University of Bath Robotics
On the 13th
of September 2014, two lecturers – Dr. Pejman Iravani and Dr. Jon du Bois –
from the University of Bath’s Mechanical Engineering Department dropped by KTJ
to conduct a Robotics Workshop. They brought their trusty LEGO NXT Robotics
sets and laptops along with them in black cases that looked like they belonged
in a “Terminator” movie than in a professor’s possession.
the moment the mini, tri-wheeled robot gurgled to life and the professors
started their introductory lecture, all apocalyptic references were cast aside
amongst the awe and enthusiasm in the room. Participants were introduced to the
various robots hiding in plain sight – the Airbus, the driverless car –
supporting the idea that there is more than meets the eye to most machines.
students were also introduced to mainstream robots like ASIMO and production
line robots. Participants were also given tutorials on programming the LEGO
robots to do their bidding: Follow a line.
hour or so of clacking of computer keys and vigorous field/track testing, the
eight teams finally pit their robots against each other in a time trial. The
sight of the robots single-mindedly (and sometimes misguidedly) following the
line of the track to achieve their objective based on the data input of
participants was fascinating – and amusing when the robot strayed off the track
or lost its way. Our world must be a terrifyingly confusing one, compared to
the virtual realm of binary code.
conclusion of the workshop, all participants got to snap photographs with the
visiting doctorate holders. Some students even got to have discussions on
trending Mechanical Engineering issues with the professors, ranging from light
sensor-equipped solar cells to the energy conversion limit of wind turbines.
The workshop ended on a high, and undoubtedly will return for another edition
By Tan Xi Shern ( Lower Six)