The Curious Minds of Young Roboticists

The Curious Minds of Young Roboticists

Becky Tanner — May 4, 2017

How long does it take to build a Wave Glider? How does it avoid other things in the water? What happens to the Wave Glider in a bad storm? Is the copper paint on your robot the number 1 enemy of barnacles?

These are just a few questions asked by 13 members of the robotics team from Central Park Elementary—the first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) school in our community. When asked if they could visit to expand their understanding of how Wave Gliders are helping the scientific community, we couldn’t think of a better way to end the work week. Visiting with 1st-3rd graders who have a shared passion and curiosity for robotics was right up our alley.

We started our visit hearing directly from the Central Park Elementary Robotics Team. We learned that team “Mega Ninjas” are trying to understand how robots will help humans in everyday life through automation. “Wizards of Vex” are curious how robots withstand zero gravity in space. And finally, the “Dolphins Rule Legos” team is participating in the FIRST LEGO League which is helping them learn about moving water.

After learning about their projects, Graham Hine, one of our founders, shared early stories of the Wave Glider, explained why the Wave Glider was invented and how it works. He also explained the key parts of the Wave Glider and their important roles. Here’s how Graham broke it down for the young roboticists:

Float = body
Compute = brain
Sensors = eyes and ears
Sub/fins = energy

We ended the visit in our manufacturing area where the kids could see the Wave Glider up close. The students had a great time learning about our ocean robot and we were really impressed with their focus, questions, and knowledge.

Speaking on behalf of those involved, meeting the Robotics Team of Central Park Elementary was the highlight of our week. We think they had a great time too, here are a couple quotes:

“I liked it when they introduced the Wave Gliders outside and told us what they named them. Marvel characters, like the Hulk.”
-Carlos G

“The best part was when we saw the Wave Glider!”
-Caitlin D

“How Liquid Robotics’ Wave Gliders have survived tsunami and typhoons.”
-Yashvir G