From tiny constructions made from only five LEGO bricks to huge constructions made from too many bricks to count, you’ll be impressed to know that these robotic constructions are made mostly by kids.
Their LEGO train set will be a stand-out piece. You’ll be presented with a big button, press that button any number of times, and the train will automatically travel around the track however many times you pressed that button. There’s even a countdown so you know how many circuits the train has left! While other items are smaller and simpler than the train, they still illustrate what the club does well – robotics.
Hallett Cove Robotics Club isn’t a LEGO builders club, but it’s a club that focusses on building machines and devices, using electronics and microprocesses, that can do things. Club members use whatever they can find to build these constructions, but LEGO just happens to be an excellent material as it’s familiar, easy to find, and adaptable.
With approximately 10-12 items being displayed, the Robotics Club’s goal is to show people all the other things they can do with LEGO that it wasn’t necessarily designed to do. They can add electronics and robotics and make their construction be something other than the exact device on the box.
The not-for-profit Club caters towards kids, though has members ranging from 10-45 years. The man behind the club, Don Eickhoff, says the primary goal of the club was to ‘get kids out of their bedrooms and being social with their peers. By exhibiting at events like Brick-a-laide, they can show the world their builds and feel validated by people thinking their hobbies are a cool thing to do.’
While the Hallett Cove Robotics Club is very full, parents from the club have set up Techspace Learning, a not-for-profit association to promote and encourage other robotics clubs to start around Adelaide. They offer workshops to libraries and schools to introduce kids to the basics of programming and to encourage STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-based interests in an informal setting, with no curriculum and no expectations other than to have fun.
Brick-a-laide is on this Easter weekend and tickets are selling fast, so if you don’t want to miss out on seeing Don and his team’s creations, grab your tickets here.