|Date Added: March 09, 2010 03:00:07 PM|
One of my best memories of my father was building a soap box Derby racer as a kid. It was one of those classic father-son activities that every family has. Both of us loved to work with our hands, loved physical activity, loved exercise, and most of all loved fast cars. That soap box Derby racer was the perfect project for us to work on together. I had always assumed that that was what every father and son made at a certain age, but I guess that isn't true anymore. That particular sport has gone the way of roller skates, so I needed to think of a new project to do with my son.
After carefully considering the matter, I figured that a robot project would be the best thing that we could do together. When I was a kid, no one built robot projects except for scientists at MIT. Robotic technology was at such an early level that most of us had not even heard of it, at least beyond science fiction movies. Nowadays, however, robotic projects are within the reach of almost everyone. High schools across the country builds robot projects to compete in national competitions every year, and robotic fighting is actually on TV nowadays.
Of course, deciding on what kind of robot projects to build was no easy matter. They were dozens of robotic projects, and both of us practically started to drool when we thought about them. Some of them were pretty straightforward – less robots than radio controlled machines. Fighting machines, for example, are usually simple remote control robots. Building them can teach you some things about mechanics, and even a few things about electrical engineering, but they don't teach you about how robots think and work.
I thought that we could find more sophisticated robot projects than that. Although watching machines tear each other apart was pretty cool, I wanted to build a robot with my son that could think and interact with the world. I decided that we would go with Lego robot projects. What was great about Lego robots projects is that they gave you an easy way to build a thinking robots. They can be programmed, can pick things up, move around the room, and interact with objects in the real world. Lego robot projects could even be reconfigured to perform different tasks. After figuring out what we wanted to do, it was just a simple matter of buying and building the kit!
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