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Summer SAVY Session 1, Day 4 – Robotic Engineering

Posted by on Thursday, June 15, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day 4: The Final Challenges Begin! Day 4 in the SAVY Robotics Engineering Course  

Welcome back to Day 4, where the excitement reaches its peak as the participants embark on their final challenges. Over the past few days, these talented young minds have been exploring the world of robotics, programming, and engineering through the power of LEGO Spike Prime. Today, students put their skills to the test as they work on the ultimate tasks that showcase their creativity and problem-solving abilities.  

Morning Session: Unveiling the Final Challenges  

As the students gather in the buzzing atmosphere of the classroom, they started the morning with a recap of the lessons learned this week regarding programming and building tips. Then, students were given time to test their “Greetings” Therapy Bots. Students participated in a jigsaw-style presentation where students rotated around the room interacting with each team’s robot and providing positive feedback. At the end of the challenge, all students voted on the friendliest robot that would be the best therapy robot to imaginatively be used at the Children’s Hospital. Students were proud of the humanitarian robots they created, as was I!  

Next, we switched gears to prepare for one of our final challenges: creating a functional Mars Rover.  

Students virtually observed robot engineers who worked on creating robots for present and future space missions. This led to discussions about the future of robots in space. As a result of these discussions, students were reeling with ideas on how to create rovers to autonomously move their “moon rocks” to another location and return to the main base. The room filled with anticipation as the challenge designed to stretch their abilities and push their limits began. The students chose teammates, fostering collaboration and camaraderie, as they prepared to tackle these exciting tasks.  

Leading to the end of the day, students started with the brainstorming phase of the engineering design process. The Mars Rover obstacle course calls for a display of technical prowess and nimble problem-solving skills. Each team is tasked with constructing a robot capable of navigating a complex obstacle course to complete the challenge using gears and functional robotic arms. The Mars Rover challenge pushes the students to think like robotic engineers. In this challenge, they must build a robotic arm capable of picking up and moving objects with precision. They worked tirelessly to design their robots, and put plans into action, iterating and improving their designs to enhance the functionality and dexterity of their robotic arms and rovers. 

This evening, feel free to have discussions with your young engineer about their plans for their Mars Rover. What improvements will need to be made in preparation for completing the obstacle course? Students are free to research designs and programming tips that can enhance their robot’s functionality.  

Even though our week is ending, we look forward to the display of innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving as students will face the obstacle course with their Mars Rover. For the grand finale, students will face the exhilarating Sumo Battle. The competition will be fierce, and the atmosphere will be electric as the teams strategize, tweak their robots, and test their programming skills to secure victory. The Sumo Battle is not only a test of technical expertise but also a testament to the participant’s ability to think on their feet and adapt their strategies in real time. Thus far, the students have showcased their talent, ingenuity, and perseverance demonstrating their ability to think critically and solve complex problems. The journey from the first day of the course to the final challenges was not just about building robots; it was about fostering a passion for STEM, nurturing teamwork, and empowering these young minds to become the innovators of the future.  

Ms. Young