From left

Lego competition trains young engineers on helping seniors

Almost 200 elementary and middle school students and 13 teams from across Greater Victoria gathered at the University of Victoria

Almost 200 elementary and middle school students and 13 teams from across Greater Victoria gathered at the University of Victoria for a competition aimed at helping seniors overcome daily challenges.

Students were charged with the challenge of creating, designing, and programming a Lego robot that can could scan and locate the correct medicine, move furniture, garden, fixing a broken chair and walk a service dog.

“(They) look at the way robots or technology can enhance the lives of senior citizens,” said event co-ordinator and UVic PhD student Michael Hammond-Todd. “It is an inquiry-driven process where students are looking for real solutions for real-world problems.”

Young competitors brought their existing Lego robots and programed them on the spot for a battery of tests, all which represent challenges seniors face in their daily lives.

“Vancouver Island has a very active community of educators and students interested in robots and technology. The programs are designed to inspire students in the fields of science, technology, and engineering,” Hammond-Todd said.

“(This) is providing an opportunity to talk to people outside of their generation and peer group and think about solutions they may work on as secondary or post secondary students.”

All robots were created from a standard Lego Mindstorms NXT kit, but modified to tackle different solutions to the problems. Students use the included software to program commands, including how many seconds to move, degree of motion and rotation and even simple voice commands.

The event, hosted by faculties of eduction and engineering, was meant to get more kids interested in science and math, and acted as the Vancouver Island First Lego League regional competition.

“How fitting that the challenge theme for the first Lego league event happening on the UVic campus is ‘senior solutions’— solving problems faced by seniors as they age,” said Holly Tuokko, director of UVic’s Centre on Aging,

Building Lego robots was a hit with 11-year-old Chris Burrows, who was excited for the opportunity to compete at UVic.

“I think this is really fun, a lot of people who like Lego and robot stuff would really like it,” he said. “When I grow up I want to be a Lego designer.”

Burrows started playing with Lego two years ago and is one of the founding members of Team Legobotics, a team of three that hope to advance to the provincials in Vancouver in January.

“I like programming and robotics,” he said. “You can get a lot of freedom in what you build.”

reporter@vicnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after Const. Beckett’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Police investigating incident in Saanich neighbourhood

Neighbours tell Black Press Media that a body has been found, but police remain tight-lipped.

Langford lizard sighting excites Victoria museum curator

Curator of vertebrate zoology/knowledge explains the spread of the Wall lizard in the region

Colwood man takes on Ride to Conquer Cancer for 11th year in a row

Team Finn has raised almost $3 million for BC Cancer Foundation

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read