Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames 2018 – Cheer On Your Favourite Robot!

RoboGames GLOWS Selkirk College 2018

 Imagination meets technology at the Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames!

Prepare to enjoy a robot competition like no other!  Everyone is welcome to attend this Saturday, April 28th at the Castlegar Campus Gymnasium, the 2018 RoboGames, where Kootenay – Boundary youth aged 6 to 18 bring their robotics a-game to compete in this fun and exciting competition in local innovation.

Get there early as the games begin at 10am!

Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames

RoboGames is a unique opportunity where, experimentation and mentoring, youth from throughout the region learn how to design, build and program robots that they will enter into RoboGames, a fun and free-spirited event full of prizes.

Look forward to teams competing their robot in up to two specialty events.  Each event is approximately 45 minutes and the schedule of events is as follows:

  • Line following – This event utilizes the obstacle course, except the robots must follow the line from end to end. There may be crossed or intersected lines, as well as obstacles to create havoc. Speed and accuracy will be highly praised. The line will be about the thickness of electrical tape.
  • Obstacle course – Robots maneuver the obstacle course as quickly and carefully as possible. Navigate walls and obstacles to reach the end of maze.
  • Robot battles – Robot gladiators in the ultimate destruction event!
  • Robot soccer: One on one, head-to-head, mano-a-mano! Robots grab the most robot soccer balls to their side in two minutes.
  • Special tricks – The crazier the better! Dance, tell a joke, fetch an object… it could be anything! A creative and fun event challenging the kids’ innovation.
  • Balloon popping – Which robot will pop the balloon first?! Robots enter the ring prepared to burst the balloon before their competitor.

Judges will be looking for design and assembly; programming and logic; the robot’s ability to problem solve as well as its ability to adapt to challenging situations.

Awards will take place between 3-3:30pm.

Find out more HERE!

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Fun Friday: DIY Life-sized Phone Controlled BB8 Droid

DIY phone controlled BB8 Droid

We’re on the fast approach to the Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames and with robotics on the brain, this little (complicated?!) project caught our eye!

Angelo, an incredibly innovative and talented young man, and the brains behind the YouTube channel, TechBuilder, has incorporated the magic of various technologies, including a smartphone and an Arduino micro-controller to bring what has become an iconic character from a favourite movie franchise: a life-sized BB8!

Limited to only the materials he had on hand such as the balls from roll-on deodorant, beach balls & paper mache, canvas, and Christmas balls, he brought this lovable little droid to life in the most simple yet innovative ways!

making a DIY BB8 Droid

While the construction is pretty old school, the robotics end of the project are totally 21st Century.  A phone app sends characters via Bluetooth with every press of a button. The Bluetooth module receives the data while the Arduino interprets and processes these data. The Arduino sends signals to the Motor Driver shield to give a go signal for the switching of the motors.  And, voila!

No, not really!

There’s a lot more to it!  So, if you’d like to see ALL that’s gone into making this, the ultimate DIY droid, come to life check it out HERE!  For inspiration, check out the video below.

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The Maker Movement: DIY, Hands-on, Innovation In Action!

maker movement fostered at MIDAS

There is a movement afoot and, with the help of education, tools and equipment (such as welcomes you at MIDAS!) to more easily and cost-efficiently bring ideas to life, it’s gaining tremendous steam!

The Maker Movement – or in more familiar terms, Do-It-Yourself – is growing in participation in schools, communities and industry throughout the province, and, of course, beyond.  What makes this a movement, rather than simply the act of puttering in one’s garage, is the resources, equipment and materials available to support it in ways we’ve never seen before.

This movement is grassroots innovation and it’s being enthusiastically embraced and fostered in more and more communities, nurturing an ever growing number of people, creative and curious.

The digital age has really blown the lid off what was formerly tinkering, or on a larger scale, inventing and innovating with significant effort and resources to bring an idea to prototype, using specific manufacturers located by and large overseas.  Inventing and innovating, as it has previously been known, has required very specialized software and fabrication equipment, not easily accessible either in terms of cost or location and has made it prohibitive for potential innovators to see a project through to completion let alone market.

