We asked Bill to tell us more about the project, because honestly – animals? robots? What’s not to love?!
“The project started with the North Tampa Community Robotics Club,” said Bill, ” but a couple of my other clubs and after school programs wanted to participate. Some of the exhibit will be made by students from Learning Gate School and my South Tampa Community Robotics Club.”
Each critter in the Robotics Zoo will be displayed in its habitat, said Bill. ” Some will be interacting with each other, some with respond to input from the audience. All of the animals and creatures will exhibit a behavior that responds to some sort of sensory stimulus.”
The prairie dogs, for instance, will pop out of their warrens periodically, and when they detect a predator, “they get very excited and it gets a little crazy.”
“Mostly, the animals skeletons and behaviors are constructed with LEGO robotics (MINDSTORMS and WeDo) and we’re finishing them using a variety of craft and art materials. 95% of the work is being done by the kids with parents chipping in to help with more technical aspects or the trickier parts of the craft elements.”
The North Tampa Robotics club is for students interested in working with and learning about robotics using LEGO MINDSTORMS and WeDo and other technologies. Students work in groups to take on a variety of projects. Other projects have included SUMO robotics, musical instruments using the sensors and programming, and a variety of FIRST LEGO League challenges.
The club meets weekly at Messiah Lutheran church in Carrollwood, and Bill’s started a similar club in South Tampa. Both clubs are currently enrolling students in robotics summer camp programs. Details on Bill’s community programs is available at http://funwithbots.com .
See you at the Robotics Zoo, at Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire 2013!