Rise of the Robots: Doing it Gangham Style!

Wellington City Libraries are embracing the following trends: technology, coding and robots. To support the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) learning platform, we now have two new team members to assist library staff in this process in the form of Nao Robot twins: Blue and Red.

Blue and Red are fully automated Nao, (pronounced ‘now’) humanoid Robots. They are 58cm tall, autonomous, and fully programmable. They walk, talk, listen to you, and even recognise your face. Blue and Red can even whip out a few dance moves to Thriller by Michael Jackson, Gangnam style by PSY and more! Like most humans, if the robots fall down they manage to get themselves back up again, along with a few grunts and groans, and touch wood without any broken limbs or bones.

The robots made their official debut at Wellington Central Library on Monday 10th of July, at the ‘Meet the Robots’ event, part of the Beyond the Page literary festival for children during the school holidays. Apart from a few technical difficulties and performance anxiety issues, for both the librarians’ and robots the event proved to be a success. Blue and Red were the main attractions and stole the show. Parents and kids were whipping out their cell phones to photograph and film the robots paparazzi style! Everyone was mightily impressed with what the robots could do. They loved the performances and there were a lot of ‘ooohs’, ‘aaahs’ and giggling, and a huge round of applause at the end! Overall Blue and Red are a welcome addition to the library, as well as an ideal learning platform for teaching STEAM subjects. With the robots on our team, Wellington City Libraries can continue to work alongside organisations, such as schools, businesses and Information Technology Institutes.  Together we’ll ensure the STEAM platform is promoted and taught to the wider community – Gangnam style!

Kids’ Club Review by Julius: The toy sale

The toy saleThe toy sale, by Sally Rippin

So in this book, the first place there was a kid named Jack. He was going to sort out his toys the ones that he will keep and the ones that will be given away. Once he had a robot dog from Christmas but it didn’t work anymore so he put it with the toys that are gonna be sold so he made a toy sale. But along came a girl and she was looking what she wanted.. Soon she picked up the robot dog and see if she wanted it. It was what she wanted so Jack said to her “maybe that needs new batteries?”” Jack said. After he said that, the girl was going to ask her friend Rebecca to help her. Soon along two kids came by and one wanted the Lego man and the other one wanted the Star Wars cup and they had enough money for it so they bought it. Soon the girl and Rebecca came back to the toy sale. Rebecca only had 7dollars and 50 cents and the robot dog was 10 dollars so rebecca says if she could give that much so Jack says “um I guess so” so Jack got the money and Rebecca got the robot dog. After a few minutes later Jack could hear the dog doing tricks and stuff so Jack shouts “that’s not fair!”. “It’s too fair” the girls glare at Jack’s head is fizzed with anger. But soon he thinks he has something better than the robot dog, He has a real life dog named Scraps so he says “Come on Scraps let’s go play ball”. And that’s the end and I really liked it because if something that looks the same and there’s one that you like and you mistakenly give it away, the other one turns out to be the better one.

5 stars

Reviewed by Julius from Tawa and , 8 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Julius: Stormasaurix

StormasaurixStormasaurix, by Mac Park

I like the book because they have amazing robots and machines. The good guys are Kai, bc BMC and they won over the stormasaurix. It’s a book about defeating the stormasaurix. A stormasaurix is a three headed dragon but it first started two..

5 stars

Reviewed by Julius from Tawa and , 8 years old

Become an inventor!

If you could design and make something, what would it be? Something so amazing and fantastic that your friends are going to be sooooo jealous.

What about a robot that cleans your room or hover shoes that you could zoom around on. Maybe  a small pill that has all your vegetables hidden inside (even broccoli) and when you swallow it, it tastes like chocolate or strawberries and cream.

This website has some  great inventions that kids have designed and they have been turned into real products.  I really like the scooter.

So get your thinking caps on and start creating. You might like to check out some of these great books to get you started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids’ Club Review by Caitlin: Liō

LiōLiō, by Mark Tatulli

This is a great and funny comic strip series, which involves Lio who makes his own friends – robots! In the end Lio learns a lesson and finds his own friends. I really liked all the drawings and it was a funny comicstrip as well.

4 stars

Reviewed by Caitlin from Island Bay and St Francis De Sales School , 11 years old

Cool new children’s books coming soon

There are some awesome new kids fiction titles coming out in the next couple of months. While they haven’t landed on our library shelves yet, they’re already on our catalogue for you to reserve. The ones listed here are all sequels, so you can catch up with the rest of the series while you’re waiting for the new orders to arrive.

 

Double DownDouble Down by Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11.

The pressure’s really piling up on Greg Heffley. His mum thinks video games are turning his brain to mush, so she wants her son to put down the controller and explore his “creative side.”

