Saturday, November 28, 2015

STEM Learning and Jobs??? Some Straight Talk...

Here's an insightful piece from The Conversation...

"More STEM education won’t protect our jobs from robots"

"Care to guess what is the world’s fastest growing industry? Health care? Biotech? Energy? Nope. According to a recent report, it’s robotics.

And those robots are slowly but surely putting people out of work. Recent research at the University of Oxford suggests that nearly half of all jobs are at risk from automation.

Ironically this research used some advanced machine learning techniques to estimate which professions were most at risk of being automated in the next 20 years. Even the task of estimating which jobs are most at risk is being automated!

So what are the jobs most at risk? One was telemarketer. Now this might sound like a great thing. Fewer people will interrupt your dinner trying to sell you cable TV. Unfortunately robotic telemarketers will make it even easier and cheaper for organisations with something to sell to call you.

Another job at risk was tax agent. Again, who will be sad that they no longer have to see their tax agent once a year? Rather, we’ll have our computer file our tax automatically.

A third job at risk was cook. Cook! Sure, robots will make great chefs. Even in a fancy restaurant, the challenge is to turn out the same dish repeatedly. And robots are great at repetition.
A fourth job identified by the report at risk is real estate broker. Again, few of us are probably going to be too sad about this.

The STEM solution

Of course, historically, whenever jobs get destroyed by new technology, other jobs get created. Computer typesetting has put a lot of printers out of work. But we now have loads of new jobs enabled by computer typesetting like web designer and ebook publisher.

In the past, new technologies have tended to create more jobs than they have destroyed. As a consequence, despite populations increasing across the world, most of us still manage to find employment. But it’s much less certain that this will be true for the information revolution currently underway..."

Read the full article at its source:

Friday, November 27, 2015

It's NEWS: Students Learn STEM from Robotics!

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player Well, maybe this 'news' isn't so new, after all. LEGO Robotics is actually a very well established approach to STEM Education. See the book Getting Started with LEGO Robotics for everything anyone who works with kids needs to know in order to begin. And watch this video, these newscasters may be almost clueless, but the kids get it... big time!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Robot Cat for Granny? MEOW!!!


"Hasbro introduces robo-kitties for seniors

It's a cat's meow for an older crowdWith its new line of eerily lifelike robot cats, toy manufacturer Hasbro is reaching out to a new demographic — senior citizens.

According to the company website, the new "Joy for all" line is a series of robot pets (so far just cats) designed to "bring comfort, companionship and fun for your elder loved ones," without all the feeding and mess.

Aside from its four C batteries and lifeless gaze, the cats are pretty realistic, with faux feline fur that comes in "orange tabby," "silver," and "creamy white," and automated "cat-like" movements.
The fuzzy robots even purr and meow when you pet them, using built in sensors designed to respond to motion and touch. With a pat on the head, the cats will move toward your hand, nuzzle closer with a pet to the left cheek, and roll over for a belly rub when you stroke its back.

To conserve battery life, the little guys go to sleep when you put them down..."

Read the full article at its source:

Friday, November 6, 2015

Walking Robot laps the Energizer Bunny


"Chinese Walking Robot Sets Distance Record"

"For Xingzhe No.1, the path ahead was smooth. It was also repetitive and unchanging, a flat course in an indoor gymnasium. For 54 hours the robot, whose name translates to “walker,” patrolled the same set path. That’s long enough to watch Waiting for Godot 21 times. Eventually, the robot ran out of power, and stopped. By the time its battery died, it had taken 360,000 steps, covering 83 miles in total. Unconscious and immobile, Xingzhe earned a Guinness World Record for farthest distance walked by a quadruped robot.
Xingzhe No. 1’s design is similar to that of Cornell’s Ranger Robot, the previous record-holder. In 2011, that robot walked over 40 miles in under 31 hours..."

Read the full article at its souce:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Delivery Robot... great for schools?

Here's a real world robot that might make a great item for schools. Not only would it deliver things around the school building or campus, but it would make a perfect focus for kids to get a taste of the evolving world of robotics as students observe, live with, and even use this robot, which is 'good to go' to do real work in the real world. This would elevate STEM learning from the LEGO Robotics level of model and miniature robots to one in which real working robots are in actual service in a 21st Century learning and working environment...


"This self-driving delivery robot is coming soon to sidewalks"

"The future of delivery might involve small drones zooming above pedestrians, cyclists and motorists at high speeds. Amazon and now Wal-Mart are moving down this path. Or it might be something a lot slower that travels on sidewalks.
On Monday, a London startup founded by two Skype co-founders unveiled their self-driving delivery robot. It bumbles along at a whopping 4 mph.
That’s slightly faster than a pedestrian but slower than a jogger.
Starship Technologies says the 40-pound robot could make local deliveries in 30 minutes or less. The technology could be useful for neighborhood restaurants and retailers. Because the robot is largely automated, requiring almost no human involvement, Starship Technologies thinks the costs of delivering goods will drop by an order of magnitude. The slow speed and grounded approach also removes some of the safety concerns with drone delivery.
A customer could follow the robot’s progress on an app, and would be alerted when his or her delivery arrived. The cargo bay is locked to prevent theft, which only the customer could open with the app’s help..."
Read the full article at its source:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Wonder League Robotics Competition

Exactly the kind of thing our kids need to be engaged in!!!


"Teams from around the nation and their Dash & Dot robots will face off to overcome obstacles, solve coding challenges, and have a blast while they're at it. Your mission is to help Dash make it through space to explore a newly discovered planet and then make it back safely to Earth."

Your mission has started! You must register your team by Nov 1 to qualify for prizes.