Students are building and programming robots in science class this week.

The robots are composed of an "intelligent" (programmable) brick that can run a number of add-on components. The students are learning to write programs using the NXT programming language. They write the programs on their computers and download them to the robots to test their programming skills. Sometimes the robots surprise us!

The kits are built by Lego specifically to teach beginning programming skills to middle grades students. For more information see the official site.

Check out this TED Talk about building empathetic robots.

What do you think? Is this cool, a little bit scary, or both? Feel free to add a comment in the discussion tab.

Update: October 21, the finale
We are still emphatically not promoting robot on robot violence. No robots were harmed in the making of this video. . .
On the other hand, you may go cross-eyed watching it because the camera was held sideways and I (Sarah Hanawald) don't know how to turn it easily. Please remember, we're still learning how to use all these tools.

Update: October 20
The robots have been built and customized. While we are most emphatically NOT promoting robot wrestling, we did have an encounter between two robots recently. Here is the result:

And here's a very obedient robot:

Writing a program

Building the robot.
We have to attach the robot to the computer.

Testing the program
What does this button do?

gathering for the finale