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HP TECH TAKES /...

Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
A Guide to Robotics and Computer Science Technology for Students

A Guide to Robotics and Computer Science Technology for Students

Robotics is the science of designing and building machines to complete tasks that humans may not be able to handle easily, whether it be because these tasks are too dangerous or because they require the precision only a machine can achieve. Robotics has a variety of sub-fields, such as the military, medicine, business, and science, and robots can come in all shapes and sizes. But all of them rely on human knowledge of computer programming to guide the machines to accomplish their goals efficiently and without injury.

Often, teamwork and collaboration between research groups will be necessary in order to create the best machine possible for the task. Collaboration may include distributed computing, which spreads out a task over multiple linked CPUs to take advantage of their combined processing power.

While robotics may seem complex, robots are actually an everyday part of people's lives, carrying out simple tasks like taking pictures or vacuuming carpets. Many people are involved with robotics, from experienced professionals with years of programming under their belts to kids who build robots from simple kits. All that's necessary to get started in robotics is an interest in finding a way to automate a task and an interest in learning something new!

Robotics Organizations

  • FIRST Canada: FIRST Canada is an organization created to inspire young people to become science and technology leaders and innovators through mentor-based programs.

  • Canada Youth Robotics Club: This organization is focused on robotics education for kids and teens alike delivered by experienced K-12 instructors.

  • Ice Robotics: After-school robotics clubs for kids in grades K-12 help them to become immersed in the world of robotics and gain a better understanding of this field's practical applications.

  • Institute of Robotics & Intelligent Systems: IRIS is an organization that offers workshops, memberships, online classes, and camps for kids of all ages who want to get more invested in robotics.

  • Bricks 4 Kidz: Lego robotics classes break down STEM concepts through hands-on lessons designed for kids of all ages.

  • Vancouver Robotics Club: The Vancouver Robotics Club is an online meeting place for people in the Vancouver area who enjoy building robots and sharing them with other enthusiasts.

  • ARISE Innovations Lab: ARISE Innovations Lab was created by uOttawa students as an organization dedicated to conducting research and development in robotics, mechatronics, and power engineering.

Equipment Sources for Robotics

Journals, Magazines, and Internet Publications

Robotics Conferences and Competitions

  • Conference on Robots and Vision: This is an annual conference hosted in different Canadian cities about computer learning algorithms. The videos from the talks and sessions are posted online after the conference ends so anybody can get up to speed on what's new in robotics.

  • Acadia Robotics Competition: Acadia Robotics offers workshops, support, and competitions related to teamwork in robotics.

  • IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation: This annual conference is one of the largest international robotics gatherings.

  • VEX Robotics Competition: Presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, this competition is a fast-growing program for middle and high school robotics students all over the world.

  • Conference at CMTS: The Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show is packed with educational programming, networking activities, and exhibits showcasing the future of robotics.

University Programs and Robotics Scholarships

  • S.P. Pasupalak Scholarship in Robotics: This scholarship is valued at up to $1,500 and awarded to a graduate student who has demonstrated academic excellence and registered full time in the University of Waterloo's program in electrical and computer engineering.

  • CoRoM Scholarship for Robotics: CoRoM has scholarships for undergraduate students, graduate students, and Ph.D. students who are interested in robotics.

  • Scholarships From the Canadian Fluid Power Association: The CFPA offers scholarships to college robotics students in programs dedicated to fluid power or using fluid power as a component of their studies.

  • IMpowered Scholarship: This scholarship was created to support women and Indigenous students who have financial responsibilities to their families and are enrolled in STEM post-secondary education programs relevant to minerals.

  • FIRST Robotics Canada Scholarship: FIRST Robotics Canada offers a merit-based scholarship to high school seniors entering an engineering program at Ontario Tech University. The student must have a minimum average of 85% and must keep up a 3.7 GPA throughout college.

General Electronics and Robotics Resources

  • Electronics and Robotics Activity Plans: Read a guidebook designed to get kids and teens interested in robotics and electronics.

  • NASA Robotics Lesson Plans: NASA has compiled fun activities and lesson plans designed to make learning about robotics and engineering fun and entertaining for kids of all ages.

  • Design Your Own Robot: Use this activity sheet with kids and let them design a robot and explain what its abilities are and how it's used.

  • Robotics Activity: This Scouts activity is designed to introduce youth to programming and building electronic robots while also promoting teamwork.

  • Robot Brains: Adding Computers to Your Creations: Learn how to build robots that can think for themselves and how adding a brain to a robot is not as hard as you may think it is.

  • Robotics Tutorials: These activities can help beginners to robotics create cool projects that inspire them to build further.

  • Guerrilla Guide to CNC Machining: This is a great home manufacturing tutorial for people who enjoy building robots and making models.

  • The Robot Hall of Fame: A hall of fame recognizes excellence in robotics technology around the world.

  • DiscoverE Robotics Activity Box: This fun activity box is designed for younger children who are just getting started in robotics.

  • Society of Robots: Try a variety of robotics tutorials perfect for getting people of all ages interested in learning to create and build robots.


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