This blog post was written by Suzanne Morrison, Communications Coordinator at TechAlliance.
The London Public Library let robots loose on the main floor of the Central Library on Friday – but don’t worry, we aren’t expecting the likes of the Terminator any time soon.
As part of the Library’s summer programming schedule a handful of students spent their Friday afternoon building SpinBots.
SpinBots are triple-armed pen-grasping robots that spin free on large sheets of paper drawing elaborate geometric shapes.
A group of 10 students, aged 9-13, started with nothing more than a few pieces of plastic, wires and cable ties, and within half an hour had created full-functioning robots that were spinning around the library floor.
The students learned about currency, power sources and how simple materials can be used to create new technologies. One student commented that “The wires were the most fun part,” but that you need to “be patient” while building the robots.
The group of student engineers quickly shifted gears into student artisans, adjusting their marker components to different heights and changing out colours to create new and different designs.
“It’s our first attempt at a maker event so far,” said Barbara Adams, Supervisor of the Children’s Library and the Teen Annex.
The event builds on the growing popularity of the grassroots maker movement that aims to repurpose and build technology within the do-it-yourself and open source community. The maker movement has been gaining traction, particularly in London with the launch of the DH Maker Bus community project.
The SpinBot kits used in this activity can be purchased online at MakerShed.com.