Thorsten Leimbach

Describe yourself: Who you are and what you're doing?
Thorsten Leimbach is the project leader of the Fraunhofer IAIS Initiative "Roberta - Learning with Robots". Roberta is european-wide initiative (Austria, UK, Sweden, Italy and Switzerland). The Roberta provides training courses and comprehensive teaching materials to teachers and others who want to increase girls' enthusiasm for technical professions.

I have studied, business informatics in Nürnberg and Bonn (Germany) and I am 33 years old. My first contact with Robots were Lego Mindstorm Robotic System (RCX).

Hobbies besides robotic are playing Soccer, Basketball and backcountry skiing.

With "Roberta" we want to take young people exspecially girls into the fascinationg world of robots, where they can learn science, technology and IT in an exiting and realistic way.

How did your interest in robots / robotics start?
After a 6 month traineeship at the Robotics Department at Fraunhofer IAIS, i decided to change my place of study from Nürnberg to Bonn and to make my exam related to robotic.

 

What kind of actions needs to be done in the community to increase the interest and the awareness of robots / robotics?
Robotics allows for a hands-on introduction to technolgy. Children can try out things for themselves. With the help of educationally and technicallay adapted robots, even young children can learn the basics of robot construction and programming in less then two hours. By designing, construction and programming and testing mobile autonomous robots, children learn that technology is fun and how technical systems are developed. This helps them gain knowlegde in IT, electrical engineering, mechanics and robotics. In our Roberta-Initiative we are also include other (for kids and young people) interesting devices like Nitendo wii, Microsoft kinect and Android Smartphones. The idea behind is, to bring Robotics together with other devices and to show how they can interact on a smart way.

 

If you have any closing remarks or comments about robots / robotics, then go ahead.
Constructing and using robots is the ideal way to communicate the types of knowledge that are important to understand technical problems, but also philosophical questions, such as those concerning intelligence and autonomy of artivicial systems!

Links:

Homepage: http://www.roberta-home.de
Twitter: http://twitter.com/RobertaIAIS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Roberta.Roboter

Articles:
http://www.simpar.org/ws/sites/TR-TWR-2010/20-TeachingRobotics.pdf

http://www.rapidonline.com/netalogue/resources/docs/Roberta.pdf

The list of Roberta publications:
http://www.roberta-home.de/de/was-ist-roberta/publikationen

Flyer (we are also offering Roberta Teacher-Trainings, where we train people how to address girls):
http://www.academy.fraunhofer.de/Images/Roberta_8S_DINlang_freigabe_tcm41-82637.pdf

[source: Vive Les Robots!]

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Thorsten Leimbach

Thorsten Leimbach is the project leader of the Fraunhofer IAIS Initiative "Roberta - Learning with Robots".

 

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