Jack just finished building up the robots for the Abu Dhabi Science Festival in October. We've made a couple of recent changes; adding a table tennis ball as a coaster on the front, and cutting out some fluorescent vinyl stickers that should look good under the UV light in the arena they are constructing for us.
We had a great day today playing with our new construction system at the Old Blue Coat School in Thatcham. Around 25 children helped us test it out and made all manner of contraptions. We were pretty pleased how it worked, although we might redesign the angled plastic connectors as they turned out to be a bit fragile.
The system is designed to be a bit similar to mecano, with a series of different length bars with equally spaced holes in them, that can be joined together. The difference is ours is more suitable for younger children - the pieces are much larger, and instead of nuts and bolts our system uses some very clever plastic rivets. These simply push into the hole, and expand to lock the two holes together - much easier for children to use. They can also be pushed back out from the other side of the hole, and reused as many times as you like. Combined with a series of small plastic brackets, the bars and rivets can be used to make all manner of creations that are quite large in scale very quickly.
Many thanks to all the human guinea pigs who helped out!
This is about the third version now of our laser tag system for Tech Camp. Every time we've built a batch with kids we've made it simpler. This time we decided that we needed just one main PCB; it now has the batteries, sensors, microcontroller, LED display bank and associate circuitry on it.
Jack and I went to the Science Museum tonight to run a workshop for their 'lates' programme. We've done quite a few workshops for their 'Science Night' programme (for kids), but working with adults opens up a few more possibilities! The theme of the night was 'alcohol', so we ran a version of our 'Chocolate and Orange' caviar using Cointreau.