Tuesday, August 30, 2016

LEGO WeDo ROBOTICS kit helps young kids learn about coding and teaches STEM skills

The Lego WeDo 2.0 kit helps kids learn about coding and teaches STEM skills with a fun robotics set.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Adam Savage Meets a Weebo Animatronic Robot and Its Builder!

"When Adam was building practical props and effects for films, he worked on stunt Weebo robots for the Robin Williams comedy Flubber. Years later, prop maker Ed Zarick visits the cave with his own mechanized Weebo, an impressive feat of replica prop building!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0oDYvbnt6M 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Robot Short Story - Fiction for Kids

Very nice short story (fiction)... 'Fiction by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver | Illustrations by Scott Garrett'

hank

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted a pet robot.


“Robot,” I’d say. “Can you brush my teeth for me?”


“Robot,” I’d say. “I lost my sock. Please find it.”


And he would. At least, in my imagination.


So you can imagine what I did when our principal, Mr. Love, came into our classroom to announce that my school was having a “Build Your Own Robot” contest the next day. To be truthful, he had announced it the week before, and the week before that too. Stuff like that always slips my mind, and I mean always. This time, the announcement sunk into my ears and stayed there. I stuck my hand up in the air, waved it around like a flag on the Fourth of July and said, “I’m in! Please pick me!!!”


He did. The problem was that I had only one day to build a robot and had no idea how to do it. I mean, no idea.


Luckily, I have two good friends, named Frankie Townsend and Ashley Wong, who are full of ideas. Unlike me, they are really good students and they know how to get things done on time. I specialize in getting nothing done, and getting that done late.

Read the full story at its source:  http://headsup.boyslife.org/win-copy-heres-hank-soggy-foggy-campout/

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Octobot: a soft-bodied robot kids will love!

Segway's Personal Robot... This One's Got the Right Stuff!

Fascinating item from engadget...

"Watch Segway's personal robot in action

It's a self-balancing scooter that can also help you out at home. 

What if you could have a personal robot helper that transforms into a self-balancing scooter? That's the appeal of the Segway Robot, an adorable device which first debuted during CES. We were able to take a close look at it this week during Intel's Developer Forum in San Francisco, and while it's clearly a prototype (it doesn't even have an official name yet), it still has plenty of potential. Above, check out our interview with Sarah Zhang, senior director of robotics business operations at Ninebot and Segway, who dives into what makes this little bot so special.


Using an Intel RealSense camera embedded above its "face," the Segway Robot is able to detect depth and traverse environments without bumping into things. At the moment, its capabilities are limited to just following people around on command, but it's not hard to see how it could be used for teleconferencing or home security. Imagine a connected helper like Amazon's Echo that can actually follow you around your house, for example.


At IDF this week, Segway announced that it's opening up SDKs for the robot, so that developers will actually be able to make it useful. That includes a robot SDK, giving devs access to things like vision, speech, movement and interaction, and a mobility SDK, which lets them control the bot remotely.
The Segway Robot is built on the frame of the Ninebot Mini, so it's already a capable self-balancing scooter. The company's engineers were able to hop on and zoom about the show floor with ease. Riding the bot didn't go so well for me, unfortunately, but that was mostly due to my inexperience with self-balancing devices.


While there's plenty of work to be done on the Segway Robot, it's still one of the most appealing personal bot concepts we've seen. In comparison, the ASUS Zenbo seems like a silly toy, and Anki's Cozmo, while cute, won't help much when you're away from home. Segway plans to ship developer editions of the robot later this year, and a consumer version will hit sometime in 2017.

What if you could have a personal robot helper that transforms into a self-balancing scooter? That's the appeal of the Segway Robot, an adorable device which first debuted during CES. We were able to take a close look at it this week during Intel's Developer Forum in San Francisco, and while it's clearly a prototype (it doesn't even have an official name yet), it still has plenty of potential. Above, check out our interview with Sarah Zhang, senior director of robotics business operations at Ninebot and Segway, who dives into what makes this little bot so special.


Using an Intel RealSense camera embedded above its "face," the Segway Robot is able to detect depth and traverse environments without bumping into things. At the moment, its capabilities are limited to just following people around on command, but it's not hard to see how it could be used for teleconferencing or home security. Imagine a connected helper like Amazon's Echo that can actually follow you around your house, for example.


At IDF this week, Segway announced that it's opening up SDKs for the robot, so that developers will actually be able to make it useful. That includes a robot SDK, giving devs access to things like vision, speech, movement and interaction, and a mobility SDK, which lets them control the bot remotely.
The Segway Robot is built on the frame of the Ninebot Mini, so it's already a capable self-balancing scooter. The company's engineers were able to hop on and zoom about the show floor with ease. Riding the bot didn't go so well for me, unfortunately, but that was mostly due to my inexperience with self-balancing devices.


While there's plenty of work to be done on the Segway Robot, it's still one of the most appealing personal bot concepts we've seen. In comparison, the ASUS Zenbo seems like a silly toy, and Anki's Cozmo, while cute, won't help much when you're away from home. Segway plans to ship developer editions of the robot later this year, and a consumer version will hit sometime in 2017.


Read the full piece at its source: https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/18/watch-segways-personal-robot-in-action/ 

Robots will not replace human workers! YEAH, RIGHT :)

Interesting piece from Chicago Tribune...


"Commentary:
Don't sweat the robot scare. The job market for humans will survive.

We are such an anxiety-ridden society that we worry about problems that haven't happened, and, almost certainly, won't. Robots are an apt example. Even McKinsey and Co., the high-powered management consulting firm, professes to be concerned. We imagine hordes of robots destroying jobs, leaving millions of middle-class families without work and income. Relax. Unless we adopt self-destructive policies, this is one doomsday we'll avoid.


One thing that the U.S. economy excels at is creating jobs. You might doubt this listening to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who promise personally to create millions of high-paying jobs. This is misleading. The overwhelming share of jobs are created by the private market, not government or politicians.
ADVERTISING

Yes, there are recessions. Two of them in the post-World War II era were quite severe (those of 1981-82 and 2007-09). We had scary levels of unemployment. But eventually the job creation machine reasserts itself. In 2015, employment totaled 149 million, up from 99 million in 1980 and 137 million in 2000.
What about the robots? In truth, they are not a new problem. There have always been new technologies and products that eliminate entire industries and occupations. But lost jobs and destroyed industries give way, over time, to new industries and jobs. Cars replaced buggies; smartphones are replacing landlines..."

Read the full article @ its source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-jobs-robots-unemployment-trump-clinton-perspec-0818-20160817-story.html