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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Barrow pupils put robots to the test in workshops

ROBOTS went head-to-head in a dance-off as fascinated kids got a glimpse into technology destined to become integral to future generations.

Pupils at Roose Primary School were visited by Fran Ward, who takes the work of Cumbria STEM Centre into schools to deliver science, technology, engineering and maths-based activities.

The children relished the chance to take part in a Robolab workshop on controlled technology using Lego Mindstorms robots.

By the end of the workshop, they had created a programme to make the robots dance in an exciting climax to their day.

Mr Ward, a Robolab co-ordinator, of Lindal, said the same type of technology is utilised at a number of local workplaces such as BAE Systems and Sellafield.

He said: “These are companies that all deal with robotically-operated vehicles and it’s giving the kids a first chance to work out how to programme in a world where robots will be massive part of the future.

“What I try and put across to the children, is that when I was their age, 10 or 11, I got the first computer, back when nobody had one, the Commodore Vic-20.

“And between then and now, we’ve come to really rely on computers.

“I’ve got a laptop, desktop, tablet, smartphones all keeping me plugged into the electronic world.

“Nowadays, the world is run by computers.

“But by the time they get to my age, they will have more than one robotic device in their house.

“We’ve come to rely on computers for everything.

“Naturally as a species, we’re very lazy and I guarantee they will have at least two by that time.”

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