Robot Fun at the University Transition Event

Cowardly Programming
Making Robot Cowards with C#

Sometimes it helps to read the specification. I’d been asked to prepare a talk for a schools visit today. Six sessions in front of students from schools who were visiting the university to learn about the kind of things we do. I thought Oscar the robot and the Kinect SDK might hit the spot, so I made my slides, built some demos and turned up to give a talk to a bunch of interested Sixth Formers. Who were between 8 and 9 years old. Ooops.Turned out that this was a visit from youngsters looking at moving to the new Northern Academy which opens in 2012. If I’d taken the trouble to read up on the event I would have known all this. Oh well.

During the introductory talk I made some frantic changes to the slide deck and then off we went. Children at this age are about the toughest audience you can get. You either have them, or you haven’t. The good thing was that I had some nice props. I had a robot that you could control by touching your hand on you head. And this proved very popular. At the end of every talk we had a queue waiting for their turn to step in front of the Kinect Sensor and make Oscar the robot do a wheelie.

Who's Next
Who wants to have a go next?

It was really hard work, but enormous fun. All the kids were fantastic and a real credit to their schools. I got some great questions from the audience and everyone left happy, including me.

Customer 2Customer 1
Two satisfied customers

Watching Oscar
Watching Oscar

Thanks to Moy Lanade for sorting everything out and Mike Park, University Photographer, for the pictures.