Into the next dimension with fischertechnik

The Internet of Things is seen at the next dimension of the internet, and will sustainably influence people’s lives in the coming years. By the year 2020, there will be 20.4 billion connected devices in the world, according to a statistic by the market research institution Ganter. fischertechnik has long recognised this trend and is offering a beginner’s set with the ROBOTICS TXT Smart Home Set (199.95 Euro, available from June), which makes the Internet of Things comprehensible. The “Made in Germany” toy manufacturer is therefore accompanying the road to the digitalised world and providing playful support in gaining programming skills.

With the ROBOTICS TXT Smart Home construction kit, fischertechnik has once again captured the spirit of the times. The base frame of the stationary sensor stations is assembled with established fischertechnik components and equipped with various actuators and sensors: young constructors can capture every movement in a snapshot using a moveable USB camera. A barometer measures the air pressure, a so-called mould-guard provides information about the humidity and temperature. Is there something in the air or is there room to breathe? A wellness sensor provides information on air quality. A noise sensor and frost guard are also part of the comprehensive high-tech station. A LED-display and alarm signals sound an alert when certain values have been exceeded, or if the camera has registered movement.

The respective data can be gathered and displayed in a graph. This can also be done from a larger distance, as the ROBOTICS TXT Controller can be connected to a cloud, allowing the data to be accessed from anywhere, at any time. If the models are connected through Wi-Fi, they can also be remote-controlled. The user interface, a so-called “dashboard”, allows the temperature or air quality at home to be checked while on holiday, for example.

The 150-part set contains a new environment sensor, a brightness sensor, a USB camera, two encoder motors, two switches and LEDs.

The software ROBO Pro, the ROBOTICS TXT Controller and the Accu Set or Power Set are required in order to programme and control the sensor station. This opens up countless opportunities for young constructors to manage and programme digital data.

Background information, further tasks and programming tips can be found in the didactic accompanying material, which can be accessed for free through the fischertechnik eLearning Portal.

With the ROBOTICS TXT Smart Home set, fischertechnik enables a simple introduction to the internet’s next dimension.

Mit fischertechnik in die nächste Dimension

Das Internet der Dinge gilt als die nächste Dimension des Internets und wird in den kommenden Jahren das Leben der Menschen nachhaltig beeinflussen. Bis zum Jahr 2020 wird es einer Statistik des Marktforschungsinstituts Gartner zufolge 20,4 Milliarden vernetzte Geräte auf der Welt geben. fischertechnik hat diesen Trend längst erkannt und bietet mit dem ROBOTICS TXT Smart Home Set (209,95 Euro, lieferbar seit Juni) ein Einsteiger-Set an, das die Welt des Internets der Dinge begreifbar macht. Damit begleitet der Spielwarenhersteller „Made in Germany“ den Weg in die digitalisierte Welt und unterstützt spielerisch den Aufbau von Programmierkenntnissen.

Mit dem Baukasten ROBOTICS TXT Smart Home trifft fischertechnik wieder einmal den Nerv der Zeit. Das Grundgerüst der stationären Sensorstation wird aus gängigen fischertechnik Bauteilen zusammengebaut und mit verschiedenen Aktoren und Sensoren ausgestattet: Mit der beweglichen USB-Kamera können junge Konstrukteure jede Bewegung per Snapshot festhalten. Ein Barometer misst den Luftdruck. Auskunft über Luftfeuchtigkeit und Temperatur gibt ein sogenannter Schimmelwächter. Dicke Luft oder Raum zum Atmen? Der Wohlfühlsensor informiert über die Luftqualität. Auch ein Lärmsensor und ein Frostwächter sind Teil der umfangreichen High-Tech-Station. Die LED-Anzeige oder Alarmtöne melden, wenn bestimmte Werte überschritten wurden oder die Kamera Bewegungen registriert hat.

Die jeweiligen Daten können gesammelt und grafisch dargestellt werden. Dies ist auch über eine große Entfernung hinweg möglich. Denn der ROBOTICS TXT Controller kann mit einer Cloud verbunden werden, die den Zugriff auf die Daten möglich macht – jederzeit und von überall her. Sind die Modelle mit einem WLAN-Netz verbunden, können sie ferngesteuert werden. Die Bedienoberfläche, ein sogenanntes „Dashboard“, macht es beispielsweise möglich, Temperatur oder Luftqualität am Heimatort vom Urlaub aus abzurufen.

Das 150-teilige Set enthält einen neuen Umweltsensor, einen Helligkeitssensor, eine USB-Kamera, zwei Encoder Motoren, zwei Taster und LEDs.

Erforderlich zur Programmierung und Steuerung der Sensorstation sind die Software ROBO Pro, der ROBOTICS TXT Controller und das Accu Set oder Power Set. Damit eröffnen sich jungen Konstrukteuren unzählige Möglichkeiten der digitalen Datenverwaltung und -programmierung.

Hintergrundinformationen, weitere Aufgabenstellungen und Programmiertipps sind im didaktischen Begleitmaterial zu finden, das im fischertechnik eLearning Portal kostenlos zur Verfügung steht.

Mit dem Set ROBOTICS TXT Smart Home macht fischertechnik einen einfachen Einstieg in die nächste Dimension des Internets möglich.

„toi+“: klein, aber oho!

