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Robotics expo by underprivileged children in Chennai

Peoples Voice on March 21, 2015 - 7:18 pm in Education

35 children from six shelter homes / orphanages across Chennai participated in a Robotics expo. The children participated in a workshop by volunteers from Bhumi (Chennai) and Dwengo (Belgium) over two weeks and made their own robots
1. Scorpion – A robot that runs on all terrains
2. Garbage picker – An automated robot that picks up garbage in its way and drops it at a predefined point
3. Buggy – A four legged bug robot that walks
4. Light controlled waste dump robot – A semi–automated garbage cleaner that picks up and drops garbage depending upon the light
5. Light Eater – A simple light following robot
6. The Phoenix – A robot that flaps the wings at a speed depending upon the light intensity
7. Line Tracer – A robot that follows a black line on the floor
8. Collision avoiding art-bots – A robot that traces its path on white paper and forms patterns by avoiding obstacles in the course

The workshop on Robotics was conducted for under-privileged children to improve their interest in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The project is a winner of Google Rise and is funded through a grant from Google.

Two volunteers of Dwengo travelled all the way from Belgium especially for this three-weekend workshop; and have trained ten Bhumi volunteers who have in turn helped the children learn robotics concepts and make working models. At the grand finale on Sunday Jan 25, 2015, the children displayed their work at Ramakrishna Mission Students Home, Mylapore.

“The children, although with very little exposure to the computer, could comprehend the concepts of binary numbers, loops, shortest path algorithms and finite state machines with minimal effort. The volunteers from Dwengo put in commendable effort to help children learn these concepts in a fun and interactive way.” says Nithin Krishna, a Bhumi volunteer.

The children who benefited from this workshop were from shelter homes/orphanages that are a part of Bhumi’s supplementary education program including Ramakrishna Mission Home, SISTWA Home, Webbs Memorial Home, Avvai Home, Seva Samajam Home and Kamaraj Illam.
Bhumi was founded in Chennai on August 15, 2006 by a small group of young friends with a passion to change society as it is today and build a better India for tomorrow. By providing opportunities for adults to volunteer and deliver key education interventions to under resourced populations, we begin the cycle of civic engagement that will last a lifetime. Bhumi now engages over 1,500 young volunteers in 12 cities across India in programmes benefitting 15,000 children. Bhumi is the winner of iVolunteer’s Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award.
Dwengo is a young and dynamic non-profit organisation, founded by six Belgian engineers, supporting everyone who starts with microcontrollers. By means of online tutorials, support and hands-on workshops, Dwengo started to reach out for schools in Belgium. Dwengo has internationally expanded its activities now and reaches out worldwide, in particular to socio-economically disadvantaged regions where technology cannot be accessed easily.

Dr. Prahalathan