We are a student group from Worcester Polytechnic Institute working with the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine in Portland to create a robotic arm prototype exhibit for their inventing section. The museum is in a collaborative with the EcoTarium, a children’s science discovery museum in Worcester, Massachusetts. Through this collaborative, the EcoTarium is allowing us to use their facility to do a good amount of our testing and providing advice and asistance.
The goal of the project is to create a robotic arm exhibit that will promote family learning and interactive engagement while broadcasting to a wide audience and achieving the CMTM’s learning objectives for the exhibit. This goal will be accomplished through a continuous series of testing, rebuilding, and retesting. We plan to test this prototype exhibit by bringing it to the EcoTarium and seeing how the typical museum visitor interacts with our robotic arm prototype exhibit. We will see what they like, what they dont like, and what causes difficulties for the users.
“American museums attract more than 850 million visitors each year, this is more than six times the amount of people that attend every major-league baseball, basketball, football and hockey game in a given year” Mondello (2008). Like this quote sugests, museums are even more popular then sports games and this is for many reasons! Museums are a good way for families to interact, learn, and have fun all at the same time, so parents and teachers can bring their children and students to a museum to teach them in a different yet still safe environment. This is why we are working on our prototype exhibit, to provide even more fun opportunites for people to learn about science and technology, which we love so much, within the museum setting.
Our names are Audrey Blasius, Jerrod Heiser, Katelyn Puttre, and John Stackable and we are all juniors at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. John is an aeronautical engineering major and Jerrod, Audrey and Katelyn are all mechanical engineering majors with concentrations in mechanical design. We have group and project experience including human augmentation and inspection robotics at Electric Boat, high school Remotely Operated Vehicle with video game controllers, as well as work and community outreach experience with children. We are all excited to get working on this project and design our exhibit!