Thursday, April 29, 2010
Day 119 - Building a safer world together
Today I spent the day at a robotic competition with a group of students. Above are two of my students taking the necessary measurements to program their robot. Not only did everyone have a great time but it was great to see the teamwork amongst the groups and the enthusiasm despite the challenges and failed attempts. The challenge for the elementary teams was to find the simulated landmines and show detection by having the light on their robot illuminate. We started with a short presentation about landmines. I was stunned to learn that a landmine can cost as little as $3.00 to build yet so much time, money and precious lives to get rid of them. The engineer also told us about the robots that are being developed to rid the world of landmines and the many challenges to create such machines. Although the challenge was only a simulation, I think it was very important to make the students aware and put their task into perspective. Together, all the teams managed to detect 80 landmines. Hopefully, some of the students present today will go on to study robotics further so that they may have a hand in making the world a safer place.