As if that’s not scary enough, Halloween’s just around the corner and the frights are coming at Greg from every angle.

When Greg discovers a bag of gummy worms, it sparks an idea. Can he get his mum off his back by making a movie . . . and will he become rich and famous in the process?

 

 

Frenemies Forever by Rachel Renee Russell – Dork Diaries #11.

Nikki is spending a week at North Hampton Hills as part of the school transfer programme.

The good news is that NHH is super-cool and preppy.

The bad news is that Nikki’s nemesis MacKenzie started there two weeks ago!

But, faced with NHH queen bee Tiffany, who takes meanness to a whole new level, Nikki might need to work WITH Mackenzie if she’s going to survive the week! Can Nikki and MacKenzie overcome their differences and become BFFS … Best Frenemies Forever?!

 

 

Hammer of ThorMagnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan – sequel to The Sword of Summer.

Thor’s hammer is missing again . The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon – the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds.

But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn.

Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki – and the price he wants is very high.

 

 

Rise of the Robot Army by Robert Venditti Robot Army

Following on from Attack of the Alien Horde comes the second book in the Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape series, about an eighth grader who finds himself unexpectedly thrust into the role of real-life superhero.

His latest mission: to defeat an army of robots designed to destroy him!

5 Pixar Movies to watch these school holidays

Just in time for the wintery-est of school holidays. With the release of Finding Dory, produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, why not go down to your local library and check out some other DVDs released by the same companies:

image courtesy of amazon.com

Finding Nemo (2003)

Go back to where it all began where Marlin goes on an epic quest from the great barrier reef to Sydney in order to find and save his son, Nemo, while meeting and encountering new friends on the way such as surfer turtles that live to 150 years old, vegetarian sharks who have regular meetings and of course, Dory herself!, a good-hearted and optimistic regal blue tang with short-term memory loss.

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

The Incredibles (2004)

Looking for a DVD where action, Superheroes and Disney are combined? Look no further, Check out The Incredibles, a movie that follows a family of superheroes who are forced to hide their powers and live a quiet suburban life. Mr. Incredible’s desire to help people draws the entire family into a battle with a villain and his killer robot.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

Cars (2006)

A hot-shot race-car named Lightning McQueen gets waylaid in Radiator Springs, where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family. This is a movies that boys will enjoy, especially boys into cars and formula one racing.

 

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

WALL-E (2008)

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot named WALL-E, inadvertently embarks on a space journey, to reunite with new found friend, fellow robot named EVE, that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

Up (2009)

Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway named Russell. This is the movie that came up with sayings and references such as ‘Adventure is out there!”, “the cone of shame.”, and where Kevin can be a girl’s name and Dogs can talk, not meaning woof, woof but actual words like: “My name is Dug. I have just met you, and I love you.”

New school year means new children’s fiction to try

We know you’re excited about the new school year school starting, and we reckon you should get excited about these new titles too! Give them a go; try something new!

Sammael’s Wings by Hilton Pashley

“Everything Jonathan loves is threatened. His angel father is wounded and lost, and his demon mother is missing in Hell. When his great-aunt Sammael, an archangel, returns from exile, Jonathan finally has a chance to bring his family back together. But a terrible new enemy wants to create chaos and fear throughout the universe, and he needs Jonathan’s wings to do it. Jonathan must go through Heaven and Hell to save them all…”–Back cover.

 

A Galaxy Too Far Away by Jamie ThomsonImage courtesy of Syndetics

Harry was just an ordinary teenage boy from Croydon when he was abducted by aliens and accidentally became the captain of their starship. His quest to get back home to Earth continues – but now he’s acquired an alien ‘son’ and a new spacecraft, and he’s being pursued by an eight-foot robot bounty hunter.

 

The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela BrownImage courtesy of Syndetics

When seven bored children discover an abandoned chapel in their home town, they decide to renovate it and to form the Blue Door Theatre Company. The talented and resourceful group soon discover that they are serious about their theatrical ambitions, but will their parents stand in their way?

 

The Power of Poppy Pendle by Natasha LoweImage courtesy of Syndetics

Ten-year-old Poppy will do anything to realize her dream of becoming a baker, although her parents insist she attend Ruthersfield, the exclusive girls school for witchcraft, where she excels despite her dislike of magic. Includes baking tips and recipes.

 

 

Pieces of Why by K.L. GoingImage courtesy of Syndetics

Twelve-year-old Tia lives in a white slum in New Orleans with her mother, and her whole world revolves around singing in the gospel choir with her best friend, Keisha–but when practice is interrupted by a shooting outside the church, and a baby is killed, Tia finds that she cannot sing, and she is forced to confront her feelings about her incarcerated father who killed a girl in a failed robbery years before.