TCBS Kids’ Club: Summer Edition 2016:
Lego NXT Sumo Bot Camp!
Do you know kids age 8+ who want to build their own robots?
Send them to our free, eight-week club to introduce them to the world of robotics engineering and programming!
Can’t make it to all eight weeks? No problem! There will always be a way to participate, whether you come for one day or for the whole summer.
Summer Camp is on Mondays from 4p-5p.
For the safety and happiness of everyone, each child must have an accompanying guardian present.
*There will be no Thursday Kids’ Club during June & July 2016*
Our summer club will use the Lego Mindstorms NXT Robotics Kit to create and program robots for the Sumo Bot challenge: Using a programmable “brain” as the core of the robot, kids will use Lego parts, motors, and a variety of sensors to create a robot
to duel in a sumo-type battle.
This is a cooperative engineering exercise where kids will need to work together
as a team to navigate through concepts that involve physics, gear ratios, motor torque, spatial recognition, programming logic, and autonomous robotics… and of course building robots to battle each other!
Monday June 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
Introduction and Building.
Monday July 4th
– NO CLUB –
Monday July 11th, 18th, 25th
Revisions and Programming
Monday August 1st
More About Sumo Bot Camp
The Engineering Department at Delaware Technical Community College has kindly loaned us two kits to use for our program. Kids will form two teams to build their robot using Lego parts, motors, and a variety of sensors. Additionally, we encourage the kids to include any non-Lego parts to their robots that their creativity can come up with (within reason).
At the end of the summer the two robots will compete against each other
in a series of sumo battles and dexterity challenges to see how well our mad scientists’ contraptions hold up under pressure.
More About the Robot Sumo Battle
In a robot Sumo match, two robots start inside a ring marked with a border of a contrasting color and try to be the first one to push the other robot outside the ring (without accidentally driving outside the ring themselves). There are a large variety of mechanical designs and programs that could be used, but most robots start with a light sensor to detect the border of the ring. Can your robot push all of the objects outside of the ring before accidentally driving outside the ring itself?
Here’s a video of the NXT robots Sumo wrestling similarly to what we’re going to make:
About Programming Robots
These are not remote controlled robots! They are programmed to interact with the environment using several different kinds of sensors and driven by a version of LabView programming software custom designed for use with the NXT kits.
The LabView programming software is a visual approach to real machine code language that kids can understand. The concepts learned from working with the software will be an excellent introduction the programming logic that more advanced coding is based on.
The programming process can get a little complex but many kids
should be able to handle it if they desire.
We will encourage everyone to learn at least a little bit of the programming side of things and anyone who chooses to take a serious interest in programming will be fully included in it. However, if they would rather focus on the building and dictate what they want their robots to do, the programming can be done by our coaches.
More About the Lego NXT Kit
The kit is so versatile that it can be used to create anything from simple toy cars to a robotic hand that can solve a Rubik’s cube. The parts used to build the robots are Lego and can be integrated with the simple Lego kits that most kids are already familiar with.
We’ll learn some basic sensor concepts the NXT kit uses:
The NXT kit uses an Ultrasonic sensor as its “sight” to detect objects, similar to the sonar used by submarines.
A Sound sensor allows for sounds to trigger programmed commands.
A Light sensor can be used to detect light levels and some colors to help the robot see even more.
A Touch sensor on which Lego (or other) parts can be attached to create a bumper trigger.