Maker Faire Eindhoven 2018

The Duckietown Foundation announces the AI Driving Olympics (AI-DO), a self-driving car competition to debut at NIPS 2018

The Duckietown Foundation is excited to announce the The AI Driving Olympics, a new competition focused around AI for self-driving cars. The first edition of the AI Driving Olympics 2018 will take place December 7, 2018, at Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), the premiere machine learning conference, in Montréal. This is the first competition with real robots that will take place at a machine learning conference.

The competition will use the Duckietown platform, a miniature self-driving car platform used for autonomy education and research. The Duckietown project originated at MIT in 2016 and is now used by many institutions worldwide.

The AI Driving Olympics is presented in collaboration with 6 academic institutions: ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Université de Montréal (Canada), National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (USA), Tsinghua University (China) and Georgia Tech (USA), as well as two industry co-organizers: nuTonomy (a self-driving car company) and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

About the competition: The competition comprises 4 challenges of increasing complexity: 1) Road following on an empty road; 2) Road following with obstacles; 3) Point to point navigation in a city network with other vehicles; and 4) Fleet planning for a full autonomous mobility on demand system.

Competitors will have access to a suite of professional development tools (simulators, logs, baseline implementations). Real environments called “Robotariums” will be remotely accessible for evaluation. The highest scoring entries in the robotariums will be run during the live event at NIPS 2018 to determine the overall winners.

Scientific goals: The competition aims at directing academic research towards the hard problems of embodied AI, such as modularity of learning processes, and learning in simulation while deploying in reality.  

Social goals: The competition also promotes the democratization of AI and robotics research by using an inexpensive platform, and offering a common infrastructure available through the use of remote testing facilities. Competitors can also build or acquire their own testing facility (Duckiebots and a Duckietowns), through either open-source DIY instructions, or as rewards obtained in our kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/163162211/duckietown-a-playful-road-to-learning-robotics-and?ref=dwrnb2)

 

Transform your classroom with VEX EDR

Careers in STEM are on the rise!
Give your students the tools they need to succeed:
With more schools adopting robotics as a platform to enhance STEM and Computer Science courses, teachers need a solution to seamlessly integrate curriculum, programming software, and hardware into the classroom.

STEM Labs
Our scaffolded, standards-matched STEM Labs
can be adapted to fit any classroom
STEM Labs are hands-on activities, which include diverse builds, games, and competitions, that align with education standards while also showing real-world applications of concepts.

These activities give students the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with their classmates. Every STEM Lab has multiple approaches to solving a problem, allowing students to experiment with creative design solutions.

For many teachers, figuring out how to implement concepts into maths, design & technology, engineering and computer science subjects can be difficult. Our STEM Labs allow for easy implementation with minimal preparation time. Each STEM Lab can be used on multiple platforms and includes easy-to-follow build instructions.

Go to the STEM Labs Portal: https://education.vex.com/

Smartibot launches the world’s first A.I. enabled cardboard robot

London, England – June 26th 2018 The Crafty Robot today launches its new robot kit Smartibot which is aimed at letting users get hands-on experience with A.I. and get creative through building their own robot out of anything, even a potato. Created by product designer Ross Atkin, who is part of a team of inventors in the BBC’s flagship technology program ‘The Big Life Fix’, Smartobots are available for pre-order on Kickstarter from £30 ($40).

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/460355237/338515758?ref=1k04h4&token=994114b3

Smartibot takes The Crafty Robot’s ‘build a robot out of anything’ ethos and adds the latest A.I. technology and smartphone connectivity. This allows you to build robots that can recognise and respond to objects they can see such as people, animals and vehicles, or be driven around the home and office using your smartphone as a remote control.

Smartibot comes with cleverly designed cardboard parts, and can be re-used to easily create new robots out of almost anything from porcelain to parsnips. The first three cardboard robot designs include;

  • A.I. Bot: The fun robot that can chase you, your pets or toy vehicles around the room.
  • Teabot: Which can carry two full drinks around the room, giving you a fun way to deliver your favourite person their beverage of choice.
  • Unicorn: It’s a freakin’ Unicorn!

