By Lizajane Emmanuella Bunyan
How could I forget? How could I regret? Honestly, how could I deny? How amazing the last two weeks of my life have been, how beneficial it’s been to me. But the truth is that nothing comes easily. Just as life is a journey with challenges and victories, robotics was an experience with problems and fun. I had heard so many things about robotics yet I’d never experienced it and this was my time to enjoy it. Stepping into my first robotics session perplexed and ignorant, I could not enjoy robotics and my eyes just failed me. Right from the start, I counted down to the closing minutes of the session. It took ages to end and I thought I had made the biggest mistake in my life but that was just the beginning.
As humans we progress through life from babies to children to youth and then to adulthood. Confidently walking through the walls of Ashesi as a baby or even an egg of my mother, I was optimistic. Prior to this experience I didn’t know about robots. I hadn’t read, watched or discussed robots with anyone and I certainly didn’t know how to build them with LEGOs.
However AIX was determined to make me more than a child but an adult in robotics. In just two days and few short sessions we had educative lectures which boosted my programming knowledge in robotics. For a fact, I can’t deny that robotics has improved my knowledge of computer science. Now I have grown into an adult in the field.
One thing AIX taught me is TEAMWORK. It is an undisputable fact that we all had teams comprising of four members with each pair given a robot. In pairs and as a group, we worked on mini challenges which built our courage in robots. With the mindset that “practice makes perfect”. we demonstrated what we learnt after every lecture. It was exciting work.
Unique as AIX is to every major course, there was a challenge and robotics was no different. In fact, we had the most difficult challenge ever. Tied with our trip to a waste management plant, our challenge was to design two robots in our groups. One to collect balls and LEGO bricks as garbage from the houses of customers and another to sort them into recyclable and non-recyclable parts. This may sound easy but NO! We had to design and program our robots in two and half hours. It was frustrating and tiring at several points.
Sometimes the robots choose not to follow the program and sometimes the robots just fall apart. This defined the popular phrase “Game Day”, which meant that no matter how hard you tried, your robot might just not work on the D-day. It may work during practice but may fail on the actual day, and I was a victim of this.
All in all, robotics has taught me teamwork, perseverance, endurance and cooperation.