It’s been a while since I last blogged. That’s because February has turned out to be such a busy month for our family. But I’m finally back and I’m so excited to share with you all about a robotics trial class for kids that my son, Ziggy, was able to join at Smarter Robotics.
Ziggy has always been into robots but prior to this class he has never had any formal class experience on robotics. It was actually great timing that he was able to try this one because we have been looking for extra-curricular activities he could join as an addition to our homeschool lessons.
Off we went to Smarter Robotics at the Shangri-La Plaza mall last January 19, 2019 to learn more about Artificial Intelligence and Humanoid Robotics. Smarter Robotics is actually on a mission to produce responsible stewards of AI and Humanoid Robotics by providing a high standard of robotics education.
I learned that the robotics classes we see being offered for kids these days are usually Lego robotics, which is actually no longer at par with the technology available today. Instead of this, Smarter Robotics wants to provide kids with technologically advanced robotics class or STEAM programming beyond the bricks.
To achieve their goals, Smarter Robotics offers four program levels – Novice Program, Advanced Program, AI Robotics Program and Applied Engineering Program. Beginners start with the Novice Program (meant for kids ages 6 – 9 years old) and when they finish the course they can proceed to the next level. The courses are taught by industry experts whom they call their Robocoaches.
Trial Class Experience
The class started with an explanation of what Smarter Robotics is about. They shared details about their classes and even showed a demonstration of a humanoid robot at work. The robot actually moved in tune to music which was so cool. Ziggy and I were both impressed. We got even more excited to learn that the kids will actually be taught how to build their own robot and program it to follow certain movements.
Ziggy ended up working with another boy and they shared a Robocoach who guided them on what to do. They were given a plastic box full of all sorts of pieces that they were supposed to use to build their robots. They followed instructions using an app on an iPad. The instructions came with illustrations and so the kids were able to follow them easily. It took them no time at all to finish the first and easiest robot on the list that was available to them.
Because they found the first robot quite easy to make, their Robocoach allowed them to choose a more challenging robot to make. Usually though, students can only make one project per class and they have to follow a sequence of robots starting from the easiest to the most complicated. This time though, the boys were allowed to choose a dinosaur robot which was one of the more complicated ones because it had a lot of parts.
Ziggy and his partner were actually able to finish building the dinosaur robot and were even able to try the programming part. They used the app to program movements so that the dinosaur could walk. I initially thought this would be a hard task for a child to accomplish but the instructions on the app were easy to follow and the illustrations also helped a lot. There was a lot of trial and error though before they were able to make the dinosaur walk properly.
Ziggy truly enjoyed the class so much that he actually asked if he could take the robot home. He didn’t want to leave the class and was the last one to leave the room. So, we’re really hoping that we would be able to enroll him in a full program soon. We believe that it will be a great opportunity for him because learning AI and Humanoid Robotics is now a must for kids these days.