View Full Version : I made a girl smile today!

11-17-2011, 06:20 AM
Today I took some TBots to a local school in an area that was particularly badly hit in this year's earthquake. I started by showing them the components that make up a robot and then showed how to program the robots to play music, flash the red/gree/blue light with their favorite colors all while moving around. In the next 20 minutes the group of 10 to 14 year olds explored all sorts of concepts with 12Blocks including: reacting to sounds, loops, variables and text to speech.
The kids had some experience with the MIT's “Scratch” language and were therefore able to quickly get going. They were very excited to do “real world learning”.

One of the kids was a 10 year old girl who was particularly affected by the quake and hadn't smiled since Februrary. Her teacher told me afterwards that it had been his mission all year to make her smile and finally today she did - learning with the TBot. The story ends on an even better note, the school is now developing a robotics program around their new TBot and 12Blocks.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
11-17-2011, 06:24 AM
That has to have been rewarding! Thanks for sharing the experience!


11-17-2011, 06:31 AM
Great news Hanno. Well done!

11-17-2011, 06:43 AM

A smile is a psychical expression. I think you may have done more for the little girl, than just make her smile. You might have given her hopes and dreams back. WOW :smile:


11-17-2011, 10:49 AM
Excellent. That makes it so worthwhile.

11-17-2011, 10:59 AM
Thumbs up !, ditto what RonP said (thumbup)

11-17-2011, 01:54 PM

Great stuff Hanno!

11-17-2011, 02:08 PM
I know one of the real cool aspects of my high school was the fact I got to be in a class with 12 robotic arms/conveyors and a tiny CNC lathe. Learning all the difficulty in getting a mechanical system that has no awareness to take something from here and move it to there was eye-opening. It was a fantastic class and I loved it. I think that's awesome that some other kids will get to have the experiance of programming and working with a robot of any kind. Not many schools get to offer that.

That would be a real blast to be able to get kids interested like that!

11-17-2011, 02:32 PM

This is fabulous!!

Smiles are a terrible thing to lose and you gave her a chance to find them again!

11-17-2011, 03:02 PM
Wonderful story - well done!

11-17-2011, 03:49 PM
Amazing what a bot could do for a child. And it was your TBot and 12Blocks that helped give her back her smiles. Wow! Another 'thanks for sharing', Hanno.

Martin Hodge
11-17-2011, 03:51 PM
Hanno, FTW!

11-17-2011, 04:00 PM
Thanks for sharing.

11-17-2011, 05:34 PM
Thanks everyone!
I owe a special thanks to the people who worked on the karplus-strong string synthesis (lonesock and jeff-o):
The girl mentioned that she played piano, so I had her compose a couple notes for each team.

And of course the biggest thanks to Chad- the real brain behind the TBot. And congratulations to taking the kids he's mentored to first place in a robotics competition earlier this week!