The end of the year brought another round of Recycled Robots to Rata Studios. We kicked things off with an introduction to electricity as the students made their own wiggle bots to take home. Wiggle bots are robots made using a battery, hobby motor, and cup. Some students turned their wiggle bots into mobile monsters, other drawing robots, and still others made fans and face massagers!
In the very next class two enterprising young lads brought their wiggle bots back, but with upgrades their dad helped them undertake over the weekend! These new-and-improved bots featured fancy on-off switches and shiny aluminium foil bodies. Throughout the term other students brought in electronic items to share, many of which had been taken apart to see what was inside (with parent’s permission, of course).
As the term went on students created more advanced robots using the Hummingbird Robot Kit. Unlike the wiggle bots, which can only be turned on or off, these new robots could be programmed to carry out a sequence of tasks!
Through multiple projects students discovered how to use sensors, motors, servos, and LEDs to bring craft and recycled materials to life.
Once everyone had the basics down we moved on to creating final robots for our Robot Petting Zoo. These robots had one special requirement, they had to be activated either by “petting” or “feeding” the robot. There was quite a lot of discussion about which sensors would work best for this task, but eventually all groups settled on either distance sensors or light sensors.
The day of the robot show was quite exciting! There was a lot to get done before our guests began arriving. All the robots still needed to be tested to make sure they were in good working order. Everyone knew just what to do and began working as soon as they arrived. Many people came to pet and feed our robots and best of all, the Petting Zoo closed out with a delicious robot cake made by Charlie’s Mum! (For consumption by humans, not robots)