Working with two groups of London-based craftspeople who use traditional processes, Smartibot has grown from a simple robot to something more. Artists at Turning Earth Studios have been able to craft robots using various clay and ceramic techniques whilst regulars at Wild and Woolly Yarn Shop have found knitting a series of robots was more their style. In an East London Makerspace, Machines Room, Smartibot robots have been made using the less traditional materials including potatoes and other vegetables in order to pit them against each other in a race and arena combat in the inaugural ‘Botato Wars’.

“I build technology for a living and I know that the best way to avoid being replaced by a robot is to be the person making the robot” explained Ross Atkin. “We believe building your own robot should be affordable, easy to understand and exciting for everyone. Because of this we created Smartibot in order to allow everyone the opportunity to experiment with the latest A.I. technology in a fun and inventive way.”

Unlike most education technology products, Smartibot allows you to learn all of the disciplines required to create new inventions, from coding and machine learning, to mechanical design and development through iteration.

Akram Hussein, Smartibot software lead, said  “What I love about Smartibot is it allows me share my love of technology and machine learning with my young nephews in a way that is both fun but educational. I’m hopefully they will be excited to pursue STEM careers and believe Smartibot is just the right level to get them started in learning how robots and programming work.”

About The Crafty Robot

The Crafty Robot is a technology education brand, founded by Ross Atkin that has manufactured and sold cardboard robots since 2015 when it was successfully Kickstarted and delivered to over 1,600 backers.

Ross, a London based designer and engineer specialising in internet of things and smart city products, and is part of a team of eight inventors who create one off pieces of technology to solve problems for disabled individuals in the primetime BBC2 TV program ‘The Big Life Fix’.

The Crafty Robot is focused on allowing people to get creative with technology in the most fun and accessible ways possible.

MIMIC educational robots introduces robots you can code

Cincinnati-based Entrepreneur launches Kickstarter campaign to launch ‘mimicArm’, your own programmable A.I. robot arm

Cincinnati, OH (April 14, 2018) – mimicEducationalRobots (a division of Robomotive Laboratories LLC) is changing the way coding is taught with mimicArm. The Cincinnati-based small family business launched a new Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/713401305/662798422?ref=455790&token=e4d4249c) on April 24th to help advance the development and production of the new technology.

mimicArm is a desktop sized robot arm that represents a new approach to teaching programming. mimicArm is a collaborative robot, or “cobot”, designed to interact with human users.  Unlike other educational robots mimicArm teaches children to program robots to work in tandem with humans. Using the mimicArm controller children as young as 5 are immediately able to interact with mimicArm.  When they’re ready, users can begin coding using mimicBlock, a graphical coding interface.  mimicArm is also programmable using actual C code and includes simple pre-written functions to allow the quick creation of complicated programs. The provided programming experiments start simple, but build to complex interactive artificial intelligence programs. Paired with the inputBox and other sensors the user can create a truly interactive artificial intelligence robot arm.

Brett Pipitone, the Founder of mimicEducationalRobots is no stranger to Kickstarter.  “After a successfully-funded Doorbell Phone campaign on Kickstarter, I began to indulge in my love of robotics and introduced the Cortex:Robot Arm controller,” said Pipitone. “We continued to develop the technology by adding joints, cameras and motion and soon realized that we had developed something truly unique: The mimic immersion robot was born.  While mimic’s Kickstarter campaign didn’t reach it’s goal, the technology developed allowed us to build mimicArm, which we think could really make a difference in the world.”

The key to bringing mimicArm to life is the mimic arm controller with patent-pending Posi-Feeltm grip controllers. The user grips a simple scissor control and moves his or her arm and hand in natural ways.  mimicArm will “mimic” these motions. A series of joints, pivots and sensors are built into the mimicArm Controller to make this possible.  When the user is ready, easy to use programming software and robust examples walk them through the process of learning to program their own robot.

