Mid-Program update: Robotics 2.0 Summer '18

Hey guys! Adam here. We've officially passed the half way mark for our first ever robotics program! For those of you that don't know, running a robotics program has been my biggest dream since we started Kinet-X, so I'm a little sad to be close to the end. 

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A lot’s happened this week. We started working from Day 1. Every student got the opportunity to build a robot twice, and take it apart once - really learning how the parts work, and how to be handy with tools like screwdrivers and hex keys. Day 2 was similarly exciting, when we learned how to code our robots to move. Some students got to write code and make a robot move for the first time! Trust me, there's no smile like the one from a student that gets to see their code work for their first time.

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After that it was all learning about all of the practical applications robots have, adding to our arsenal of code and engineering knowledge. We covered infrared communications, driving our robots with a remote control, ultrasonic sensors, learning how to keep our robots from running into walls and autonomously solve mazes, and servos, learning different ways to "make things move". On top of that students were exposed to the Arduino library that lets them write custom code for their bots, giving them a more challenging alternative to the Scratch blocks that they can also use.

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Since this was mostly a learning week, our projects were on a smaller scale (and also involved a lot of solving mazes...). We had our robots solve mazes multiple ways - by hardcoding a solution, driving it through manually, and using an ultrasonic to intelligentally choose which path to take. We also built "guard dog" robots, that would attack anything in range, and coded our robots to dance for a dance battle at the end of Day 3 :)

It's amazing how much progress we've made in a week, and looking forward it only gets better! Lined up for this week are the much anticipated Soccer and Battle Bot challenges, as well as some further instruction and exploring into building attachments for our robots, new sensors, and the final project. This is probably the first time I've ever said that my weekend's going by too slow, because I'm so excited for all of the robot fun we'll be having starting Monday.

Feel free to reach out to me at adam@kinet-x.org, or email info@kinet-x.org for general questions. Have a great rest of the weekend, and never stop learning!

Allan Wang