An Afternoon of Learning and Hacking

August 10, 2017 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

by Whitney Crooks, PhD Graduate in Mechanical Engineering

IMG_0093On Friday, July 7th, the CEEO hosted an afternoon of learning and hacking with MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten (LLK), which shares a love of LEGO with the CEEO and has a similar mission: “develop new technologies that, in the spirit of the blocks and fingerpaint of kindergarten, expand the range of what people can design, create, and learn.”

Together we built and programmed dancing robots that combined LLK’s Scratch, a block-based programming environment, with the CEEO’s Internet of Things (IoT) Education Toolkit for LabVIEW. The robots were built from craft supplies and found materials, such as cardboard tubes and metal hose, and actuated by LEGO WeDo’s. Over the course of three hours, we were able to get several robots up and running. One robot played a ukulele after it received a command from a myRIO via the cloud, and another robot used two WeDos, one connected to LabVIEW and the other to Scratch, to recreate a Tickle Me Elmo. There was also a dancing IMG_0129marionette robot and a dancing robot actuated by a WeDo based on data collected by an Arduino through ScratchX, which allows for experimental extensions to be incorporated into Scratch. The workshop lead to a collaboration in which several students at the CEEO are working with an LLK staff member on an IoT Education Toolkit extension for ScratchX.

 

 

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