This assemblage of new technologies allows the user to see immediate frustration-free results without the risk of outgrowing the robot in a short time.  The infinite expandability and endless programming possibilities will keep even expert programmers captivated.

mimicEducationalRobots realized early that a single package would not fit all users needs, so backers have a choice of three packages, each with a unique user in mind.

  • The mimicArm kit version includes the robot and manual controller. This version is great for those who want to ease into robotics coding, or those that already have sensors that they’re ready to integrate with the robot.  Perfect for beginners and experts, this package is the most affordable option.
  • The mimicArm Super Fun Kit is centered around manual mode, with a set of accessories to maximize the fun factor. Users can stack the stacking blocks (included), or program the robot to do it for them.  The Great Big Button is also included, and offers additional capabilities for those honing their coding skills (or for those with younger siblings that really want to touch something). “mimicArm Super Fun Kit is targeted towards younger users, but is also a great way for beginners to make coding interesting as well,” says Pipitone.
  • The mimicArm Deluxe Kit is the most complete kit offered. Including everything from the mimicArm Super Fun Kit, the mimicArm Deluxe Kit adds the input box and IR Distance Sensor for maximum interactive possibilities.  The inputBox incorporates buttons, a microphone and other sensors, and a microSD card.  “Programmable with both mimicBlock and Arduino, the Deluxe kit really expands the possibilities. With this kit the user can truly program their own interactive robot,” says Pipitone.

MimicArm is a great educational tool, and users can be a part of it now by backing mimic on Kickstarter. According to Pipitone, „We’re teaching those who will deliver the personal robot of the future. We’re still working on flying cars and jet packs.“

For more information, please visit: http://www.mimicrobots.com/.

Finally – never again step barefoot on a LEGO® brick in the night! Leguino is now on Kickstarter.

BELFAST, UK – March 2018 –  Leguino launches on Kickstarter and creates the opportunity to anyone to invent. Leguino has built a Sweeper Bot which collects all the lost LEGO® bricks from your floor. The Leguino team made it possible by using the brick shaped Leguino electronics and designed the software for this unique robot with Leguino Visuino, the visual drag and drop software development environment.
By removing the barriers between the worlds of LEGO® and Arduino™, Raspberry Pi and the endless range of electronics – Leguino is a unique marriage to break barriers and overrides limitations: It opens the door for building your next level Lego® project. Leguino parts deliver the bridge. Finally!

Imagine the typical LEGO® projects: Most of them are locked in the LEGO® environment and the really hot and interesting electronic modules which are available for Arduino™ or Raspberry Pi and other compatible components cannot be integrated properly. They do not fit. By using Leguino parts these obstacles are removed: Revert to the endless Arduino™ solutions and add them to your new breathtaking LEGO® projects. Make your prototypes with LEGO® and integrate unique Leguino devices with crazy functions: Microphones, infrared data transfer, OLED displays, humidity sensors or why not try out a real webserver? Connect your LEGO® project to the Internet and override all limitations.

Inventing software with Leguino Visuino is as easy as connecting LEGO® bricks. For those people who are not skilled in writing software, developing programs has never been easier. Instead of writing hundreds of lines of programming code – Leguino Visuino, the visual drag and drop software development environment does all the hard work for you. Just focus on what you will build with bricks, wire them together and see it running in minutes!

The Leguino Vision

The Leguino Vision started with a very straight forward approach: Merging simple tools together to empower people to overcome obstacles while inventing. The Leguino belief is that by lowering barriers more and more people can develop their dream projects and follow their own ideas and inspirations. Ones‘ age or manual skills may not restrict anymore.

Leguino – you are the inventor!

Leguino fills the gap between LEGO® and Arduino™ and Raspberry Pi – now presented on Kickstarter

BELFAST, UK – March 2018 – Leguino is debuting on Kickstarter to fill the gap between two worlds of creation: LEGO® and Arduino™. The Leguino parts contain Arduino™ and Raspberry Pi compatible electronics and houses them into LEGO® compatible brick cases. Leguino delivers standard brick compatible cases for common Arduino and Raspberry Pi electronic components to enhance LEGO® projects and opens them to endless possibilities.

