Day Dragons Visit to Harvard Robotics Lab- Wednesday March 21 2018

On Wednesday we got an amazing opportunity to go to the Harvard Robotics Lab, to meet Professor Radhika Nagpal. She works on robotics, and engineering. When we went to her lab at Harvard, we immediately noticed many little robots, the size of large bugs, scattered on a table. The professor showed us a quick video, we learned that they study animals, and model robots after animal behavior (bio-inspired). For example, ants, they can do amazing things in a collective group, without really communicating with each other.  Before showing us the many little robots, she showed us the first robot she built at her lab. It was a lego robot, just like ours, it did not have an EV3 brick though, but it looked quite similar. She said that that was the first robot she has ever built in her lab. One of Professor Nagpal’s students showed us how the many little robots run. He showed us how the robots could synchronize the flashing of their lights and sounds, and how they could turn and move towards a bright light. We figured out that each robot, was actually really simple, they think about power in numbers. They have coded each individual robot with very simple rules. We also learned that when the robots are building something, for example, a mini castle, while they are working, each little robot can see what the others have done, and help complete that task, or start working on a different task. Another of Prof Nagpal’s students showed us a climbing robot she was building. It was shaped like a caterpillar or inchworm and moved in the same way. They were trying to get it to climb walls! In the end, Professor Nagpal, and all her students wished us luck at the world championships.

Harvard lab 2HarvardHarvard labMiranda

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