Students design robots to help the elderlyArea middle school students gained perspective from unlikely subjects to prepare for the annual robotics competition Saturday at University of North Dakota’s Memorial Union.
By: By Jennifer Johnson, Forum News Service, The Jamestown Sun
Area middle school students gained perspective from unlikely subjects to prepare for the annual robotics competition Saturday at University of North Dakota’s Memorial Union.
Students interviewed relatives and other older people in their own communities to find out what they’re struggling with on a daily basis, such as running errands, said Ashley Miller, outreach coordinator for UND’s College of Engineering and Mines, the host of the event.
“Teams will choose one problem, and then they have to come up with an innovative solution to that problem,” she said.
A total of 38 teams from across North Dakota and northwest Minnesota built, tested and programmed robots to help senior citizens manage daily tasks for this year’s First LEGO League robotics championship, held annually in every state.
The public event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Awards will be presented at 2:30 p.m.
Each year, the First LEGO League, an international robotics program for kids, chooses one real-world issue to inspire students to use their science, technology and engineering skills.
For the “Senior Solutions” challenge, more than 200,000 students from 61 countries examined the quality of life of seniors and explored ways to help them continue to be independent and engaged. That might mean developing a game that helps seniors deal with memory loss or an exercise routine for ones who have sore joints, Miller said.
All teams will build a robot that competes against other teams and get scores based on how many tasks their robot completes. Teams will be judged on their project presentation, robot performance, technical design and programming and teamwork.
This is the 10th year the event has been held in North Dakota.