Humanoid robots have arrived on the Coast
  • Tuesday 04 April 2017
ImageA humanoid robot that can be programmed to cook, play rugby and even dance off to Beyoncé will be part of unique robotics workshop on the Sunshine Coast today.

Local children will learn vital skills in computer coding and computational thinking – all while playing with state-of-the-art robots.

The Robots are Coming workshops, running this week at Sunshine Coast Council’s libraries, are part of the $500,000 Telstra Kids Fund Digital Futures Program, which aims to boost technology and digital abilities in young people living in regional areas.

Telstra Queensland Area General Manager May Boisen said the workshops were about arming local kids with the skills they needed for the jobs of the future.

“Our world is changing. Around one million Australian jobs in manufacturing, administration and labouring that existed 25 years ago are no longer part of our workforce,” Ms Boisen said.

“Technology and innovation are a central part of Australia’s future, and this program is about building these abilities in our local kids.

“Why robots? Because it’s fun. Sunshine Coast kids will be using computer code to program a range of robots to move and interact.

“They’ll be learning essential digital skills and having a blast while doing it.”

Ms Boisen said Telstra had gifted a robotics suite to Sunshine Coast Libraries for ongoing learning workshops.

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the NAO humanoid robot and EZ-Robots would be a welcome addition to the skill development of our region’s young people.

“This futuristic technology is in line with council’s vision of being Australia’s most sustainable region - healthy, smart and creative,” Cr McKay said.

“I would like to commend and thank Telstra for investing in our future generation of young technology experts.”

Division 8 Councillor Jason O’Pray said the library’s new robots would be in the hands of local kids for the first time today.

“I know my children will keen to get busy with the new NAO humanoid robot and EZ-Robots,” Cr O’Pray said.

“I can only imagine the buzz they will get creating their very own customised personal robot.

“In April, our libraries will be rolling out workshops for kids aged from 10 to 14.

“The best part is that it breaks down the myth that computer coding and robotics is hard and complex.

“As the youngsters who attend will find out, it’s in fact great fun and for all skill levels, beginners to advanced.”

The Telstra Kids Fund Digital Futures program is rolling out more than 40 digital projects for young people in regional areas right across Australia, from cyberbullying to robotic workshops and digital media making.

“With the NBN rolling out in the Sunshine Coast, this community will be more connected than ever before,” Ms Boisen said.

“The Telstra Kids Fund Digital Futures program is about maximizing the potential that comes with connection and fast, reliable broadband for families in our area.” 

Visit council’s library website to find out more about the Robots are Coming workshops.