|The LEGO NXT is a robotics system with an intelligent brick that has its own central processing unit (CPU), memory, power supply, display panel, and speaker. It also includes connections for three output devices (such as interactive servo motors) and four input devices (such as sensors for touch, light, sound, and motion). The unit is powered by six AA batteries or a chargeable power pack. It has a series of "studs" that connect to LEGO building elements, allowing the construction of a robot models. Control programs can be composed with special software and downloaded to the NXT. The robot model can then operate independently of the computer.|
|The LEGO WeDo robotics system is designed for younger children. A special building set includes regular LEGO pieces as well as specialized items, such as a motor, light and motion sensors, gears, and pulleys. With a USB interface, the motor and sensors can be connected to a computer. The LEGO WeDo software allows campers to develop a program to control the motor as well as respond to the sensors. This is an example of what is called a tethered robotic system, where the robotic model is always connected to the computer by the USB cable. The campers build and program many exciting models with this system, such as the drumming monkey shown here.|
Each camp includes activities for building, motorizing, using sensors, and programming with LEGO robotics kits. We also include general information about robotics, including robotics sites on the Worldwide Web. The camp finishes up with a "robotic derby" with various projects and events, to give the campers plenty of opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills.
Generally, we offer morning and afternoon sessions, each three hours long. Each session starts and ends with a meeting around a "virtual campfire," and includes a 15-minute refreshment break in the middle. The bulk of the time is used for working in teams of two to design, build, program, test, and refine robotic projects. We welcome many observers and visitors, including parents, siblings, professors, Murray State University students, and other friends.