agriculture, education, consumer goods, and many other sectors
  • Robotics provides an exciting, hands-on way for students to learn Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
You can find more information at

A Little Inspiration from R2-D2

Sometimes it seems like my robotics projects take a long time to be what I want them to be. Progress is just so slow. Other things happen to slow things down. This video gives me great inspiration and reminds me that some things take a lot of little steps.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Scibbler Robot Scribbling

I've posted before about the Scribbler Robot Camps that I am doing with the Monroe City School system. After the students learn the basic functions of the Scribbler (demo, sound, LEDs, motor control, etc.), we have a contest. They are to make their Scibbler play "Charge!", draw one of their initials, and then play "tada!" They have to stay on a piece of 22" X 28" poster board.

They have to work on making the Scribbler run straight, the time duration of the strokes in the letter, turning the proper angles, etc. They get to work on this for about 20 minutes one day and then get about 20 minutes the next day. The work is done based on what they have learned at that point and trial and error for lengths and turn angles and other issues.

This video is of one of the student's work at Carroll High School. Her "K" was the most complex letter chosen. We had Ts, Ls, Ds for instance, but this capital K is impressive. Multi-stroke letters (where they have to back-track) are the hardest. This one was a winner!

By this time the contest is held - the students have had less than 5 hours experience with their Scribblers and robotics!

Pretty neat, huh?