How Did Roamer Do at Amazing Robot Exhibition?

  • Published November 14, 2017
  • By Kate Hudson

Roamer Met Old Friends an Made New Ones

When the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry hosted the Robot Exhibition they invited Roamer to take part in their family active zone.   Find out why Roamer became a big hit and how it met some old friends among the visitors and awesome robots.

As part of the exhibition the Museum announced:

Younger visitors will love our specially created trail, packed full of fun robot-themed activities.

That’s where Roamer came in testing their programming and mathematical skills.  However, it wasn’t just the youngsters who got excited!

Roamer delighted the Museum staff because it met all their needs for a perfect challenge for such an event:

  1. Visitors of all ages found the task engrossing – people kept coming back to try and improve their score.
  2. People could understand the challenge and how to program Roamer in a few seconds.
  3. Families try and solve the puzzle together, or because its quick to do, they don’t mind waiting while one of the children tries to get the best answer.

What really pleased us it was so easy to set up, reliable and robust – we didn’t even need to provide electrical power – a perfect activity.

Of course this doesn’t surprise us.  We designed Roamer so it worked in many different learning environments.  And many parents, seeing their children so absorbed by coding and maths asked why they didn’t do this at school.  Well, they do.

The Best Route

This is the winning 8 year-old’s rooute.

Some of the Exhibition Robots

Another Robot was an Old Friend

Inkha was one of the robots in the exhibition.  In 2002 Matthew Walker and Peter Longyear started a robotic project called Inkha at King’s College London.  Inkha is a reactive head – that means it senses people and responds to them.  It tracks moving objects using cameras inside its eyes.  It speaks and shows when its scared, bored or trying to appear cool.  In 2002 Matthew explored making Inkha using Valiant’s Inventa product.  We called it Betty.  Meeting Inkha at the exhibition started Dave thinking about making it combining it with Roamer.

Future Robot Exhibition Dates

19 October 2017–15 April 2018
  Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

26 May–2 December 2018
  Life Science Centre, Newcastle

18 January–12 May 2019
  National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh


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