Rescue robots at Parikrma

Some days ago, as part of our workshops for children at Parikrma, we conducted an activity inspired by a technological challenge proposed by the University of Girona: TecnoRepte 2016.

Children had to imagine an earthquake scenario, where some people got trapped in a big rupture of the soil. It is necessary to send a rescue team but it is dangerous to descend within the rupture. So the challenge is to build some artifact easy to assemble and move along the broken ground to facilitate the evacuation of people and also provide food and water to survivors down there.

The TecnoRepte in Girona is a challenge that lasts for some months, but in India we proposed it as one-session challenge. So children did not have time to think about complicated structures such as bridges, but in no time they designed some awesome robots that can move through a cable that has previously been thrown from side to side of the break. For the challenge we used the material that we had in that moment: LEGO WeDO Robots.

Once the cable solution was decided by consensus, we were inspired by the LEGO Sky Parade for MIT Mini Maker Faire that Amos Blanton from MIT Media Lab shared with lots of details. From that point, and with very little guidance, the children began to create prototypes and in no time the robots were moving hooked to the cable.

The result of the activity was simply amazing! We would have had great videos of the workshop but there were recurring power cuts in Koramangala that afternoon and we were working almost in the dark. The photos are ok thanks to flash! :)

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