For $150, Send Your Kids To Mars. Sort of.
Giant Cardboard Robot Arm Creates A Unique Educational Opportunity
Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) August 07, 2012
While NASA’s rover, Curiosity, recently landed on Mars, the fifth graders in the Nottingham Aerospace Program at Nottingham Country Elementary School have been completing two missions to Mars every year since 1995.
And now they have something else to cheer about: The Cardboard Robot.
The Cardboard Robot, a giant 6-foot open source computer controlled industrial-sized robotic arm/camera crane made of cardboard, creates a unique educational tool for teachers and parents. Its creator, Ken Ihara, is donating a giant robotic arm to the school for their next mission, scheduled for November 9-10.
“I’m really excited about the Cardboard Robot, it ties in so well with what we are doing,” said Brian Krauklis, NASA Director (Nottingham Aeronautics and Space Administration). “Every student will have a chance to use the robotic arm. The geologist will use it to collect rock samples and they could also use it to change the fuel cells that power the spaceship.”
The Cardboard Robot’s huge 6 foot span is guaranteed to capture the imagination of any student. Its cardboard construction makes it safe, affordable and easily fixable. The robot plugs into a computer via the USB port and can be controlled in real-time or can be programmed to follow a set path.
The Cardboard Robot will be incorporated into students’ rigorous eight week training program, where they will have the opportunity to build their own spacecraft. The mission lasts for 24 hours. Space conditions are simulated by suspending the students in mountain climbing gear in the gym where they have to use teamwork to assemble a satellite.
The Cardboard Robot is currently seeking funding on the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Complete kits with all the parts and electronics needed to build a cardboard robot are available for pre-sale for $150 plus shipping. For every $3,000 raised during the campaign Ihara will donate a Cardboard Robot to a school in the United States.
“I am very excited that Nottingham’s NASA is taking the Cardboard Robot on its next mission. There are so many abstract concepts that can be made real and fun in the classroom: basic mathematics, trigonometry, calculus, linear algebra, Newtonian physics, computer programming, microcontrollers,” Ihara said. “The Cardboard Robot is a viable entry point into the fascinating world of robotics.”
To learn more about the project and to pre-order the Cardboard Robot, visit their Kickstarter page.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebCardboard-Robot/Mars-Mission/prweb9774737.htm