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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
November 25, 2014

Canadian Excellence


"Toy" Robotics

Consumer level robotics have a depth of computer science and technology behind them.

Consumer level robotics have a depth of computer science and technology behind them. I have always been interested in robots as toys and the past few years has seen the final emergence of robots that will clean your floor for you! While robot helpers may still be decades away, the science of robots that can be bought for under $100 as "toys" can be of great use to interest young people in careers in computers and technology.

In the past I have run a workshop based on small, cheap, toy robots to get young people interested in science, computers and technology. In 2002 I used two robots in a workshop for PROWIS (Promoting Women In Science) and I am currently preparing for a similar (but updated) workshop for a group of visiting students from China.

These pages are a collection of links and information that you might find useful if you are interested in robots at all and will act as a base for the workshop I am developing.

Interesting Quotes

"It's possible of course, to see these awkward machines as the innocent
forerunners of a sinister robot race that evolves beyond our control."
Alan Alda, Scienctific Frontiers Episode 12-19-2000 Title: Robot Independence.

It is interesting to note, that in the West, we have this notion of evil robots who will take over the human world as seen in the Terminator movies, and perhaps even in 2001: A Space Odyssey when the computer HAL tries to kill the human crew. However in Japan, from the 1950's on the character of Astroboy was seen as a friendly, helpful robot who often saved humanity.

Related Information Title Type
2008 FIRST League Ontario 2007 Photos Document
2008 Robotics at St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School in Oakville Document