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James and Harry encourage the next generation of roboticists

By James Bennett

James Bennett and Harry Rogers have recently been involved in UEA’s science outreach programme which they have helped to embed robotics into. UEA had a fleet of LEGO Mindstorms robots which were used with a previous programming session that needed revitalisation. James redeveloped the session, embedding some key robotics principles and creating new session resources.

In June, Harry and James, along with others they trained, ran this session as part of UEA’s Bringing Scientists to You programme where UEA scientists visit local schools to engage Year 8/9 pupils in science. The session goes down well and a bit of friendly competition helps.

More recently, in October, some students from City College Norwich studying engineering visited UEA. James and Harry expanded the session to go into more detail for the older students who had the chance to tackle more challenges in the longer session. It was thoroughly enjoyed by the students as you can see from their photo.

Credit: City College Norwich, used with permission, also available:

In the session, students first get acquainted with the robot and how they can write python code to get the robot to do what they want which they practise by getting it to drive in given patterns. Next the concept of sensors is introduced allowing the robot to see the world. Finally, the students use the sensor to race around a racetrack and tune a control algorithm to achieve the best result. A lot is covered in a short 45 minute session but the students enjoy seeing how it all comes together. The material for the session is open sourced ( so you can look at it and run or modify the session for your needs.

Published inEventsNewsOutreach & Dissemination

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