Imagine the typical LEGO® projects: Most of them are locked in the LEGO® environment and the really hot and interesting electronic modules which are available for Arduino™ or Raspberry Pi and other compatible components cannot be integrated properly. They do not fit. By using Leguino parts these obstacles are removed: Revert to the endless Arduino™ solutions and add them to your new breathtaking LEGO® projects. Make your prototypes with LEGO® and integrate unique Leguino devices with crazy functions: Microphones, infrared data transfer, OLED displays, humidity sensors or why not try out a real webserver? Connect your LEGO® project to the Internet and override all limitations.

Inventing software with Leguino Visuino is as easy as connecting LEGO® bricks. For those people who are not skilled in writing software, developing programs has never been easier. Instead of writing hundreds of lines of programming code – Leguino Visuino, the visual drag and drop software development environment does all the hard work for you. Just focus on what you will build with bricks, wire them together and see it running in minutes!

The Leguino Vision

The Leguino Vision started with a very straight forward approach: Merging simple tools together to empower people to overcome obstacles while inventing. The Leguino belief is that by lowering barriers more and more people can develop their dream projects and follow their own ideas and inspirations. Ones‘ age or manual skills may not restrict anymore.

Leguino – you are the inventor!

The Founder of Leguino

The Leguino founder Urs Markus Ernst Streidl has a demonstrated track record for successfully founding companys over 25 years. He has a degree in computer sciences and economics and has (co-)founded 8 tech companys. He is the winner of the German nation-wide Start-Up competition in 2006. He lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland where he cofounded one of his last ventures, BrainWaveBank LTD (one of the hottest Startups in Ireland). This venture has secured in excess of $1.5M in seed capital and R&D funding to date.
Leguino is the first project which integrates the knowledge of his own children (ages 7 and 9). They are the pros and enthusiasts at Leguino.

An Entertaining and Engaging Approach to Education from Easycube

San Fransisco, California/US​ – January 10, 2018​ – Easycube brings innovation to an old standard toy: the building block. Playtime is much more sophisticated now than when building blocks first made their way to toy boxes. With EasyCube, children get a completely new experience.

Easycube are building blocks that safely conduct electricity. This enables those building to assemble a variety of different creations from houses to cars and more. The electric power systems are independent to each cube. This modular design feature allows users to add the power cubes to any position. Easycube also offers a new type of splicing interface for better assembly.

Easycube is easy enough for those aged six years or older. But kids aren’t the only ones who will enjoy Easycube. It’s great for all ages. Anyone with a creative mind will find these blocks exciting and fun. Kids and adults will appreciate the do-it-yourself electric building blocks. These blocks are great at stimulating young minds and fostering curiosity. More than just fun, they’re a great tool in early childhood development.

Easycube offers over seven different kinds of engineering vehicles in one kit. A kit includes a battery, one motor block, one control cube, three power cubes, two basic cubes, four triangular cubes, two rotating modules and various fittings. The three power cubes and control cubes can be connected by three extendable magnetic lines. With the telecontroller, users can control all three power cubes at one time. Silicone cushions are installed at each corner of each cube, and are harmless to children.

Founder Yuchen Tao said, “With Easycube, creativity is unlimited. Anyone can have fun with these blocks while also learning some valuable information about technology and the fundamentals of construction. We are very excited about the mark that Easycube will make on the toy and technology industries.”

Easycube has worked for over two years to bring their revolutionary building blocks to market. The idea was conceived in July 2015. The next few years focused on design, planning, mold creation, and R&D testing. Now that the idea has been validated, the time has come to move forward with making Easycube available to everyone. To do that, Easycube has created a crowdfunding campaign. As a well-funded, highly efficient technology company, Easycube strives to communicate with supporters to deliver products as soon as possible. Find out more about the crowdfunding campaign at Kickstarter.

