Robot Lab at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit

The Finch robot provides hands-on, introductory computer science education to Michigan Science Center visitors this summer, June 20-Sept. 6, 2015.

Drop the video game controllers this summer. The Michigan Science Center’s first-ever Robot Lab exhibit introduces visitors to Finch robots June 20-Sept. 6, 2015. Carnegie Mellon created the Finch as an introduction to computer science – and its multi-faceted curriculums are accessible to any level of programmer – including beginners.

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Thanks to the Michigan Science Center – and supported by Quicken Loans – kids can enjoy a hands-on experience and learn the basics of computer language.

The robust and practical model is tethered and powered over USB, eliminating reliance on batteries and simplifying set up. The robot has light sensors, obstacle sensors, a temperature sensor (watch its nose glow when it’s cold!) and a free-access accelerometer “to measure orientation.” Other programmable outputs include the ability to generate speech and sounds, access Internet RSS feeds and attach webcams, Michigan Science Center’s website notes.

Participants can walk around the exhibit at their leisure. Pick up an iPad to arrange code and watch the Finch respond to your instructions. Then test your computer language in the daily robot challenge!

The exhibit begins June 20 and runs through Labor Day weekend. Times are as follows:

  • Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday: noon-6 p.m.

General admission rates apply. Admission is $14 for adults and $11 for kids ages 2-12. Tykes under 2 get in free.

Find all the details for the Robot Lab – and even more things to do in metro Detroit this weekend – in the Metro Parent calendar.

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