Oct 11 Robotics Reviewed
The newly incorporated subject ‘Robotics’, led by Mr. Barnes, is a class where students will find themselves working as a team, embracing technology (both physically and digitally), and putting in some elbow grease to be left with a fully functioning, mobile phone and remote-controlled robot!
The class takes place in Dowley house, where the large lecture hall, spacious classrooms and outdoor tarmacadam allow students to build their robots with space on their side. Over the six-week period of a class’s module, the six robotics classes are sectored into different groups, with activities set out for each class.
Class 1; This class is solely an introduction to Robotics as a class, where Mr. Barnes will explain in detail to the class what will take course over the six weeks.
Class 2; The inchoate stages of the robot’s assembly begins.
Class 3; The continuation of the robot’s assembly progresses.
Class 4; The final stages of the robot’s assembly as well as the forming of a map for the robot to drive is designed.
Class 5; Final design of the map is drawn, and the robot will drive through this course. A video will be taken to show the capabilities of the robot.
Class 6; The disassembly of the robot will take place.
Throughout these six classes, pictures and videos are taken by students to document their progress in assembling the robot and when fully functioning, to document the quality of which their robot can drive and maneuver. The robot is also equipped with a small camera which can allow for photographic quality in the robot’s functions.
The class group is broken into roughly eight groups (depending on class group size). These eight groups are chosen completely at random, ensuing team building exercises to underlyingly take place. Classmates learn to work together during the assembly especially, whether that is to help get a screw in place, or to help bring all the final pieces together.
Each group within the class group will be expected to have a result at the end of the six-week period of a fully functioning robot, pictures of the assembly and disassembly, a video of the robot driving and maneuvering as well as a map detailing where the robot drove. Each student group can dedicate a member to be the documenter, the map designer and the hands-on assembler.
My class, St. Kevin’s 4, took part in this robotics class for the first time in our module one, begging the year. I can confidently speak for all my classmates when I express my appreciation for the class. After classes of writing or calculating, we all enjoyed putting our hands to work by assembling the robots. Being placed in random groups had a great effect on my classmates, as we all worked together, whether that was individually or from one group lending a helping hand to those struggling. We all had a blast when driving the robots took place. Whilst being respectful to the neighboring classes by not disturbing them, we all tested our robots in the halls of Dowley House, as well as on the tarmacadam basketball court facing Dowley.
Personally, I worked very well with my group and received great relief when we finally flicked the on switch to the robot, and all the lights began to light up, the motors began to whirr, and the wheels began to spin. I enjoyed the aspect of taking part in work that was not just reading and writing, but by using my head and classmates to physically assemble the robot. I even felt more at ease in the classes that followed, as I got a break from reading and writing in robotics but did not simply lay back and lose focus. I kept my brain switched on as despite the lack of writing, I was kept focused by the fact of always having another stage of the robot’s project to conduct.
Although it is great to praise the quality of the robotics class, it would all go in vain if the man who kept the cogs spinning was not mentioned. Through Mr. Barnes’s dedication to organizing the weekly plan, keeping students on track in assembly and disassembly, and offering a helping hand to those in a tight spot, he left us with a sense of gratitude. On behalf of my class, we all have great thanks for Mr. Barnes.
Overall, the six classes as a whole was a large success. All students took part in every aspect. We all learned something new, whether it was how to wire a battery to a motor or even simply how to work as a team and finish with a final product. A motorized robot.
By Zachary Storey, St. Kevin 4