Aquatic robotics added to the county fair experience

by Briana Sutherland
Contributing writer
The pool inside the 4-H Exhibit Building during the Sherburne County Fair wasn’t for warm fair-goers to cool off, but to demonstrate the uses and capabilities of robots underwater.

A new exhibit at the fair was the Aquatic Robotics, where the 4-H Lego League team members educated, informed and entertained people with their underwater robots. These team members explore and develop science, engineering and technology skills through robotics-related programs during the year through the 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology Initiative.

The goal of the 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology Initiative is to address America’s need for more scientists and engineers by engaging 150,000 youth by 2013. This goal will be achieved by providing activities and projects that use hands-on activities to engage youth in expanding their science, engineering and technology knowledge, skills and abilities.

Andy Barnes and his sons, Aiden and Liam, were operating the robots Saturday morning.  Both children were involved in the Lego League last year and enjoyed being a part of the league.

“We’re here to help support the booth and try to get other kids involved with robots and their uses,” said Barnes.

Beneath the waters of the pool was an obstacle course, where anyone passing by could try and drive the robots through underwater hoops using a remote control and view their actions on a camera.

“I really like driving the robots,” said Aiden.

For more information or to get involved in the Sherburne County 4-H Robotics Project, contact Steve Vrchota at 612-747-4996 or Pat Manning at 763-607-0507.

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