With technology expanding as it is, so fast and with such scope, the creative process of invention and innovation is being transformed.  The access we have to imaging, scanning, drafting and other specialized software as well as the fabrication equipment to translate plans into tangible, surprisingly high quality, prototypes allows and encourages Maker creativity and invention unlike any time before.

MIDAS, and our MIT certified facilities, is a great example.  As part of this movement gathering momentum, every day we see makers contributing to what is becoming their own market ecosystem, developing incredible new products and services. The combination of ingenious makers and innovative technologies such as the Raspberry Pi mini-computer and Arduino micro-controller along with 3D printing are driving innovation in manufacturing, engineering, industrial design, hardware technology and education.

Makerspaces are cropping up in communities big and small. Offering everything from Repair Cafes – where makers offer up their talents to fix and repurpose everything from computers to mobile phones to toaster ovens – to workshops on soldering and Arduino to imaging software education to actual fabrication and prototyping equipment, as we do here.

Inquiry-based and more hands-on education trends are beginning to trend as well.  Schools, for pre-schoolers through secondary students, are offering more and more resources and opportunities to explore and nurture their curiosity.  Through electronics and technology, young people are challenging their own creativity, innovating unlike ever before through coding, robotics and other fun and hands-on ways of expanding their knowledge and experience in the various facets of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art (Design), Mathematics, or STEAM.

While many makers consider themselves simply hobbyists or enthusiasts they are a vibrant and fundamental source of innovation, embracing creativity, developing new products and generating value in the Maker community.  In fact, it’s not unusual for some of these Makers to take the leap as entrepreneurs and start companies.  We see it all the time!

While there are several industry professionals who take advantage of the incredible Maker opportunities at MIDAS, it’s not necessary to be an engineer or techie to enjoy all a space like MIDAS offers.  Check out our #madeatMIDAS features to see the examples of ordinary people making extraordinary things.

That’s what’s so great about the Maker Movement: accessibility!  You don’t even need to bring an idea… just your imagination and curiosity.  The ideas will flow soon enough!

What can MIDAS can help you make!  Check out our calendar of courses HERE!

#madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake

Introduction to MIDAS from MIDAS Fab Lab on Vimeo.

Fun Friday! Raspberry Pi DIY Laptop With A Little Trotec Laser Cutter!

 

Raspberry Pi Trotec Laser Cutter DIY laptopWhat do you get when you combine the magic of a little Raspberry Pi with a wood casing courtesy a Trotec 120Watt Laser Cutter?  One heckuva DIY laptop!

Between the Raspberry Pi, loaded with powerful capabilities in such a tiny little package and the Trotec (upcoming Trotec 120Watt Laser Cutter course April 20th!) making short work of model making, industrial design, prototyping and just about any kind of DIY application, this creative idea is a great example of an integration of both.

Trotec Laser Cutter and Raspberry Pi DIY laptopThis project also relies upon a 3D printed component (Ultimaker 3D Printer course, April 13th!in the design for the screen hinge, but the rest of the PlyTop is cut out of a three 2′ x 4′ sheets of 1/8″ Baltic birch plywood.

The Plytop base and top are held together with a fair amounts of translucent wood glue.

This design uses a Peripad II B Touchpad, apparently the only self contained touch pad close to the size of a normal laptop trackpad at a decent price. It sits neatly in the Plytop shell and works just fine out of the box with the Raspberry Pi 3. Plug ’em in and they behave like your typical trackpad.

The Waveshare 10.1 is the best LCD screen on the market that includes a form fitting HDMI interface driver, powered through USB. These screens come attached to a laser cut acrylic base and some cheap HDMI and USB cables.

The monitor is affixed with some very brittle plastic screws and nuts and will require an HDMI cable with a very low connector profile (Monoprice cable) to best fit into the Waveshare’s port once it’s installed in the top shell.

