Thursday, July 28, 2011

Robots Get Real - Fantastic National Geographic Article and Photos - August, 2011

Aguust 2011 - National Geographic Article "Us and Them"
"Robots are being created that can think, act, and relate to humans. Are we ready?"
     Robots Lab (from National Geographic - August 2011) 
"...Someone types a command into a laptop, and Actroid-DER jerks upright with a shudder and a wheeze. Compressed air flows beneath silicone skin, triggering actuators that raise her arms and lift the corners of her mouth into a demure smile. She seems to compose herself, her eyes panning the room where she stands fixed to a platform, tubes and wires running down through her ankles. She blinks, then turns her face toward me. I can't help but meet her—its—mechanical gaze. "Are you surprised that I'm a robot?" she asks. "I look just like a human, don't I?"

Her scripted observation has the unfortunate effect of calling my attention to the many ways she does not. Developed in Japan by the Kokoro Company, the Actroid-DER android can be rented to serve as a futuristic spokesmodel at corporate events, a role that admittedly does not require great depth of character. But in spite of the $250,000 spent on her development, she moves with a twitchy gracelessness, and the inelasticity of her features lends a slightly demented undertone to her lovely face. Then there is her habit of appearing to nod off momentarily between utterances, as if she were on something stronger than electricity..."

Read the full article and see the gallery of photos at their source:


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ISTE Author PODCAST - Getting Started with LEGO Robotics - Mark Gura

ISTE Casts - The trusted voice of Ed Tech
Audio podcasts produced by the International Society for Technology in Education

ISTE Books Author Interview
Episode 28: Mark Gura
click on the link above and then on the podcast icon

Mark Gura, author of Getting Started in LEGO Robotics: A Guide for K–12 Educators, discusses the benefits of LEGO Robotics and provides encouraging insight into starting your own LEGO Robotics program. LEGO Robotics is a hands on, multidisciplinary, collaborative learning experience. Mark Gura provides you with first-hand advice and recommendations so you can have your own robotics program up and running in no time.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Getting Started with LEGO Robotics: A Guide for K-12 Educators

Proudly announcing the release of 'Getting Started with LEGO Robotics: A Guide for K-12 Educators' by Mark Gura - Published by ISTE - International Society of Technology in Education, 2011). Everything that teachers, parents, activity group leaders need to know to get started guiding students in using and learning with LEGO Robotics.

For more information on the book or to purchase it: