Held in Valletta on the 30th September was the fifth edition of Science in the City, the annual science and arts festival. Republic Street was taken over by science buskers from student organisations where they provided science-related entertainment such as talks, demonstrations, experiments, just to name a few.
ICTSA was one of the student organisations which participated. The computing world is vastly growing and also important in the science/scientific world. ICTSA brought robots, virtual reality and other technology to STEAM Street.
The most popular technology amongst all ages was the Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. VR refers to technologies that use software-generating realistic images. The user is able to interact with various virtual environments such as space and underwater by wearing a VR headset. The technologies ICTSA brought with them were the Google Cardboard (Google VR), Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 and Leap Motion. Everyone was especially interested in the Oculus Rift and Leap Motion. Everyone seemed to be interested in the VR but seems like most of the children were hooked. They sat at the computer provided and wore the Oculus Rift DK2 which is the VR headset and the Leap Motion, a device which is attached to the Oculus that tracks hand motions using sensors. The combination of these two makes the user immerse fully to the virtual experience.
The younger children were especially interested in the robots. The LEGO Mindstorms are kits, containing both software and hardware, to create programmable robots using LEGO blocks. The ICTSA members also gave demonstrations and allowed the children to take turns in controlling the robots, making them move around the table and carry objects.
Got3DPRINT were invited to showcase their services to the public. Their stand included the LIVE! 3D Printer and the public had the opportunity to see the printer in action. They explained how the printer worked by slicing -preparing 3D models by dividing the 3D model into thousands of horizontal layers. The 3D printer reads every slice (2D image) and creates a 3D object by printing in layers. There was also a display of prints including whistles, key chains and models.
What made the ICTSA stand attract attention, was the ability to let the visitors try everything for themselves, making it one of the most interactive stands of the night. Apart from this, the ICTSA committee was outstanding and the friendliest possible to the public in order to make every person count and feel comfortable as well as giving the best explanations and demonstrations of the technology exhibited.