If you’d like to see this project coming together click HERE.

If you’d like to see all the plans and ingredients to make this neat little device click HERE!

 

 

Plytop DIY laptop - Raspberry Pi Trotec laser cutter

 

 

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Fun Friday: Remote Controlled Car With Raspberry Pi & Bluetooth

Remote Controlled Car Using-Raspberry-Pi-and-Bluetooth

Credit card sized and jam packed with capabilities, the Raspberry Pi can function as a proper desktop computer, to build smart devices or to just have fun bringing new life to otherwise everyday items or old toys.

The Pi was originally intended to be a microcomputer to teach children coding. Its scope has since expanded as hobbyists and engineers realized how much could be achieved with the small device, making it one of the most popular technology items in the world.

This easy remote controlled car project, takes advantage of the little computer’s seamless wireless capabilities, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, allowing a smart phone remote control of the driving.

The car selected is an RF toy car with moving left-right steering feature. The original RF circuit has been replaced with that of the Raspberry Pi. You can use any toy car that has two DC Motors to rotate the front and rear wheels.

The Pi is used to receive command wirelessly from an android phone with an Android app (BlueTerm) installed along with a Bluetooth serial adaptor for communicating with the Raspberry Pi to control the car.

Read more about how to make your own HERE!

Wondering where the name Raspberry Pi came from?  The name, Raspberry, is an homage to early computer companies being named after fruit, like Apple, Tangerine Computer Systems, Apricot Computers, and Acorn (which inspired the microcomputer’s design). Pi is derived from the original idea to make a small computer to run only the Python programming language.

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Fun Friday: #BCTECH Summit – Youth Innovation Day!

BCTECH Summit Youth Innovation Day

All of us at MIDAS are getting excited about the upcoming Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames!  As advocates for technology and innovation education, we want to draw your attention, too, to the #BCTECH Summit and their efforts towards nurturing tech & innovation in our next generation.

This year’s #BCTECH Summit Youth Innovation Day will be held on Wednesday, May 16th.  The theme is Breakthroughs: The Power of Curiosity and Ambition.

There will be a ton going on, and so much to see and explore, to encourage and engage, supporting innovative thinking in the youth who attend.  From cool science to state-of-the-art cars to meeting young entrepreneurs there will be no shortage of inspiration!

This will be a full day designed for high school students in grades 10 to 12.  They can visit with local researchers demonstrating innovative technologies in the Marketplace and Technology Showcase, listen to inspiring speakers share the ways they are changing the world around us through technology, and gather practical information from post-secondary institutions and companies seeking the next generation of talent.

There will be winning Science Fair projects and an epic battle of the robots in the VEX Robotics tourney.  Mentor tables will offer opportunities to meet with leaders in BC tech, where kids can get some insight into what it takes to embark on a career in technology.

Post-Secondary institutions will be on hand to help guide prospective students in the right direction to pursue the various avenues in tech education and careers.

For Secondary School educators:   The Solution Room offers the teacher chaperones an invaluable opportunity to meet and collaborate on how they are addressing the new secondary curriculum.

Find out more HERE!

Take a look at how it all went down last year:

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Nurture Local Youth Innovation: RoboGames Mentorship Training!

Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames Mentors Wanted

RoboGames Mentorship:  In preparation for the 2018 RoboGames, training is available to local adults interested in supporting and nurturing innovation in regional youth eager to participate in this growing young maker phenomenon!

In 2010, KAST (Kootenay Association for Science & Technology) and the Nelson Tech Club (NTC), led by NTC founder and Director of MIDAS, Brad Pommen, joined forces with six Kootenay Boundary middle schools to initiate the first Annual Robogames.

Twenty four students participated in the first RoboGames event.  This year, it is anticipated that over 150 youth will participate in the innovative robotics fun!

Interested in mentoring?  CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION! 

