More robotics today. I have made at least one friend there, a woman who works in a bank downtown but is volunteering in a Robotics program. We worked together and built and programmed a robot that successfully (well, kind of) completed two of the missions. We knocked the dolphin out of the cage, and we repaired the pipeline. I say kind of because we forgot to reset the pipeline when we tested our robot, so it was clear that it would have
repaired the pipeline but we did not actually see it do this for real. Our robot did not exhibit "robust design" - it listed slightly to the right, and when we made small adjustments to the program and tested it again, it missed the dolphin cage by a few centimeters. There was much merriment during the testing-and-troubleshooting process, as our first attempts went spinning into various parts of the game board, knocking over the pipeline, taking out several fish, and generally wreaking havoc. Watching each small adjustment bring us closer and closer to our goal was the most fantastic feeling of success!
I also met a teacher at IS 93 who has a robotics blog
. He is teaching robotics as a class and had several ideas for how to structure lessons and how to use Legos to demonstrate concepts like gear ratios and whatnot. This is where it would help if I actually had a clue about how the insides of things work. Guess I'm gonna learn along with the kids. For the one of the first times in my life, I'm really motivated to learn more about mechanics.
He also showed off his kids' robotics blogs at think.com
And he even live-blogged today's workshop
, with pictures! (Well, one picture).
I also spent a while talking to a filmmaker who is thinking about making a documentary about First Lego League. It was a fun conversation, so I'm really hoping that the project happens and he comes up to film at our school (assuming my principal okays it and we can get release forms and all that).
Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, eh?