What’s it like to go to Robot Camp? OWL asked Bot Camp Counsellor and Co-Founder Shawn Lim.
OWL: What is the coolest thing you can do at Bot Camp?
Shawn: You get to bring something to life—just like the mad scientist in Frankenstein! Building robots is so much fun because it feels like you are breathing life into a bunch of random robot parts. When you power on your soccer-playing robot for the first time and finally score a goal with it, it is the coolest feeling in the world! You think to yourself: “Wow, I actually made that?” Yes, you did! It was nothing more than a pile of junk a few hours before, then you came along, put the pieces together, and brought the whole thing to life.
OWL: Do you need experience with robots to go to Bot Camp?
Shawn: No experience is needed at all. If you’ve never built a robot before, and might be a bit scared, you will fit in perfectly at Bot Camp. All of our counselors (including me) felt the same way when we built our very first robots and understand that it can be pretty scary. Building robots can be difficult, but having a really friendly robotics expert beside you to help is important. Think of how cool it would be if Sidney Crosby or Eugenie Bouchard hung out with you every day for one week, and taught you all the secrets behind why they’re such great athletes? That’s what we do at Bot Camp! Except our counselors are all-star roboticists, and will teach you all their secrets about building robots.
OWL: What other kinds of fun things happen at Bot Camp?
Shawn: You get to make really great friends. I remember when I was little, I actually really liked school. I thought it was fun to learn as much as I could, to try really hard in class, and get good grades. It was hard because a lot of other kids would make fun of me and call me a nerd or geek. It kind of made me sad and mad, because I don’t think anyone should be made fun of for trying hard, or wanting to learn. When I started building robots, something really cool happened. The people who made fun of me saw the robots I made and thought they were really cool, too! We built a basketball robot that could out-shoot our school’s best player, and soon everyone was asking me about it. After that day, so many people wanted to learn how to build awesome robots. Before we knew it, our star football and volleyball players were joining our school’s robotics team, and we all became really great friends.