Brad Pommen assisting young innovators at the Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames

Over the past eight years, these innovative and fun games for West Kootenay/Boundary youth have grown, and since 2016, when the event was moved to Selkirk College, they have continued to flourish!

To be more and more successful each year, this event promoting and encouraging science & technology for local young people, aged 6-18, has relied significantly on the participation of adult mentors committed to the vision.

“Robotics offers a unique way to engage youth in science and technology,” says Pommen. “The mentorship network is imperative to all this happening.”

Enthusiasm, not experience, required!

No previous experience is required. From teachers embracing new curriculum with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Applied Math, Art and Applied Design to simply parents eager to keep up with their savvy child, mentorship is open to anyone!

“RoboGames provides the skills for youth to learn design, programming and assembly of robotics. No other program in the region provides these basic tools in a simple, yet effective fashion. Youth are quick to adopt and grow their ideas, bringing them back into the classroom. Mentors are essential to support students overcome obstacles and provide assistance – the RoboGames mentor training ensures that every team can be supported within their own school or tech club.”

Mentors learn how to design, build, program and compete in the RoboGames so as to provide the required support. First-time users or experienced builders will benefit from this focused hands-on session where Arduino and robotics are presented as learning tools for all ages.

Instruction will be led by Brad Pommen, Nelson Tech Club president, who has taught hundreds of people of all ages how to code, design and adopt emerging technologies in the local community since 2010.

Brad, having taught hundreds of people of all ages how to code, design, and adopt emerging tech in this community will be leading the course.

“We take the adult through the entire process from unboxing your robot to assembly to programming so that they can mentor students in their communities to do the same thing,” says Pommen.

Need a robot kit?  Brad has you covered! A robot kit can be purchased at class for $125 + GST/PST.   brad@robogames.ca

Interested in mentoring?  CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION! 

RoboGames is hosted by GLOWS at Selkirk College. GLOWS provides community-based workshops, events, initiatives, and outreach in rural communities for youth ages 5 to 19 throughout the Kootenay/Boundary region.

This year’s RoboGames is happening on the Selkirk College Castlegar Campus on April 28 is now open for registration.  Find out more about RoboGames 2018 at HERE!

Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames 2018

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Friday Maker Fun! Arduino Robotics Inspiration

The wheels are starting to turn with our innovative Kootenay/Boundary youngsters as this year’s Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames draws nearer.  mBot robotics kits will be available for pick up by March 12 (do NOT forget about Spring Break kicking off March 16th!) and you can check out dates and times for your community HERE.

Here’s what you’ll get in your kit:

bot kit unassembled 2018 RoboGames

mBot is the kit supplied by RoboGames. It’s an all-in-one solution to enjoy the hands-on experience of programming, electronics, and robotics.

Meantime, as plans are being masterminded, we thought to have a little Friday Fun and provide some robotics inspiration using a little DIY elbow grease along with the Arduino brains.

Make your first Arduino robot!

Here’s a great project for beginner’s guide to making your first Arduino robot.  Smart phone controlled, wall follower and obstacle avoiding robot. A cute little guy with a simple plastic container to hold his innards!

You can find all the steps HERE!

Robotic Arm from Recycled Materials

Tea anyone?!  Here’s an incredible robotic arm to help you with a few easy tasks around the house.

The possibilities are endless as to how to build a robotic arm and you can make them from just about anything – if you’re super innovative and motivated you could come to MIDAS and learn how to print it in 3D!

The fundamental mechanical aspects of this simple robotic arm are created from recycled materials along with circuito.io for the electronic design.

Click HERE to build yours!

3D printed Otto DIY and Arduino Bluetooth robot

A little more ambitious perhaps, but if you have access to a 3D printer, easily possible!

The building of this little dude does get a little more involved, and packs a ton of punch:  “Otto DIY with steroids” equipped with Bluetooth, APP, switch, touch sensors, strength and sound detection.  An impressively simple little powerhouse!

