Rolling spherical robots through a challenging obstacle course provided entertainment for participants of the ASU Homecoming Block Party. Some of the younger robot-drivers chose to knock down bowling pins rather than take on the course created from repurposed materials. Still others had fun simply propelling their Sphero SPRK+ ‘bots across the wooden dance floor, which was the perfect surface for speedy drivers.
Representatives from Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College’s IgnitED Labs created the event to showcase one of the emerging technologies available in the new labs. Educational Technology Champions, who work in the labs, were on hand to teach participants of all ages how to connect the Sphero EDU application and the SPRK+ robots through iPads. Once connected, drivers had to learn how to aim their robots to be able to control their paths. Drivers also learned how to increase or decrease the speed and rotate through a multitude of LED colors. After a quick training session, funseekers were ready for action. Several players took the time to teach newcomers the basics and share their iPads and robots with excited, new learners.
Learning always has a first step, a ground level. For thrill-seekers at the Block Party, that first step was crashing swiftly moving robot balls through cardboard castles and plastic bowling pins. Indeed, that was the perfect activity for a sunny Saturday morning.