About Easycube

Easycube was launched in 2015 with the idea to make block play more engaging. From this idea came modular robotic building blocks. These blocks allow for fun and learning as one. With multiple sizes and shapes, Easycube blocks create a new play experience for both kids and adults. Learn more about Easycube at easycube.club.

Robots Are Coming To A School Near You

ROBOLOCO has launched the Roboterra Robotics Kits to make STEM education easy for the teacher, fun for the kids and affordable to the schools.

ROBOLOCO, Inc., an educational technology company, with headquarters in Santa Clara, CA, announces a strategic distribution and licensing partnership with RoboTerra Inc., a Silicon Valley & Beijing global educational robotics company. According to the agreement, ROBOLOCO is now the sole distributor for the RoboTerra award-winning Origin and ERRA Kits, outside of China. This partnership incorporates a perpetual license for ROBOLOCO to develop its own proprietary software and robots based upon the existing RoboTerra technology.

ROBOLOCO’s CEO, Newton Paskin said, “The acquisition of RoboTerra products distribution in the global market, the rights to further improve the existing technology and continue to develop our own proprietary IP on top of RoboTerra’s IP complements our passion to help educators teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Our team, customers, and investors are extremely excited about the possibilities.”

ROBOLOCO will continue to develop RoboTerra’s educational tools such as the award-winning Origin Robotics Kit and the CastleRock Online Platform, the world’s first virtual robotics learning cloud. ROBOLOCO plans to add expertise in the areas of constructivist curriculum and artificial intelligence to enable instant feedback to educators and enhance the teaching and learning experiences providing an individualized and customized education opportunity for kids.

With this strategic partnership, ROBOLOCO, Inc. is seeking a new round of financing to scale its operations with the aim of reaching $ 75MM in revenue.

About ROBOLOCO, Inc.

ROBOLOCO, Inc. was recently launched by Newton Paskin, Patrick Muggler, and Derek Capo. Its’ mission is to empower educators to teach STEM and equip students with the skills they need for a successful life. To accomplish its mission ROBOLOCO is developing educational tools that combine leading-edge technology in hardware and software such as Robotics coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) with accessible and easy to use constructivist curriculum, aligned with ISTE and NGSS Standards, focused on the teacher. Its motto is “Easy for the teacher, fun for the kids and affordable to the schools”

About RoboTerra, Inc.

RoboTerra was founded in Spring 2014 by Yao Zhang a 2016 Young Global Leader, Columbia University alum in the Economics and Education Ph.D. program, a FIRST Robotics World Championship invited speaker, and recipient of the „Best 10 Global Citizen Service Award“ by the United States Department of State.

RoboTerra China Private Enterprise (a.k.a. in Chinese “Luo Bo Tai La”) will continue its operations in China focusing towards developing products for the Chinese education market and RoboTerra Inc. (a Delaware C-Corp) will continue to advance technologies in the learning space.

Critter Crawling Arduino Robot 50% funded in First Day

The Critter is a unique crawling robotics kit that is currently raising funding on Kickstarter. It was 50% funded in the first day of its Kickstarter campaign and is well on track to exceed its funding goal.

The Critter is a part of a family of robotics kits called LittleBots. The LittleBots are all 3D printed Arduino robotics kits, created by Slant Concepts, that have all been successfully launched on Kickstarter.

Most walking robots are very complex kits to build. They have many parts and are often too difficult for beginners to experiment with. Slant Concepts, created the Critter robotics kit to be a simple introduction to walking robots.

To reduce the complexity of walking, the Critter takes inspiration from mudskippers, fish which can exist on land. The Critter uses two front legs to pull itself along the ground. The simple design makes it easy to put together and very 3D printable. Also, once built, hobbyists can experiment with it without fear of damage for falling over.

The Critter is entirely 3D printed and based on Arduino. This is so it has the resources and support to be built anywhere by anyone.

The Critter is on Kickstarter raising money for the first run of kits and to pay for all of the support content that goes with it. This includes tutorials, video, and lesson plans. The more the campaign raises the more of these resources can be created.

http://www.littlearmrobot.com/