Richmond robot enthusiasts are invited to bring machine parts to life

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A Richmond nonprofit has invited robot enthusiasts to build Lego sets, get their hands on 3D printing, or use robotic kits to create their own inventions.

How do you distract Gen Z from their uninterrupted TikTok viewing?

Tony Liu, founder of RoboPlanet — a Richmond nonprofit focused on problem-solving and teaching robotics — has a solution.

Liu invites children to play and build their own robotic toys.

“And it works most of the time,” laughed Liu.

Local robot enthusiasts are invited to attend an upcoming robotics fair at 7080 River Rd. on July 24.

Participants will be divided into three categories based on their age and will be encouraged to build Lego sets, get their hands on 3D printing or use robotic kits to make their own inventions, Liu added.

“You can do whatever you want with these materials and resources that we provide. The goal of the event is to help our next generation have fun in the process of inventing robotics,” Liu added.

“Some kids left the event with a long-term interest to enter computer science, technology, engineering and math in the near future.”

Young children can hang out in the Lego sets area, and for students who have a solid grasp of math and computers, they can make simple robots to perform autonomous movements, Liu said.

“The upcoming event allows you to apply the knowledge you learned in class in the real world. For example, instead of seeing machines stop working or on-screen messages indicating the error, you can detect and learn from what’s wrong,” Liu said.

The event will take place on July 24 at unit 201 at 7080 River Rd. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost of tickets is $5 for adults and children under five are free to enter.

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