Invercargill Public Library to roll out robots
Robots will soon be roaming the Invercargill Public Library as part of a new initiative that aims to teach children the basics of computer programming.
Six Dash and Dot Robots are expected to arrive at the library this week, and will be rolled out as part of digital workshops during the school holidays next month.
Library digital and communications manager Bonnie Mager said children would be able to make the robots move around, play music on a xylophone, draw pictures, build with Lego bricks and race through a maze.
The children would use an app on one of the library's tablets to code and programme the robots, she said.
"We want to give kids the chance to experience new technology in a fun and interactive way," Mager said.
"The robots can do a range of things depending on which activity you choose on the iPad."
Mager said the digital workshops were targeted at children aged from five to their early teenage years, with different activities designed for each age group.
They would begin during the school holidays and continue in after-school clubs from the start of the next school term, she said.
The library would be ordering more advanced robots for its MakerSpace, which is expected to start within the next two years, she said.
"It may be that the teenagers can only do a little bit with these robots before it gets too simple for them," Mager said.
"It's just a beginning step for the teens to see if they're interested in programming and coding before we get the more advanced robots in."
The introduction of robots is the latest step into the digital age for the library, which lent almost twice the number of CDs and DVDs over summer than it did last year after lowering its borrowing fees.
The library also offers multimedia services including eBooks, audiobooks, digital newspapers and PlayStation and X-Box games.
- The Southland Times