JULY, 2009 - Earlier this month, ECE professor Tim Burg introduced a group of middle school girls to the concepts of robotics, solar power, and electric motors during a four-day robotics camp as part of this summer’s Project WISE.
The students, all rising eighth graders, built walking, solar-powered crab robots. Construction of the robots demonstrated topics from Electrical Engineering such as electric circuits, electric motors, light and solar power, robot motion and control. As each student assembled the parts of her Solar Walking King Crab, she learned about the functions of gears, concepts in electricity and electric motors, and how solar cells operate and their various uses.
After construction of the robots was complete, the students held a competition to find who had the fastest robot, and they were able to take their robot home at the end of the week.
During the camp, the students were also able to tour labs in the ECE department, where they experimented with a haptics lab program and learned about UAVs. “The whole point is to learn a little about engineering and let them know engineering is fun and that there are careers for them in engineering,” said Dr. Burg.