PROVIDENCE – The annual Robot Block Party is planned for Saturday, April 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Pizzitola Memorial Sports Center at Brown University. The event, now in its fifth year, gathers the tech community, universities, K-12 schools and community groups in a celebration of robots and the career opportunities they represent.
The free event is created by Rhode Island Students of the Future, and the Brown University Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative and Department of Computer Science.
RISF offers mentor-based programs to build STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, skills in young people, as well as to inspire leadership. The nonprofit organization is also an operational partner in FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. of Rhode Island.
Past Robot Block Party demonstrations have ranged from ocean-exploration devices to animatronic toys, according to HCRI.
Robot Block Party exhibitors include Roger Williams University, the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island School of Design and Johnson & Wales University; Moses Brown School, Martin Middle School and Mount Pleasant High School; Zebra Technologies, Sproutel, igus and Hasbro, along with many other schools and companies.
As part of the event, Brown University will host the Brown IEEE Robotics Competition, with teams from Brown, Harvard University, Yale University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Johns Hopkins University and other universities competing. Brown IEEE is the university’s student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Teams are tasked with building micromouse robots and programming them to complete a maze.
Other organizations tentatively participating in Robot Block Party include Aquidneck Island Robotics 4H; Providence Community Library; Rhode Island Drone Club; and the Rhode Island Computer Museum, among many others.
“Robot Block Party is a fun way to build the skills that prepare our students for a 21st-century workforce,” said Gov. Gina M. Raimondo in a prepared statement. “Robotics technology will fuel a broad array of products and solutions in manufacturing, health care, agriculture, national defense and transportation.”
Organizers say the event is an opportunity to demonstrate how robotics will factor in to those industries, as well as in areas of research, toy design and education.
Robot Block Party tickets are free, and can be reserved here.
Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributor.