Hello World Camp


I’ve just spent a week in Rapallo, near Genoa, working as a teacher and entertainer for a robotics camp.

It was organised by IIT (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia) and SterrenLab and was addressed to boys aged 10 - 13.

I worked with two colleagues, Lara and Luca, organizing the week and guiding the group during the activities. We stayed, together with the participants, in a cozy hotel close to the town centre, going out occasionally to spend some time at the beach and visit IIT in Genoa.

Here are the pictures taken during the camp activities complete with a short description: some lab/activities we carried out during the week, the town and the visit at IIT.

Sunday - 6:10 AM. Departure from Milan, Central Station.

Rapallo, a view from the rooftop of the hotel.

We started with some educational games on Monday. We first built scribbling machines, then some squishy circuits with LEDs and conductive dough.

Activities started in the morning right after breakfast and continued until mid-afternoon, interrupted by lunch and some breaks.

We spent a day playing with Scratch, creating animations and mini-games, and getting a bit more familiar with programming by solving Blockly Games challenges.

The second half of the week was committed to building and programming a robot. After assembling the structure and wiring the sensors, we gave the kids some code to experiment with and modify.
At the end every group built an autonomous robot that moved along the clap of one’s hands and avoided obstacles.

During the week we also had time to relax, both at the hotel and outside. Here’s a picture of the beach!

Last but most important, we spent a day visiting IIT, in Genoa. I had the chance to see in person two different humanoid robots being developed there:

  • Walkman, a 1.85m tall 120kg heavy robot, developed to work in disaster scenarios
  • iCub, a “child” robot built to support research in embodied artificial intelligence.

Saturday, the day of the departure, everyone had the chance to show what they had created during the week to their parents.

Right after that, I took a train home and I got back right on time for dinner :)

That’s all. It was an intense week. Working with 30 kids, organising all the activities and tutoring them wasn’t an easy task, but it went greatly and everybody was satisfied.

Here are few other photos I took: