Robotics camp offered at kids college

July 7, 2014 Latest Print Print
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College for Kids camps offer classes using computers, assorted musical instruments — and robots that sing and dance.

Humanoid Robotics is a class offered in cooperation with Techjoynt, a company based on educating children on technology, said Instructor Sean Anderson.

A white robot called NAO, complete with two arms, two legs, a head, knees, elbows, ankles and movable fingers is used to teach the summer class.

Anderson said NAO cost $8,000 — at a sizeable discount.

When activated by a computer, NAO’s eyes glow and he comes to life, standing upright much like a real person would, using his hands to push himself up.

He even dances. During a recent visit to the class, when Anderson played the song “Gangnam Style,” NAO’s hands took the horse riding position and he did the famously goofy dance without missing a beat.

“Most people see a robot and they’re like, ‘Oh, it just works,’” Anderson said. “Well, how do you get the logic behind making something work?”

Jean Paul Tugirimana, Educational Technology manager at Techjoynt, is the other instructor of the class.

“They use software called Choreograph,” Tugirimana said, “which is a software specifically used to program the robot.

“It’s an easy-to-use software since it is a visually based software where they use boxes to program the robot.”

Tugirimana explained the teaching process.

“We have two ways that we help students learn how to program,” he said.

“First, we have them learn individually. Depending on the interests of the kid, they can go further.

So we give them individual projects.

“But we also like to teach them to work in teams. So we have three to four teams, and each team has three to four members, and they work in teams.

“They come up with an idea for what they want the robot to do.”

What exactly can NAO do? Tugirimana said that is completely up to the students.

“We want them to be creative and imagine more things they can do, and go further as programmers.

“When they leave this class, they know the basics of programming. They know how to think like a programmer.”

Anderson said Humanoid Robotics camp will be held one last time this summer the week of Monday, July 14, through Friday, July 18.

To enroll, go by the FACE Center located about one mile north of teh main campus at 6500 S Land Ave. or call 405-686-6222.

For more information about Techjoynt, visit techjoynt.com.

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