Archive | Community Focus

Scanner Bot – The Inside Scoop

For those of you that ventured along to Bett this year, you may have spotted a small spinning robot on our stand, which we christened ‘The Scanner Bot’.

You may have even seen posts about it on Twitter. The project drew a lot of attention, and eventually it got us thinking – we need to turn this into a project on the website.

The idea for the project actually stemmed from last year’s Bett, where Helen, one of the Directors here at Redfern, wanted to highlight that fact that motors can be used in different ways. So whilst we were there, she created this :

As you can also see, Helen had been inspired by the video of a students’ work, posted by Phil Wickins.

Given that the inspiration for our new Scanner Bot had been ‘magpied’, we wanted to give credit where credit is due. So we contacted Phil to tell him about our project idea, and whether he was ok with us referring to it.

When he came back to us, he had gone above and beyond in providing loads of information about the project, including the original design work, which is awesome!

Meet the ‘Burglar Alarm Bot’ – the true inspiration behind our Scanner Bot project.

The Burglar Alarm Bot was made by William Bradley, a Year 6 pupil from Bitterne Manor Primary School, Southampton. We absolutely love this project, and as you can see, it looks great and it works really well!

In his blog about the teaching that went around this project, Phil outlines his creative approach to teaching physical computing. Instead of having a set project in mind, he teaches the children how to use the individual components, and then lets them use their imagination to come up with a project. We really like this approach to physical computing, as it enables children to work within their means, and push themselves to their own limits. The phrase “low floor, high ceiling and wide walls” comes to mind here.

One of the most important steps within this process, is the planning stage. As you can see from William’s design, he was confident in how he wanted his project to look.

The careful thought and consideration that went into the planning stage, and the prior learning (components) meant that William knew how the ‘insides’ would fit together, and this lead to a brilliant project.

Although we’ve focussed primarily on the Burglar Alarm Bot, if you head over to Phil’s blog, you will see many more great designs by the other pupils in his class.

If you want to have a go at making your own Scanner Bot, head over to our project page.

If you have a go at this project, or any other, we’d love to see! Get in contact with us via emailFacebookTwitter or our Forum, and we may feature your work!

Community Spotlight: Problem Solving Club

Through multiple conversations we’ve had with people over the last 18 months, we have known for a long time that we’ve wanted some kind of ‘community’ blog. This would be a place for us to share and showcase the fantastic work that you’ve all been doing with the Crumble.

Our first guest in the Community Spotlight is Sway Humphries (née Grantham). After having a chat with Sway at Raspberry Fields back in 2018, we had come to the conclusion that we definitely wanted to showcase the ways in which the Crumble was/is being used. Sway told us all about the fantastic ideas that her pupils had been having, and that she would send across some videos. Fast forward seven months, with everyone having seemingly forgotten, we received an email. Sway was at BETT and suddenly had a Crumbly epiphany. Attached was the information for a blog, so here goes!

The following footage and ideas stem (excuse the pun) from a group of 7-9 year olds, taking part in a ‘Problem Solving Club’. All of the creations were planned and created in a single session!

First up, we have a ‘Flood Defence System’. When the water level gets too high, the alarm sounds.

The Flood Defence System in action

Next, we have a ‘Fire Navigating System’. When there is a fire, the alert is switched on and it shows you which way to go to get to the nearest exit.

The Fire Navigating System being put to the test

Finally, we have the ‘Stress-o-meter’. Every time something stressful happens in the day, you press the button, and the scale, as shown on the Sparkle Baton is increased. When the meter reaches the top, a separate LED worn on a wristband is switched on. This then alerts everyone else not to give you any more bad news as it’ll all be too much!

The Stress-o-meter showing us when to steer clear!

As you can see, all of these ideas are fantastic – and given the fact that they were planned for and achieved within one session is incredible.

If you have any great work you want to share with us, get in touch!