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Building Sumo Robots With the Brain Monkeys Crew (Video)

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the building-fun dept.

Education 15

Ann Arbor based Brain Monkeys is an education company that teaches kids about robots and technology. With the help of her staff, founder Katie Tilton teaches a wide variety of after school classes, workshops, and summer school programs designed to let kids learn through hands-on activities. Recently, I was lucky enough to visit for one of their "Speed Sumo" nights. Kids get a NXT LEGO kit and 90 mins to build a robot that can push another robot out of a small sumo ring. Students get a basic tutorial on what makes a good sumo robot, then are free to come up with designs that they think will work best. Some of the more interesting features I saw included claws, a wedged shaped nose, and a flail-like tail (shout out to The Hammer!). Once the 90 minute build time is up the kids battle it out in the ring with the winner getting a high-five and bragging rights for building the most awesome robot of the night. Katie says: "Every day of the week I teach somewhere. I'm basically a teacher with art on a cart, but I'm robots in a car."

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Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43538757)

Video is three minutes. Robots fight for only fifteen seconds. That is a poor ratio.


davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#43543783)

Still a higher ratio than "Robot Combat League".

No Monkeys (5, Insightful)

Marcion (876801) | about a year and a half ago | (#43538777)

All very worthy no doubt, but I expected monkey brains installed in a robot...

Re:No Monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43538791)

You've been reading too much current scientific literature; it has warped your expectations. Go back to reading sci-fi.

Multi-purpose Robots (4, Funny)

JeanCroix (99825) | about a year and a half ago | (#43538817)

Too many specialized robots lately. If we could create a monkey brain-powered, noodle-making, furniture-building, sumo-fighting UBERrobot, then.. Profit!

Obligatory: (1)

Hartree (191324) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541219)

I, for one, welcome our new "monkey brain-powered, noodle-making, furniture-building, sumo-fighting UBERrobot" overlords!

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43539043)

first I tought that the sumo robot was on the picture

(plus one Informgative) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43539319)

dim. If *BSD is

Lawrence Tech University Robofest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43539523)

LTU in Southfield sponsors a worldwide robotics contest every year called Robofest.

Robosumo in the fall, other activities in the spring. I will be there on Saturday with my students and their robots.

We chose Robofest over First Robotics because of the programming challenge. All robots are completely autonomous. First has stonger engineering challenges. Both are great opportunities for students to learn. I highly recommend this for any and every school to engage students in S.T.E.M. content.

Re:Lawrence Tech University Robofest (-1, Troll)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43539647)

I'll wait for the Robotic Fuckfest, sponsored by RealDoll.

Re:Lawrence Tech University Robofest (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540165)

Troll? Did somebody lose their girlfriend today or what?

how are they so good? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about a year and a half ago | (#43540867)

I sure couldn't hack together a robot like that in 90 minutes

Awesome!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43540993)

Giving kids guidelines & a few ideas then letting their imaginations run wild...what a great way to to let kids be who they are meant to be!

No enough sensor use (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about a year and a half ago | (#43541749)

The kids seem to only use the sensors as a bare minimum (in this case they are specifically directed to use the light sensor to stay in the ring). I'd be far more impressed if the sensor use were to play a larger part, over and above whether the kids can make a "piece of cheese" shaped robot, or a tall, thin robot. Sure all these things are important for stability and wotnot. But really, it's the processing of sensory information that makes it a robot and not a pine car.

Brienne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43543835)

Oh my Brienne of Tarth plays with robots.

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