Students design robots to bust a move as part of engineering camp
And that’s exactly what five pairs of middle school students programmed their robots to do this summer.
The Lego Mindstorm creations strutted their stuff at a recital Friday at The Creative Coast headquarters in Savannah.
Moving in time to the hip hop tune, the mechanical heads bobbed and their tiny arms churned as they zipped to and fro on tiny tank treads. Rapper V.I.C. couldn’t have done it better himself.
The local Society of Women Engineers and the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Clubs sponsored the camp that had kids — both boys and girls — spend eight Friday afternoons learning to assemble and code the robots. It’s not as easy as the dances make it look, said Morgan Dennis Jones, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Richmond Hill Middle School.
“There is no trick,” she said. “You have to learn along the way and get there as you learn it.”
Along with the Wobble, each pair of kids programmed their robot to perform one other 30-second dance — call it chip hop — which was also performed.
The Lego robots use drag and drop code that’s easy to teach, said Whitney Holt, president of the Society of Women Engineers Savannah. Then dance is included to lure in more female students.
“If you offer a dance robot team, you have more girls show up because you’re mixing engineering and arts together,” she said.
It worked for Ja’Kayla Brigham, 11, a sixth grader at Hubert Middle School who dances “a lot.” The best thing about her robot?
“I built it.”