Technology bootcamp

The artist Rain Ashford wearing one of her creations.

The artist Rain Ashford wearing one of her creations.

23 March 2012

Young people from across mid Wales will be having fun getting hands-on experience with ‘Wearable Technology’ and ‘Sailing Robots’ Bootcamps to be held over three days at Aberystwyth Arts Centre during the first week of the Easter holidays (Monday 2nd April to Wednesday 4th April).

The Bootcamps are the second in a series of free workshops being run by the Technocamps team based at the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University, giving young people aged between 11-19 years old a chance to develop their computing skills beyond the usual screen and keyboard.

Participants will be introduced to programming microcontrollers (small single chip computers) using a range of electronic sensors. Both Bootcamps will focus on building a ‘control system’ based on the popular Arduino system.

Wearable Technology Bootcamps will give insight into how technology is incorporated into clothing and accessories. Sensors are placed on or in garments so that, for instance, the technology responds to the movements of the wearer.

The Wearable Technology Bootcamp will be led by Sophie McDonald and artist Rain Ashford, who integrate sensing technologies within garments.

Rain is keen on kids being creative with technology. She said; “At the Bootcamp, young people will design and build their own pieces of interactive wearable technology".

The Sailing Robot Bootcamp will provide an insight in to how technology is used to design craft for water. Sailing robots mimic the actions of a human sailor by adjusting the sail and steering of land yachts, in response to the wind and direction of travel required.

Dr Mark Neal, the academic leading the Sailing Robot Bootcamp, is keen to get as many young people as possible in the region to engage with computing. Dr Neal said; “Using robots provides a fun and rewarding introduction to the art of programming with the added satisfaction of seeing the results acting intelligently in the real world.”

Young people will also get to meet state of the art robotics research equipment from the University's own laboratory - MOOPS (miniature sailing robots) and Idris, a robot the size of a car!

Both of the three day workshops will run from Monday 2nd April to Wednesday 4th April, 10-3pm.

Places are limited and available on a first come first served basis, so if you are interested please register for or

For more details please contact Lisa Fisher on 01970 622454 or e-mail

Technocamps Bootcamps
Bootcamps are free 3-day workshops for young people aged between 11 and 19 years and are based at Aberystwyth Art Centre.
Technocamps is a £6 million project led by Swansea University in partnership with the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor and Glamorgan that provides daily and weekly sessions to young people aged 11-19 on a range of exciting computing-based topics such as programming, robotics, cryptography, animation and much more.

The £3.2bn Structural Funds programmes 2007-2013 in Wales include the Convergence programmes for West Wales and the Valleys (the successor to Objective 1), and the Regional Competitiveness and Employment programmes for East Wales. The programmes are delivered through the Welsh Government and are aimed at creating employment opportunities and boosting economic growth.