Weaver Robots a Big Hit at Sydney Maker Faire
Full disclosure: I have had the pleasure of working with the maker Fernando Vega for a year, after seeing the first Weaver prototypes at Incubate.org.au I recruited him to help me with our hardware project.
This past weekend I took my sons to the Maker Faire in Sydney to play with robots. In particular the Weaver Robot. For the life of me I don’t know why its taken me so long to write this story but I have been working with Fernando for a year now on a hardware project and given he is so quietly spoken and not at all self promoting, he doesn’t talk much about the 10 or so amazing Weaver Robots he has created.
So now I have had some time to play with them it’s time for me to talk about them.
Fernando Vega, Mechatronics Engineer from Colombia currently residing in Sydney.
What is it?
A three wheeled educational robot for kids to control using any IOS or Android device with a touch screen. Includes a
- Distance Sensor
- Light Sensor
- Temperature Sensor
- Rotation Sensor
- Microphone and speaker
- LED Matrix 8×8
- Omni wheels – motion in any direction
Where can you get one?
You can’t yet, Fernando is still fine tuning the fabrication and operation and making them production ready before launching a Kickstarter Campaign. Weekends like the maker faire where you have hundreds of kids playing with them all weekend are part of this process (as we can attest having seen at least one dead robot after being trampled by a rampant 10 yr old) as well as numerous schools workshops he has run over the past year . My sons loved playing with them and the Weaver workshop was constantly full of kids and adults driving them every time I walked past, one of the more popular exhibits of the show. While you can’t order one yet you can signup at Weaver.me to be notified when he is ready to begin the first production run.
What can you do with them?
First of all it’s a lot of fun to get a bunch of kids playing Robot Soccer with them, however the real benefit is when the kids start to use the programming capability that Fernando has built into the app. Kids can program the Robots to carry out tasks on the app using simple visual commands and by doing so get some idea of how to get the Robots to operate. Its a great way to introduce young people to what it takes to make things and get them interested in what promises to be one of the highest growth careers in the next decade. It’s ideal for schools that have an active IT and technical program and want to bring introductory robotics into the classroom.