The inaugural NAS Robotic Challenge on March 30 saw the student space in Building 10, Level 3 transformed into a LEGO lover’s paradise, as part of #DiscoverNAS launch activities.

Set up like an engineer’s workshop with long white tables and interactive touch screens, students teamed up around mountains of plastic pieces from ‘Mindstorm’ LEGO kits to build remote controlled robots. The kits combine classic LEGO blocks with a programmable brick, a combination which appealed to Conner, a Bachelor of Engineering student (Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics), who said it brought back fond memories of playing with construction toys when he was younger.

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“I think I’ve always had a core interest in mechatronics. Playing with LEGO and building LEGO when I was a kid kind of falls under that umbrella, it was an extension of my interest in mechanics and robots”

Made up of students from Computer Science, Mechatronics and Robotics degrees, the different teams quickly formed close bonds within the muted, calming black and white colour scheme used in the Building 10, Level 3 passageway.  While the area is largely open plan, it still offers semi enclosed nooks and corridors for collaborative group work – our LEGO savvy students putting this to the test as they took up residence in one of the innovative spaces the NAS project has delivered to RMIT.

With names like TRACK3R, SPIK3R and GRIPP3R, the LEGO Mindstorm robots were the most fitting way to illustrate RMIT’s progressive approach to student spaces, as Jack (another Mechatronics student) aptly observed:

“You know it’s futuristic when they use numbers instead of letters”.

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The Robotics Challenge was one of many #DiscoverNAS events that the NAS project office has held at RMIT, offering staff and students engaging opportunities to discover the new spaces on campus.

Words: Katharine Chomkowicz