Ravensburger präsentiert auf der Internationalen Spielwarenmesse 2019 „toi+“, eine Spielzeugkonsole, mit der das Spielerlebnis mit einem Spielzeug in der Hand verläuft, nicht auf dem Bildschirm. Herzstück ist der handtellergroße Core, der in toi+ Produkte eingesetzt wird. Er beinhaltet verschiedene Sensoren, eine Vibrationsfunktion, Prozessor, Lautsprecher mit mehrspuriger Soundausgabe,Bluetooth-Schnittstelle und einen wiederaufladbaren Akku. Der Core füllt ein Bewegungsspiel, ein Party-Spielzeug und einen Logiktrainer mit immersiver Technik, die Kinder ins Spielgeschehen eintauchen lässt. Die Spieler umgibt eine Welt aus stimmungsvoller Musik und Geräuschen. toi+ registriert jede Bewegung, jeden Positionswechsel, jede Handlung und Eingabe des aktiven Spielers. So gestaltet er den Spielverlauf durch intuitive Eingaben und Bewegungen aktiv mit. Folgende Produkte kommen voraussichtlich ab Herbst 2019:

toi+: The Core 
Er ist das Herzstück der Reihe. Sobald er in eines der toi+ Produkte eingesetzt wird, entfaltet er seine Fähigkeiten. Der Core erkennt etwa jede Form von Bewegung, Beschleunigung oder Lageveränderung und reagiert mit Sound sowie Vibration auf die Aktionen der Spieler.  toi+ Produkte funktionieren nur mit eingesetztem Core. ((UVP) 69,99 Euro)

toi+: Magic Compass
Der Kompass versetzt Kinder ab sechs Jahren in ein aktionsreiches Abenteuer im südamerikanischen Dschungel. Reihum bewegen sich die Spieler mit dem Kompass in Händen durch ein imaginäres Labyrinth. Doch Hindernisse blockieren den Weg: Sie müssen über Krabbeltiere hüpfen, Fledermäuse mit dem Kompass abwehren, ihn aus einem Spinnennetz befreien. Wo sind Wände und wo versteckte Türen? Erreichen die Abenteurer mit den richtigen Aktionen ihr Ziel? ((UVP 49,99 Euro)


toi+: Brain Board
Das Brain Board lädt Spieler ab acht Jahren zum Mentaltraining ein. Ambitionierte Denker finden darauf fünf Logik- und Gedächtnisspiele, die als haptische Karten mit szenischen wie abstrakten Illustrationen aufliegen. Die verschiedenen Sensoren von toi+ reagieren auf die Bewegungen des Spielers. So löst er die Denk-Rätsel durch gezieltes Kippen des Brain Boards. Der Trainingsmodus bietet mehr als 2.000 Aufgaben in drei Schwierigkeitsstufen zum Üben sowie verschiedene Gedächtnistests. ((UVP 49,99 Euro)

toi+: Furious Falko
Mit dem Core in sich erwacht „Furious Falko“ zum Leben. Mit seinen verrückten Ideen animiert er Kinder ab sechs Jahren zu Spaß und Bewegung, z.B. Luftgitarre mit ihm spielen, ihn Karussell oder Rennauto fahren lassen. Fingerspitzengefühl und geschickte Bewegungen sind gefragt, denn Falko registriert alles und reagiert mit frechem Kommentar. Der Geier hat Party-Actionspiele, Quizfragen und musikalische wie sportliche Herausforderungen im Repertoire. Das hält bis zu acht Kinder bei Laune – auch an Kindergeburtstagen. 
((UVP 49,99 Euro)

“toi+”: small, but smart!

At the International Toy Fair 2019, Ravensburger presents “toi+”, a toy console where the playing experience takes place using a toy in your hand, and not on a screen. Key component is the palm-sized Core, which is inserted in toi+ products. It contains various sensors, a vibration function, processor, loudspeaker with multi-track audio output, Bluetooth interface and a rechargeable battery. The Core brings immersive technology to a movement game, party toy and logic trainer. Elementary school age childrenare immersed in a world with atmospheric music and sounds. toi+ registers every movement, change in position, action and entry of the currently active player. As a result,children shape the game progress actively through intuitive entries and movements. Following products are expected to be launched in autumn 2019:

toi+: The Core
It is the key component of the series. As soon as it is inserted in one of the toi+ products, its functions are activated. The core recognizes any type of movement, acceleration or change in position and reacts with sound and vibration to the actions of the players. toi+ products only function with inserted Core. (EUR 69.99 (RRP))

toi+: Magic Compass
The compass sends children ages six years and up on an action-packed adventure in the jungle. Players move in turn through an imaginary labyrinth holding the compass. But obstacles block the path: they have to hop over insects, protect themselves against bats with the compass and free it from a spider’s web. Where are walls and hidden doors? Do the adventurers reach their destination with the right actions? (EUR 49.99 (RRP))

toi+: Brain Board
It invites players ages eight years and up to mental training. There are five logic and memory games, which are available as haptic cards with scenic or abstract illustrations. The various toi+ sensors react to the movements of the player. Logic challenges are solved by a specific tipping of the Brain Board. The training mode offers more than 2,000 tasks in three levels of difficulty for practicing and memory tests. (EUR 49.99 (RRP))

toi+: Furious Falko
With the core inserted, “Furious Falko” comes alive. With his crazy ideas, he motivates children of elementary school age to have fun and be active, e.g. playing air guitar with him, letting him ride a carousel or racecar. Instinct and skilled movements are in demand, because Falko registers everything and reacts with cheeky comments. The vulture has party action games, quiz questions and musical and sportive challenges in store. Appropriate for up to eight children – even on children’s birthday parties. (EUR 49.99 (RRP))

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!