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TWI Wales Helps Introduce Robotics to Schoolchildren

Fri, 05 May, 2023

TWI Technology Centre (Wales) is always keen to work with and embrace schools, colleges and other educational institutions. We have previously hosted visits covering a range of ages, work placements and talks to the public. After all, we need to invest now in more technologists for the future.

A recent successful collaboration with the British Computer Society (BCS) South Wales group, saw TWI robotics engineer Ross Hanna and PhD student and AI researcher Mengyuan Zhang spend a day at Marshfield Primary School in Cardiff, where they supported Paul Bulmer of the BCS on a Lego Mindstorms STEM day activity.

The activity supported used Lego Mindstorms kits to introduce two year five classes (ages 9-10) to the world of robotics.

Firstly, the real-world applications of robotics were introduced to the pupils, including a video on how robots can be used for inspecting aircraft wings, showing the application of robots and NDT to ensure aircraft are safe to fly.

Mengyuan and Ross then introduced the concept of programming a robot, culminating in a virtual on-screen robot, before several working Lego Mindstorms robots were demonstrated, ranging from a line follower to an automated tic-tac-toe game.

Figure 1: Programming a virtual robot
Figure 1: Programming a virtual robot
Figure 2: Line follower robot
Figure 2: Line follower robot

Mengyuan said of the day, “I really enjoyed myself, it was great that science and engineering were being demonstrated to a young age and I will definitely be volunteering for the next session!”

See here for more information on how TWI deploys robot technology for inspections.

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