Robots took over Blind River Library Aug. 29
a week before children returned to classes, young people from blind river, the north shore and elliot lake took part in the robots en route at the blind river library.
The event, held on Wednesday, aug. 29, had the science north bluecoats introduce the youths to learning about coding and robotics.
maureen Caissie, a clerk at the blind river library, said the science north bluecoats contacted the library and asked if they would be interested in hosting the free workshops for children ages seven to 12 years.
Two bluecoat science communicators Grace schmidt and ashton hurst hosted three robotic workshops for 25 children on aug. 29.
The bluecoats use the ez-robot building program to teach the youngsters about coding and robots.
The children first had to assemble their six-legged robots, which looked a little like fiddler crabs. They then had to connect the tablets that the bluecoats provided them to program the robots to follow their commands.
When the power was turned on, the robots awakened as thought they had been asleep.
after learning how to program commands, the children had the robots walking, dancing and bumping into objects on the library floor and exploring their surroundings.
The children had a robot’s eye view with the real-time video camera mounted on top of each one. The image is sent to their individual tablet view screens.
The children’s excitement was evident on their faces as the robots came to life and began obeying their commands.
schmidt said they have been crossing northeastern ontario for seven weeks to introduce young people to such technology.
she added that they do four or five workshops per week.
schmidt said they have 26 robots powered by rechargeable batteries, which operate for about an hour on a charge.
While the robots cannot speak, they are programmed with two songs that they sing.
she adds that sometimes when she’s driving and it is quite in the car, she says “i think i’m hearing the songs. i’m not, they’re all off in the box.”
kim breckon, of elliot lake, attended the event at the blind river library to give three of her four children an opportunity to learn more about robots.
she says her husband is a teacher at Villa Française des Jeunes in elliot lake, and he teaches robotics.
in addition, her oldest son, Jean-mathieu dionne, is into robots and has even gone to a competition in sudbury.
Courtney Verhey watches her two children Jubilee and Emery program the robots under the supervision of Science North Bluecoat communicator Grace Schmidt at the Blind River Library on Aug. 29.