Robotics Activity Box

Learn about coding and technology!
Related Engineering Disciplines: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Software Engineering
You can learn more about this box and purchase it here.

To know more about our programming, visit: and follow @discovereuofa on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube for more exciting content for kids!

Engineering Activity Box Extensions and Tips
Language of Robots: Try writing your own codes for the cup coding activity and have
a friend or family member test it out.
Build-a-Bot: Try creating your circuit in different ways. Look up series and parallel
circuits. What do they mean and how are they different?
Drawing Robot: Try moving the markers on the robot into different positions. Does
this change the drawing? What are some other ways you can change the drawing?



 The BLINC Lab's Bionic Arm

Featuring: Quinn Boser, Riley Dawson, Rory Dawson, Ben Hallworth, Reihaneh Ravari, and Heather Williams. The Bionic Limbs for Improved Natural Control (BLINC) Lab designs, creates, and improves robotic prostheses. In this lab, medical, science, and engineering researchers work together to improve the lives of people who have lost a limb. Rory Dawson is the BLINC Lab’s lead research engineer. One of his important projects is called the Bento Arm. Riley Dawson is a Masters student studying Business Administration and Engineering, and Quinn Boser is a researcher. Together, they are building computer code for studying motion capture and eye tracking to understand how people move and navigate. Heather Williams is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering, studying how machine learning could be used to improve how prostheses interact with muscles and the electrical signals they send. Reihaneh Ravari is a PhD student in Rehabilitation Science studying how people walk when they are using different types of prosthetic legs. This includes legs that fit over their existing partial leg, and prosthetics that are surgically attached to their bodies! Ben Hallworth is a current Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering student who is developing prosthetic systems and studying different ways to control prostheses.

What made you interested in studying robotics?
Rory: It is like real life video games.
Riley: A lot of my favorite comics as a kid had crazy robots in them.
Heather: I was a huge fan of Lego Mindstorms as a kid
Quinn: I like helping people and I think robotics has a lot of potential applications that can help people
Ben: Watching cartoons and movies like Iron Man, and seeing all the things that robots do better than humans.

What do you think the future of robotics is?
Riley: I think there will be a lot of helper robots to assist older folks and people with dangerous jobs.
Heather: More robots to perform repetitive tasks, especially those that can be dangerous to people.

What is your favourite movie?
Rory: WALL-E; Reihaneh: Beauty and the Beast; Heather: The Little Mermaid

Want to learn more about the BLINC Lab and robotics? Check out the following social media sites and recommended resources.
BLINC Lab: ; Youtube ; Twitter
Other Resources:


David Scott


David Scott is a graduate from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta. He graduated from Engineering with a Bachelor of Science with distinction in Chemical Engineering through the co-op program. He also completed a Master of Science in Computer Process Control. During his time as a student he co-founded the Indigenous Engineering Society in the Faculty and was an active volunteer and mentor. He loves working within a community and seeing how, as a group, they can inspire each other and move towards a common goal. David is currently living in Singapore working for as a machine learning engineer. While working in China previously he picked up bilingual fluency in Chinese!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Follow your passions. In junior high I loved taking things apart, I would take apart my XBox 360 controller to modify it and make it better, from this I was able to start up a mini business selling these modified controllers. Sometimes our goals can be daunting, instead of focusing on the mountain, focus on the staircase, step-by-step. So, if you want to be a Google level coder – enjoy the process of trouble shooting code and machine systems. It is always difficult at the beginning, but as you chip away, and once we are better and more confident it will become easy and fun.

What type of challenges did you encounter in the field?
Start-up companies are so cool to work for and are very rewarding. It does require a lot of perseverance, but being able to finally solve the problem feels great!

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now?
I think, amazed! I loved playing games on computers and working with computers at age 10. I would have never expected that when I grew up, someone would pay me money to work and code on computers.


Jenny Lee

Jenny Lee with a robotics project

Jenny is an engineering student at the University of Alberta. Growing up she always had a passion for robotics, which started with LEGO® robotics! Today, she builds more complex robots in a student group called the Autonomous Robotics Vehicle Project (ARVP). This group builds robots that can move through an obstacle course by themselves, underwater! During her spare time, Jenny also volunteers by teaching elementary and junior high kids about LEGO® robotics!

What made you interested in studying robotics?
I’ve always loved building stuff with my hands. When I started doing LEGO® robotics at school I immediately loved it, especially when I started participating in the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Challenge. Seeing other kids being passionate about robotics like I was made me feel like part of a really cool group!

If you were to build the perfect robot, what would it do and why?
It would help doctors in the hospital by taking the stress off surgeons and making the operations quicker and safer.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Want to learn more about ARVP and robotics? Check out the following social media sites and recommended resources.
ARVP: Instagram
Other Resources:


Samuel Ifemeje

Samuel Ifemeje

Samuel is a member of the University of Alberta’s Aerial Robotics Student Group (UAARG). UAARG is a student-run group from the Faculty of Engineering that works on aerial (flying) vehicle projects. The main goals of UAARG include building a low-cost aerial robot that is capable of taking photos and videos, and can move around on its own based on code. The UAARG also teaches its members about electrical engineering, remote controlled aircrafts, and unmanned aerial vehicles, which means airplanes that can fly without a pilot inside them! Students work to design, build, and test different parts of the group’s aircraft. Every year the UAARG team competes in an international competition, testing their aircraft against other groups from all around the world.

What made you interested in studying robotics?
I was curious about things that moved by themselves.

If you were to build the perfect robot, what would it do and why?
A robot that can do everything a human can do.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
Finishing a two-man team design project with a grade of 93%.

Want to learn more about UAARG and robotics? Check out the following social media sites.
UAARG: Facebook ; LinkedIn

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