4th Annual Robot Block Party  – All Things Robotic October 2 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join us in the Seaport’s Innovation District for one of the world’s largest festival around all things robotic.  Come see the latest in autonomous vehicles, drones, and the future of work and homes.  Over 30 organizations, including robot manufactures, university labs and robotics clubs will be demonstrating or providing hands on experiences.  You will see robots crawling, walking, flying, and helping humans in new and unique ways. Free and open to the public. See our last Block Party blog post here.  

The Block Party will host a STEM Interactive Pavilion at District Hall from 11:00am – 3:00pm

Building a robot is a fun and engaging way to learn about the possibilities of a career in a STEM related field.  Come to the STEM Pavilion in District Hall to experience the fun of leaning how to program a mobile robot, put together a prosthetic hand, or assemble your own design of a mobile robot. Free and open to the public but reservations for hands on sessions are required.

Jumpstart Program

We created the new Jumpstart Fellowship Program, currently in its pilot year, to provide opportunities for diverse Massachusetts high school girls to learn about careers in robotics and develop their professional networks through direct engagement with industry professionals. The curriculum exposes young women to the many technical skills in areas that are included in the robotics industry, from programming to design and simulation, to hands-on building, prototyping and testing. The program also includes mentorship to help develop a more inclusive technical workforce by preparing diverse talent in high school to pursue careers in STEM and robotics.

We experienced great success with our Cohort 1, and the girls from this program have started their Summer internships at some of our local robotics companies. We are expanding our Jumpstart program and will be accepting applicants for Cohort 2 in September. Preference will be given to Boston residents ( junior / senior girls in high school) Stay tuned for application link. Find more information in our blog post here.

MassRobotics STEM goals

Our goal is to reach students, educators, and families, and help them learn about a different aspect of robotics, from coding to electronics. We aimed to provide ideas for educators on how to incorporate robotics into their curriculum and to provide families and students information on tools and resources available.  Here are some robotic STEM kits – Enjoy these webinar recordings:

Meet Root – iRobot Education’s Coding Robot

Root is a powerful learning tool backed with an extensive library of lessons and activities designed to engage students of all ages: from pre-readers to flourishing programmers. Paired with the easy-to-use iRobot Coding App supported across all platforms and a virtual simulator to support remote learning.

In this introductory session, covers how to get started right away, how iRobot Coding can integrate seamlessly into a blended classroom, and how to introduce coding to students of all ages. A Bonus: You can also follow along at home and code using the simulation mode!

iRobot Education

Create with littleBits – Electronic Building Blocks

Spark your students’ imagination and inspire their creativity with LittleBits. LittleBits makes it easy to demonstrate how technology in the real world actually works, with simple input and block components. You don’t have to have a background in STEM or coding.

At MassRobotics we use LittleBits to teach the next generation of engineers how to make robots. Students begin by creating real-time interactions between sensors and actuators before learning how to add program logic. Soon they can turn their ideas into reality with these electronic building blocks.

Little Bits Classroom

Soft Robotics Toolkit – Prototype, Innovate, Design

SoftRobotics.IO is a community-centered development platform and ecosystem of tools and resources for soft robotics prototyping, innovation, and design. The Toolkit was developed as part of educational research being undertaken in the Harvard Biodesign Lab with the aim to advance the field of soft robotics by allowing designers and researchers to build upon each other’s work.

Learn about the Soft Robotics Toolkit and the collection of shared resources to support the design, fabrication, modeling, characterization, and control of soft robotic devices. The Toolkit includes an open source fluidic control board, detailed design documentation describing a wide range of soft robotic components (including actuators and sensors), and related files that can be downloaded and used in the design, manufacture, and operation of soft robots. In combination with low material costs and increasingly accessible rapid prototyping technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC mills, the Toolkit enables soft robotic components to be produced easily and affordably.

Soft Robotics ToolKit

BrainCo STEM Kit – Prosthetics Technology

BrainCo’s Dexus prosthetic has empowered amputees around the world with cutting edge technology. Based on this tech and its social mission, BrainCo has modified this into a classroom solution that introduces students to the intersection of engineering, artificial intelligence, programming and more with seeking out and solving real world challenges. The BrainCo STEM Hand Base Set includes ready to build hardware, motors, controllers, sensors, IR Remote, cables and more with full curriculum access and a block-based programming platform.

Learn about this award winning Dexus prosthetic and the STEM kit that brings this technology and mission to students around the world.

BrianCo STEM Kit


Robot Stories Interviews with Massachusetts Robotic Icons:

How to become a roboticist

Laurie Leshin, President of Worcester Polytechnic Institute: Laurie has sent robots to Mars, overseen NASA’s largest science center, and even has a piece of the solar system named after her. Cool. She now oversees WPI, offering the first undergraduate program in robotics. Learn how robotics is being taught and the many career paths you can pursue with a robotics degree.

Laurie Leshin was interviewed by Glaydson Pires, a junior at the Dearborn STEM Academy in Roxbury.

How to build and run a successful robotics company

Colin Angle, CEO and cofounder of iRobot: iRobot has hit the home run of robotics with its robotic vacuum, but it didn’t start out building robots for the home. Learn the story of iRobot’s many different robot ideas before they developed the Roomba, and what Colin sees for humans and robots in the future.

Colin Angle was interviewed by Jeralmi Canela, a junior at the Dearborn STEM Academy in Roxbury.

How to turn your robotics idea into a start-up

Helen Greiner, an innovator and robotics expert for the U.S. Army who helped start a number of robotics companies: Helen has done more to bring robots into the mainstream of our lives than perhaps any other entrepreneur. She dates her love of robots back to a childhood infatuation with R2-D2. Learn what inspired her to get into robotics, the experiences she has had and what advice she has for those getting into the field.

Helen Greiner was interviewed by Elizabeth Garcia, a rising senior at the Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Roxbury.

How to further advance robotics technology

Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics: Marc has developed advanced robots that can gallop like a cheetah, negotiate 10 inches of snow, walk upright on two legs and even open doors and deliver packages. You’ve seen the videos. Now learn how Marc and his team came up with a unique approach to overcoming hurdles and what shapes robots will take in the future.

Marc Raibert was interviewed by Shayan Jeanty, a rising senior at Canton High School in Canton MA.

To stay in the know about other upcoming MassRobotics STEM events, register to receive our newsletter