By Brandon John
On Saturday, August 9, Huskie Robotics demonstrated Annie at the 2014 Scout AirFest at Lewis University. AirFest was designed for Cub Scouts through Boy Scouts, to showcase STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and aviation in particular. Also with us that day was FRC Team 4292: PorterBots, FLL teams Titanium Ducks and Toyminators, and FTC team Crazy Eights.
While we were there, we demonstrated Annie’s abilities to throw the ball by passing it into the cheering crowd. We also displayed her driving and cooperation skills with the Porterbots. A first for us was a ‘hands on’ section where we let the scouts have a turn at driving Annie and the PorterBot on the tennis court.
Below are some photos we took. The PorterBots have a great collection on their Facebook page. Also below is a video filmed and produced by Dhipak using his quadcopter!
Throughout the week of July 21st, the Huskies helped facilitate the DuPage Children’s Museum’s Robotics Camp. The camp taught 3rd through 5th graders the fundamentals of engineering through demonstrations involving simple machines, electronics, programming, and more. Huskie Robotics staffed the demonstrations and helped campers assemble their final project for the week, a remote control car based on principles learned throughout the camp.
On Thursday, we demonstrated our robot Annie, showing the campers a real-world application of the skills they were learning. We discussed Annie’s systems and briefly discussed how the robot worked. Noticeably thrilled by Annie, the campers were excited for the opportunity to catch a ball thrown by Annie’s shooter. After demonstrating the robot, the children seemed even more delighted by the machine’s abilities. Later, we answered the campers’ insightful questions and concluded the demonstration.
The children were grateful for the opportunity to see Annie and learn what we do. Several were already aware of the FRC program, and a few were even involved with FLL (FIRST LEGO League) programs. Hopefully, our demonstration at the DuPage Children’s Museum and the camp as a whole encouraged the campers to pursue engineering- and perhaps even involve themselves in FIRST Robotics.
On Saturday, May 17th, Huskie Robotics went to the Kane County Fair Grounds to promote STEM at the Boy Scouts Of America’s “STEM-O-RAMA”. The event was a massive celebration of science and technology, with activities in underwater robotics, neuroscience, unmanned aerial vehicles, and much more. Huskie Robotics and our robot Annie represented FIRST, alongside PWNAGE (Team 2451), a fellow FRC Team; the Titanium Ducks, an FLL Team; and got robot? (Team 5037) and Cyborg Eagles (Team 7089), local FTC teams. The booths allowed kids to have a hands on experience with the activities that FIRST offered, as they were able to catch and load a ball thrown by Annie, catch Frisbees fired by PWNAGE, watch Lego robots act autonomously, and even control an FTC robot themselves. Our team handed out information on programs that kids could join to satisfy their interest in science, technology, engineering, and math, and we are very grateful to the Boy Scouts for inviting us to help get the STEM message out.