WHEN HIS DAUGHTERS were young, Nader Hamda says, they were really into apps and computers. But now that they’re a little older, their interest is waning. And that’s not unusual. “They’re not an exception,” he says. “They’re more of a rule.”
Sadly, this is true. According to numerous studies, young girls are moving away from computer science, not towards it. And Hamda says this is why his company, Ozobot, is now offering an educational robot called Evo. Evo is small and spherical, only about an inch in diameter. It looks kinda like an IBM Selectric type ball. But it’s also designed to be social.
A robotics company that teaches kids how to code, Codie Labs, took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt London to show off their fast, rolling and programmable robot, Codie, which is controlled via a mobile application for iOS or Android. The Budapest-based startup earned the opportunity to present on the big stage by winning the Wild Card position, which pulls a promising company out of Disrupt’s Startup Alley. READ MORE: Codie Is A Fast, Rolling Robot Toy That Teaches Kids Progamming Concepts | TechCrunch
Digital designs for robotic creatures are shown on the left and the physical prototypes produced via 3-D printing are on the right (credit: Disney Research, Carnegie Melon University)
Now you can design and build your own customized walking robot using a 3-D printer and off-the-shelf servo motors, with the help of a new DYI design tool developed by Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University.
You can specify the shape, size, and number of legs for your robotic creature, using intuitive editing tools to interactively explore design alternatives. The system takes over much of the non-intuitive and tedious task of planning the motion of the robot, and ensures that your design is capable of moving the way you want and not fall down. Or you can alter your creature’s gait as desired. READ MORE: Disney Research-CMU design tool helps novices design 3-D-printable robotic creatures | KurzweilAI
I’m in a laboratory at Drexel University watching a remote-controlled robot do a spastic breakdance across the floor. The fist-sized, brightly colored bot looks simple enough: It has two wheels, two antennae, and what appears to be a friendly face. But it has a mission much bigger and more ambitious than its tiny form factor: This thing wants to teach kids how to become programmers.
This freewheeling toy android comes from a young startup called LocoRobo. Its moves are set using a mobile app that allows the user to program simple actions: go forward, accelerate, spin around, stop. And while plenty of kids would be content to play with a smartphone-controlled toy robot, LocoRobo wants to let them dig much deeper into the code and sensors that make it work. READ MORE: Can These Tiny Robots Teach Fourth Graders How To Code? | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.
DFRobot, a company that has been building robots for the education market since 2008, this week introduced its first attempt at making a robot accessible to all children, with the debut of Vortex – an interactive, programmable robot aimed at kids 6 and up. The Vortex robot pairs with iOS and Android smartphones or tablets over Bluetooth, and lets kids control its movement by tapping the screen in the Vortex app to initiate commands. It also comes four free, pre-programmed games – “bumping fight,” “virtual golf,” “driving,” and “robot soccer,” which can later be customized by the child to create their own play experience. READ MORE: Vortex Is A Toy Robot That Teaches Kids How To Code | TechCrunch.
The adorable Pepper robot unveiled a year ago by Japan-based mobile and telecommunications company SoftBank has finally been made available to consumers, and it’s been a roaring success.
According to CIO, the robot was launched on to the market at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 20. Within a minute, all 1,000 robots in the first wave had been snapped up by customers, going for 198,000 yen (around $1,610) apiece.
Pepper aims to act as a household companion. It is programmed to communicate with users, follow vocal commands, and, in what SoftBank claims is a first, read human emotions and react accordingly. Pepper is not built for physical tasks. The robot’s role is more emotional. READ MORE: Caring Pepper robot hits the market, sells out in a minute – CNET
WE’VE LONG KNOWN there’s a market out there for robotic buddies. One compelling piece of evidence: The original Furby sold more than 40 million units, and it didn’t really do anything.
17 years later, an A.I. and machine-learning company is making a robot pal that will do way more than its fuzzy predecessor. It’s called Musio, and it houses a pretty impressive A.I. engine developed by a company called AKA.
The robot remembers details from prior conversations, asks follow-up questions based on that info, and can be used as a smart-home controller. But its main goal is to be your friend: Asking you questions, actually listening to your answers, and learning what you’re all about
Browsing toy stores these days is often a constant reminder that they don’t make toys like they used to — because, in most cases, they make them better. It’s row after row of products you wish had been around back in your younger days. This goes double for the high-tech toys including robotics, smart devices and construction kits. Moss is a little bit of each.
The second product from Boulder, Colorado-based hardware startup Modular Robotics began life as a Kickstarter campaign late last year, when it managed to capture more than three and a half times its lofty $100,000 goal. And it’s not tough to see why. The robotics kit promises balances education and entertainment.
The vast majority of respondents to the 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing anticipate that robotics and artificial intelligence will permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025, with huge implications for a range of industries such as health care, transport and logistics, customer service, and home maintenance. But even as they are largely consistent in their predictions for the evolution of technology itself, they are deeply divided on how advances in AI and robotics will impact the economic and employment picture over the next decade.