Build­ing the fu­ture with Te Manawa’s Ro­bot­ics

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY! -

‘‘Thurs­day Night Robots’’ is Te Manawa’s new af­ter school ro­bot­ics pro­gramme. It uses Vex Ro­bot­ics’ IQ sys­tem to present de­sign chal­lenges for Years 6-8. Vex robots are built from a range of Lego-like pieces; snap a few to­gether and it’s not long un­til you’re in busi­ness. The pro­gramme runs for seven weeks, each work­shop build­ing on skills ac­quired in the last, as teams build a robot and re­fine it week to week. Al­though two ses­sions have passed, it’s not too late to join in; the easy-to-grasp as­sem­bly and it­er­a­tive de­sign process can be picked up very quickly.

‘‘Even for those who have never played with robots be­fore, this is an in­tro­duc­tion to the prin­ci­ples of robotic de­sign and build­ing,’’ says Te Manawa’s Kelly Gay.

The Te Manawa school hol­i­day pro­gramme fea­tured ro­bot­ics classes that saw robots rac­ing through ob­sta­cle cour­ses and bat­tling one another for supremacy. Ex­pect to tune Thurs­day’s robots for sim­i­lar chal­lenges. The pro­gramme will also in­volve learn­ing el­e­ments of writ­ing a code, since once you’ve built the robot you then have to tell it what to do! Te Manawa’s ed­u­ca­tors are work­ing with the Cen­tral Ro­bot­ics Trust and other groups to make the mu­seum a hub for ro­bot­ics. Thurs­day Night Robots runs ev­ery week un­til De­cem­ber 1, from 3.30 to 5.30pm. Cost is $20 per work­shop.

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