Building the Mars Rover with your Kids

Wouldn’t Know Where to Start?

Every year we hear about somebody else’s children doing incredibly exciting things with technology.  It always seems to be something well beyond the capability and budget of the average parent and so we dismiss it as – “they’re lucky to have a parent who can do that.”

But Cloud Technology and Cloud Partnerships are closing the gap between the “can do” parents and those who “wouldn’t know where to start”.

When you think of Amazon, you think of an online shop.  But Amazon is not just an online shop, it is one of the biggest online shops in the World and in order to grow they have adopted, adapted and developed technology.

AWS RoboMaker

This technology ranges from automatic invoicing, order fulfilment, purchasing, distribution and security to the use of intelligent robots and drones.  The great news is that this is all available to the rest of us – hobbyist, student, parent, teacher, school, university, business, or Government.  

In 2018, Amazon announced AWS RoboMaker an integrated environment for controlling robots. Built around the open source Robot Operating System (ROS) and integrating a number of AWS Cloud Services we are now able to use this service to build and deploy robots with the ability to see, hear, speak and think.

LEA, the Lean Empowering Assistant is a great example of AWS RoboMaker technology in action.  This is a walking frame for the elderly and infirm which can be summoned by its owner to come to them.  It can detect and avoid obstacles, provide counterweights to aid balance.  It can provide calendar and medication reminders, help with exercises and make video calls at the click of a button.

Yet more exciting, is that our children all have the opportunity to work with this technology now. AWS has formed partnerships with a number of organisations including NASA who have published the designs for a Mars Robot that can be built at home.  Indeed, if you visit the AWS RoboMaker site you can purchase kits online and then use RoboMaker to build them.  There is detailed instruction to guide even the most tech wary amongst us.

The ability to build robots that can see, hear, speak and think is now available to all of us.

We can use it in our business or we can use it in our play.


John Dunning works for 1Tech, an AWS Cloud Partner.