Kishroniyah: Robotics

Kishroniyah is one of our centerpiece programs for our Tzad Bet (B-Side) chanichim (campers).  Kishroniyah comes from the Hebrew word kishron, which means skill.  For one week each summer, we invite an array of high-level specialists into camp to run intense special programs for our older campers.  Machonand Nivonim have 12 hours of Kishroniyah from Sunday-to-Wednesday, and Magshimim and Bogrim have 8 hours of Kishroniyah from Wednesday-to-Friday.

Robots are in the news every day.  Companies and universities around the world are inventing and designing so many different robots to do so many things, including working in factories, searching for earthquake victims in collapsed buildings, performing surgery, cooking dinner and cleaning your carpets and gutters.

In our Robotics Kishroniyah group, participants use Lego Mindstorm robot kits to explore robotics and software.  Designed for students and hobbyists, the Lego kits can be assembled, disassembled and re-assembled into five different robot styles — a car, a puppy, a crane, a machine to sort objects by color and GyroBoy/GyroGirl (who drives around while balancing on two wheels).  As described by Lego, “Create and command robots that do what you want. Unlease the creative powers of the new LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set to create and command robots that walk, talk, think and do anything that you can imagine.” In Robotics Kishroniyah, the chanichim (campers) learned to build the different robot styles, learned how to control them, and then were able to cut look and see what they could make them do as they challenged each other in obstacle courses and other competitions.

Robotics Kishroniyah was overseen by engineer Phil Glick.  Educated as a mechanical engineer and a manufacturing engineer, Phil has spent most of his 35-year career writing software for industrial robot systems to be used in factories around the world.  His work can be found in automotive, electronics, medical and pharmaceutical, aerospace and food businesses.  Phil’s projects are in locations throughout the US, and also in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia.  Among his cool projects are robots to paint the Stealth Bomber, robots to build cell phones and Bose music systems, robots to make cosmetics and package the cookies for ice cream sandwiches and robots to build parts for Ford and Chrysler cars.  If you have ever had an injury that required stitches, there is a good chance that Phil programmed the robots and cameras to make the needle.  As a parent of a Ramah graduate, Phil loves coming for Kishroniyah to be a part of the camp experience!