New products of the Indian classroom – Robots
Gone are the days when extracurricular activities at schools only meant dance, music and painting. Even as certain schools have geared up to make their students more artistically inclined to art forms such as these, extracurricular activities have gone hi-tech in a few other schools these days. Students now want to create robots and make them dance to their tunes right in their classrooms!
Robotics is no more restricted to defense and science labs. They are no more a spectacle you see only in science fiction movies; they have now entered the classrooms. Students now have fun building robots in their classrooms.
Many schools across the country run hobby clubs on a regular basis. One of the best aspects of robotics in education is that it is multi-disciplinary. The learner can explore the basics of physics, mechanics, electronics, and computer science all at once. The activity also helps a child develop better thinking and life skills. Says well-known professional robotic expert Mohit Bhoite, “While building a robot, a child is confronted with challenges at every step. For example, it needs to scout for components for the robot. It needs to ponder how the structure of the robot should be built and how the weight constraint of the robot can be overcome. If the algorithm is not working as expected, then that too needs to be figured out.” He adds, “The child is never deterred by these challenges because basically, he/she is motivated. Building a robot is a team effort and therefore, he/she learns team skills too.” This exercise also helps a child think spatially.
One of other major benefits of robotics for school students is the hands-on knowledge it offers. For instance, physics concepts can be truly learnt only through practical experience so robotics is a good solution. Says Rajesh Yadavalli, a robotics professional, “Through robotics, students grasp concepts in technology, engineering, math and science with ease. It also gives abilities in problem-solving besides helping them become better team workers and leaders. In general, such an assignment can help young minds work together better in real life situations.” So clearly, today, a good career is not the only aim of implementing robotics in schools.
Mohit stresses that the robotics market has also opened up for the lay hobbyist who builds robots in the comfort of his/her home. Today, the web world is also replete with instructional websites. So, even a person who does not have an educational robotics background can build a robot.