The Measure of a (Robotic) Bulldog
Students in Mrs Heinricher's US Physical Computing class have been working on creating their very own bulldog. “Basically, we’re designing, programming, and making a robotic bulldog from scratch,” explains Andrew T., a senior in the class. “We will print all the pieces of the ‘skeleton’ on the 3D printer, then piece it all together.” “We’ll cover the skeleton with foam and different materials to make it look more like a bulldog,” explains Muhammad Y., also as senior. Before they can print the skeleton the 3D model, they needed to how big to make it! Fortunately, there's always a willing volunteer in our wonderful Bancroft community. Enter Roz, one of two English bulldogs owned by the Mann family. Roz's mom Donna was kind enough to bring her in so the students could take Roz's measurements. Roz was a very good girl, and the students were able to gather the data they needed to design their robotic version. Once the robotic bulldog is done, the class will be able to control it wirelessly.
Andrew and Muhammad also both happen to be members of the Robodogs, the US robotics teams that will be competing this weekend at the VEX Robotics Regional Championships*, and hoping to earn spots at Worlds. Asked about the overlap between the competitive robotics activities and the Physical Computing class, Muhammad said, “knowing how mechanisms work is definitely helpful, but there’s a big difference between making a bulldog and making a competition robot. We are learning a lot in this class.”
We look forward to being in the audience when the students finish this exciting class project!
*See the Robodogs in action this weekend March 4 & 5, 2017! Saturday from 9-4 & Sunday 9-2 (final rounds 2-4:30) in the Surprenant Bldg at Quinsigamond Community College!
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