09
Sep
08

A swarm of e-pucks at the BA festival

Wenguo and I arrived yesterday with a swarm of e-puck robots. Wenguo and Jan Dyre have done a sterling job programming the e-pucks with 3 simple behavioural rules:

  • if you see an obstacle turn to avoid it, else
  • if you see the tail lights of another robot, follow it, else
  • go straight ahead.

The robots will thus form an orderly queue, except that because the arena is too small the line very quickly gets broken when the lead robot encounters a wall. However, that all just makes for an interesting – and constantly changing – swarm.

07
Sep
08

Inventor’s corner

07
Sep
08

Ecobot explanation

07
Sep
08

Robot Wars!

WWR isn’t just giving visitors the chance to see robot demonstrations here at the Festival – you might get the chance to become a robot too! Inside the mini robot world these ‘robots’ start with four simple instructions:
1) walk in a straight line (only your best robot impression please!)
2) If you walk into another robot or the edge of the robot world you need to turn around and keep walking
3) If you walk into a paper plate you must pick it up.
4) If you’re carrying a plate and walk into another one you must put it down on top of the other one and walk off in a new direction.

After a minute our ‘robots’ discovered that by following these easy rules they’d sorted all the plates into neat piles – just like leaf carrier ants!
Why not try this at home folks.

07
Sep
08

Fancy a Sunday stroll?

‘Le machine’ – the giant spider currently attracting all sorts of attention at the moment –  isn’t the only mechanical creature taking a Sunday stroll around Liverpool’s World Museum. WWR’s robot legs have been going down a storm with visitors of all ages who seem fascinated to meet David, the legs’ maker, and to take a weekend walk with a robot!

07
Sep
08

Hydrobot lives!

After a few early problems, we’re pleased to say that the hydrogen-powered robot car is now up and running. It was worth it – hydrobot is going down especially well with visitors interested in alternative power or those hoping to avoid rising car tax!

07
Sep
08

Le Machine – Monster Spider Stalks Liverpool

07
Sep
08

Singtastic Science!

Have you ever thought that science lessons are missing something? Well for those of us who would have appreciated a brand new approach to learning science, ‘Singtastic’ Science singers are here to give you that extra musical push! At the BA Fesitval of Science this unique choir are giving Darwin and friends a brand new sound. Penned by science nut and songwriter David Haines, the group’s catalogue include ‘Mr Darwin – Charles’ life history in five verses’ and ‘Mutate- Wont you give a big hand for errors? Without them we wouldn’t be here!’. If you’d like to hear the singers pop into the Science Festival this weekend or take a look at their wesbite Singtastic.com for more.

06
Sep
08

BA Festival of Science

There are loads of other things to see and do at the BA festival of science – you can dig for dinosaurs, play a game of maths hopscotch, fire a rocket to the moon and even find out how long your DNA really is!
For those future Charles Darwin and Bill Gates wannabies there’s also a chance to meet real scientists working on some really exciting projects!

06
Sep
08

Poo Power!

Have you ever wondered what else you could be recycling at home other than milk cartons and cereal packets? Well here’s an interesting but slightly smelly idea – poo powered robots! When bacteria breaks down microbes in any smelly household rubbish- sink sludge, dead flys or pet poo – electrically charged particles get left behind. Using a special membrance that looks like two back-to-back sheets of plastic, robot scientists can use these particles to power a robot. Here at the Festival of Science we have one called ‘EcoBot II’. So next time you clear up that stinky sludge just think about how useful it might be. One day you might even have a poop not petrol powered car!




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