Learn how to bring this guy to life HERE!

Inspired?  We hope so!

If you’re an adult and want to nurture and encourage STEAM innovation in our local kids, click HERE to see how you can be a part of this year’s RoboGames!

Are you a Kootenay/Boundary young person looking to get involved in robotics and participate in this year’s RoboGames!  Click HERE for more information and to register.

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Nurture Local Youth Innovation: RoboGames Mentorship Training! March 10, 2018

Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames Mentors Wanted

RoboGames Mentorship:  In preparation for the 2018 RoboGames, Selkirk College is providing training to local adults to support and nurture innovation in regional youth eager to participate in this growing young maker phenomenon!

In 2010, KAST (Kootenay Association for Science & Technology) and the Nelson Tech Club (NTC), led by NTC founder and Director of MIDAS, Brad Pommen, joined forces with six Kootenay Boundary middle schools to initiate the first Annual Robogames.

Twenty four students participated in the first RoboGames event.  This year, it is anticipated that over 150 youth will participate in the innovative robotics fun!

REGISTER NOW!

Brad Pommen assisting young innovators at the Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames

Over the past eight years, these innovative and fun games for West Kootenay/Boundary youth have grown, and since 2016, when the event was moved to Selkirk College, they have continued to flourish!

To be more and more successful each year, this event promoting and encouraging science & technology for local young people, aged 6-18, has relied significantly on the participation of adult mentors committed to the vision.

“Robotics offers a unique way to engage youth in science and technology,” says Pommen. “The mentorship network is imperative to all this happening.”

To ensure that mentors are prepared for the demands – and fun! – mentoring young innovators, Selkirk College Community Education & Workplace Training (CEWT) offers thorough mentor training.

Enthusiasm, not experience, required!

No previous experience is required. The program hosted a successful mentor training last fall and looks forward to educating another group of adults from various backgrounds. From teachers embracing new curriculum with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Applied Math, Art and Applied Design to simply parents eager to keep up with their savvy child, robots are fun and exciting for everyone!

“RoboGames provides the skills for youth to learn design, programming and assembly of robotics. No other program in the region provides these basic tools in a simple, yet effective fashion. Youth are quick to adopt and grow their ideas, bringing them back into the classroom. Mentors are essential to support students overcome obstacles and provide assistance – the RoboGames mentor training ensures that every team can be supported within their own school or tech club.”

Through the day-long training, mentors learn how to design, build, program and compete in the RoboGames so as to provide the required support. First-time users or experienced builders will benefit from this focused hands-on session where Arduino and robotics are presented as learning tools for all ages.

This course will be led by Brad Pommen, Nelson Tech Club president, who has taught hundreds of people of all ages how to code, design and adopt emerging technologies in the local community since 2010.

Brad, having taught hundreds of people of all ages how to code, design, and adopt emerging tech in this community will be leading the course.

“We take the adult through the entire process from unboxing your robot to assembly to programming so that they can mentor students in their communities to do the same thing,” says Pommen.

If you have an existing robotics kit, great! Bring it with you!  If you do not, you will be able to purchase one through the training.  A laptop and/or handheld device (iPad/iPhone/Android) can connect your robot via Bluetooth or Wifi and will need to be supplied.

The deets:

  • Saturday, March 10 from 8:30am to 3:30pm
  • Nelson & District Youth Centre, 608 Lake Street, Nelson
  • $115 + GST

Need a robot kit?  Brad has you covered! A robot kit can be purchased at class for $125 + GST/PST. To purchase in advance contact brad@robogames.ca

REGISTER NOW!

 

RoboGames is hosted by GLOWS at Selkirk College. GLOWS provides community-based workshops, events, initiatives, and outreach in rural communities for youth ages 5 to 19 throughout the Kootenay/Boundary region.

This year’s RoboGames is happening on the Selkirk College Castlegar Campus on April 28 is now open for registration.  Find out more about RoboGames 2018 at HERE!

Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames 2018

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