Lego Robotics Lab

Parents should prepare to be dazzled and amazed during the Open House tonight, as students show off the creative work they’ve accomplished in less than three weeks.

Those who visit the Lego Robotics room will have to prepare themselves to experience a time warp. It’s like stepping into the future.

Anuraa and Krisha can’t wait to demonstrate their Lego Robotics creation.

“We had to pick a big project that we wanted to show our parents,” Anuraa explained. “We wanted to build a big animal that could move.”

“We’re making an elephant!” Krisha exclaimed.

“We’re going to program it to move its trunk back and forth,” Anuraa added.

The girls said nature-inspired robotics are the wave of the future. “In the future, people will study animals to figure out how to build robots,” Anuraa said. “It’s called biomimicry.”

One of the more difficult robotics tasks they performed during the class was the orchard challenge.

“The most difficult challenge was the orchard challenge,” said Krisha. Students had to drive a robotic tractor through an orchard.

“It was really hard to stay on the paths,” Anuraa said.

Krisha and Anuraa participated in Lego League at their school, which led to their interest in this class. It also helps them to prepare for their future careers.

“I want to be a robotics engineer,” Krisha said.

“I want to be a software engineer,” said Anuraa.

Max and Miles attempted a risky mechanical design that the teacher said had not worked in past attempts. “It hasn’t been tried successfully in this class,” Miles said.

Max said the idea came about when the team was brainstorming ways to maneuver a tricky obstacle. “We were saying, what’s a way we can get something over the wall for robo-cross?” he said. Their Teacher’s Assistant suggested an element she had successfully used in her high school robotics experience – a rack and pinion system.

According to Google Dictionary, a rack and pinion is a mechanism, as for a car steering system, using a fixed cogged or toothed bar or rail engaging with a smaller cog.

“Basically you have a motor that turns a gear and raises the rack,” Miles explained.

The boys were anxious to try the system out in a real challenge, like the Science Olympiad.According to the boys, teams earn points for completing various challenges in the Olympiad. “It’s a course with objects to move into different zones,” Miles said.

“There are two kinds of ways to do it – autonomous or remote control,” said Max. Autonomous robots are programmed to run a series of actions. Max and Miles chose to build a remote device to control their robot’s motions.

“It’s a lot of, ‘if then,’ do that,” said Max.

Noah, Jack, and Giovanni created a working assembly line for their final project. “It assembles spinners and then spins them,” Noah explained. Their massive and complex construction required two Lego programmable bricks and color sensors.

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