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Suffolk pupils programme robots to dance to viral hit ‘Baby Shark’

PUBLISHED: 20:15 17 January 2019

The Robotics club at Otley Primary School with class teacher Richard Williams Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The Robotics club at Otley Primary School with class teacher Richard Williams Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

The words ‘Baby Shark’ are probably enough to strike fear into the heart of any parent after the popular song and dance routine went viral in recent months.

However, youngsters at a Suffolk school have taken the craze and turned it into something rather different.

Pupils from Otley Primary School’s newly formed Robotics Club have been showing off the moves of their mechanical friends by choreographing a routine for them based on ‘Baby Shark’ which they have been performing to the rest of the school and local community.

The club was formed back in September and has seen pupils building and programming their own robots.

Richard Williams, class teacher at Otley and computing lead and coach of the Robotics club said: “I set up the club to teach the children how to create a robotics performance according to the rules of RoboCup, the world’s largest robotics competition.

The robots and students dancing at Otley Primary School  Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe robots and students dancing at Otley Primary School Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“By learning the basics of robotics, I have witnessed the children’s creativity and problem solving skills really develop over the last few months. Some of them have even taken the robots home to work on them at the weekend.”

Mr Williams hopes that the school will be able to enter the competition and maybe win.

He said:“I believe there is no limit to what these children can achieve. The children are beginning to talk about going to the national finals of RoboCup, which are usually held in spring.

“Who knows, maybe one day this small school could represent the UK at the World finals.”

Mike Williams from BT shows pupils other innovative technology   Picture: RACHEL EDGEMike Williams from BT shows pupils other innovative technology Picture: RACHEL EDGE

As well as the performance, the school welcomed a showcase of modern commercial robots, brought by Mike Williams, senior innovation consultant at BT.

One of the robots taking part in the dance, ‘Meccanoid’, was donated by Suffolk One college for the primary school pupils to use but now has to return to the college. The school hope that local businesses may be able to help them to expand the club in the future.

“We are really proud to host this Robotics Showcase at our small rural school,” said Mr Williams, “The children in the club have learnt to share my own personal robotics kits.“We would love to reach out to local companies willing to help sponsor the club.

“The more robots we have, the more children we can have in the club.”

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