We ended the “Engineering Your Future” week, sponsored by DIT and Engineers Ireland, with robot competitions (video footage to come) and awards. On the RoboSlam blog, you can see the full contingent of robots we created. Students earned awards for their essays, test performance, robot design, and the like.
Tag / gaming
Preparing to Slam Again
Ted, Damon, and I have been meeting over the past couple of days to evaluate past events, brainstorm strategies, and plan for upcoming workshops. We enjoy remembering recent Slams….
The organizer of last week’s events at DIT wrote to those of us who conducted the RoboSlam robot hacking workshop. She said:
In fact, in the survey I conducted at the end, 61.8% of 34 participants said it was ‘excellent’ and 35.3% said it was ‘very good’. One student said it was ‘good’ (2.9%) and that was the lowest score Roboslam got. It even beat Wednesday’s visit to the Aviva Stadium which, in the week of the Heineken Cup, is saying something! A whopping 67.6% of participants said it was their favourite on-campus activity and, interestingly, 11 students now say that electronic engineering would be their preferred choice of engineering discipline, up from 8 students at the start of the week…
To read more, please see the RoboSlam blog on this topic.
Please visit our RoboSlam website for new photos about Body Building!
Robot Programming and Testing
Please visit the RoboSlam blog to see the newest photos of our recent robot programming and testing activities. Here’s one of the featured photos form that post:
Learning to Teach Bot-Building
Please check out my newest RoboSlam post:
Yesterday the students who built robots with the crew coordinated by Drs. Ted Burke and Damon Berry headed over to DIT’s Bolton Street location to learn about mechanical, industrial, and product design. Thanks to Kevin Delaney, Ger Reilly, Susan O’Shaughnessy and crew for a fascinating day! I’ll be posting lots more photos of RoboSlam in the days to come. It’s been such fun!
My engineering colleagues, Drs. Ted Burke and Damon Berry, hosted a brilliant RoboSlam last Friday. They had recruited a diverse crowd of participants to help them refine the way they teach kids to build robots. You can see the basic method (which is being tweaked for use with a new group of kids in May) on their RoboSlam website. I’ve attempted to capture the excitement (and my confusion) in the images below.
Before the event, Ted sent me this:
You’re receiving this because you’re on our list of participants for the upcoming RoboSlam workshop. Hopefully you’re still willing and available! If so, please reply to let us know so that we can confirm our numbers.
The details are:
- Date: Friday 22nd March
- Time: 2-6pm
- Location: DIT Kevin St, room TBC
What happens over the course of the afternoon is this:
- We give each of you a bag of carefully selected low-cost components and a link to some online instructions.
- You build and program a small autonomous robot.
- Damon and I hover around offering friendly guidance.
- We all try out our robots!
We previously ran this workshop as a public event in the MAKESHOP which is part of the Science Gallery at Trinity College. It was a resounding success and it convinced us that this has real potential for a wide audience. Our next workshop with ordinary participants is with a larger group of transition year school students who will be visiting Kevin St in May. What you (extraordinary participants) will be doing on March 22nd is basically the same activity that the participants normally do, but what we’re trying to achieve in this session is slightly different:
- Improvement: We want your ideas on how we can refine the RoboSlam recipe. You have been selected for your expertise, wisdom and creativity. Experience the workshop, then think carefully about how we can make it better.
- Promotion: We want to recruit mavens. Makers clubs and workshops are emerging as a critically important channel for getting talented people with a natural interest in technology involved in engineering. We think RoboSlam is a good recipe, so we’re eager to bring it to a wider audience.
Once we get the robots working, we may wish to reward ourselves with a visit to e.g. Ryan’s for some scholarly reflection on all that we have learned. Naturally, this part is optional.
RoboSumo at DIT
One of the things I have been studying here in Dublin is the use of hands-on projects to teach engineering. One example is a very popular electrical engineering course at DIT called RoboSumo.
People who teach this course include Ted Burke, David Dorran, and Damon Berry. Richard Hayes tends to show up at RoboSumo events, too, as do many of the other lecturers. (Ted’s probably going to read this and he’ll likely send me and update of who’s teaching “on the module” this semester so I can tweak my list — I know mine isn’t complete. By the way, I appreciate having you in my audience, Ted!)
Suffice it to say, the whole program gets jazzed up about RoboSumo events. Even the Dean (Dr. Mike Murphy) can be seen in the video of the final competition.
There’s a bit of information about the class on line. The General Rules page explains:
Two robots compete in each bout, each trying to stay in the arena longer than the other robot. Robots are encouraged but not obliged to actively push their opponent out of the arena. … The bout ends either when a robot leaves the arena or once 1 minute has elapsed, whichever occurs first. If only one robot remains in the arena at the end of the bout, that robot is the winner.