What a treat! NAO, the humanoid robot visited, along with his “friend” Graeme Lawrie, Head of Science from Sevenoaks School, to entertain and educate the children about robotics, coding and programming. The hall was filled with excitement as the children spotted our special visitor sitting on a table as they entered. Both staff and children were astounded by what NAO could do. Who would have thought a robot could do Gangnam Style dancing, Tai-chi and could sit when asked! Truly exceptional!
We learned how many hours it takes to program him, and how he has built in sensors around his body and over 50 motors in his joints that enable him to move in a remarkably human-like fashion. Not only that, but he has been programmed to protect himself from falling by putting out his hands when he senses that he is overbalancing. Every move he makes requires a complex set of codes, to not only move the motor, but also to code a counter move to enable him to balance. Remarkable!
As the children left the hall and throughout the afternoon, they could be heard talking excitedly about the robot and how much they wanted to have one. I am certain they would have come home last night “buzzing”, with much to tell you about the robot at school.
Daniel (Year 5) came up to me immediately and asked, “Mrs Casewell, if I wanted to become a robotics engineer when I am older, what subjects do I need to do?” I am sure there are many others who have been inspired too.
Year 4, were led in coding workshops in the afternoon and it is hoped that Mr Lawrie will return to work with other classes in the months and years to come. The children now clearly see the link between the coding we do at school, through Scratch and other applications, to the real world of robotic programming.
An enormous thank you to Mr Lawrie and Sevenoaks School! And of course NAO!