Youngsters in Delhi had a fun time this weekend with a Winter Robotics Camp in the City. Organised by a private institute, Robo Club, scores of school and college students were taught to make machines, robots and then program them. After having created a robot, they also participated in Robo-races, Obstacle courses, Catapult throws, Maze solving and played Robo-soccer. Certainly, there couldn’t be a better way to put science in action!
Sunaina Sood, director of Robo Club, commented, “Robotics is the most practical way to learn about technology. These days, India is churning out engineers in thousands but hardly anyone is good at it because they never learn to apply it in real life. On the other hand, while making a robot, a child learns the basics of engineering, mechanics as well as mathematics. For the same reason, almost all schools in the developed countries have Robotics as a separate subject.”
“After a brief stay at New Jersey,” she continued, “I realised that we could have a Robotics school in Delhi as well where children are trained to make robots. So I imported the equipment and started these classes and camps. Pleasantly, the response from parents and children has been really good. Hundreds of curious kids are signing up to learn Robotics.”
The Club divided the children in four categories based on their age. Six to eight year olds were taught to make simple machines working with levers, gears, pulleys and axles. Those between nine to 12 years learnt ‘Robotics and Mechanics.’ This included making cable cars, cranes, bridges, conveyor belts, automatic doors, censors etc..
Those between 12 to 16 years of age built a complete robot and programmed it. Different teams were then made to compete in Robo-races, Obstacle courses, Robo-soccer and other games. Lastly, enthusiasts of 16 years and above were trained in advanced robot programming and prepared for international robot competitions.
In fact, Sunaina informed that last year, one of their teams won the Best Robot Performance award in an international competition called First Lego League.
Parents and kids at the camp also looked more than satisfied. Ruchika Rathi, who brought in her seven-year-old son, said, “He is always pulling apart gadgets at home, so we thought he may as well learn to put things together here; and surprisingly, he enjoyed the camp. He made a windmill, a well with a pulley and is keen on doing more. We are glad we brought him here.”
Another parent Manisha Gupta, who got her 12-year-old son here, said, “He made a Lego NXT robot which is an advanced form and also programmed it. It is now winning various games and my son is very happy with his achievement. I don’t think any science class in his school would have taught him so much.”
Robo Club’s next winter camp will run from January 7 to 11 at its Chirag enclave, Nehru place centre.