Team from Brooklyn, New York, and Naples, Italy, wins XPRIZE and Google’s STEM-based competition for kids, “MOONBOTS”

Two Cousins, Ages 10 and 12, Will Travel to Japan to Meet Google Lunar XPRIZE Teams

LOS ANGELES (September 24, 2015) – XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, and Google today announced Moonshot, cousins ages 10 and 12 from Brooklyn, New York, and Naples, Italy, is a grand prize winner in the 2015 MOONBOTS Challenge, also considered the “Google Lunar XPRIZE for Kids.” MOONBOTS is an international competition that encourages the next generation of space explorers and innovators by inviting kids ages 8-17 to design, create and program their own lunar rover, based on a legend or theory that inspires them about the moon.

Moonshot virtual team members Dario Cipani, 12, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y with his mom and team captain Sara Cipani; and Sasha Cipani, 10, who lives in Naples, Italy; didn’t let distance and time zones get in the way of their shared love of the moon. They worked together online from their respective countries to build and program a one-of-a-kind simulated lunar mission using the LEGO MINDSTORMS robotic platform. Their inspiration was Luna, Dario’s sister and Sasha’s cousin, and the idea that the moon we all share can bring people together — just as it brought their family together.

Next month, they cousins will take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan together to meet the official teams competing for a $30 million dollar Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition to land a privately funded robot on the moon.

“Team Moonshot showed ingenuity and innovation in their robotic building and programming, and were creative and imaginative in the way they interpreted their moon ‘tale,’” said Chanda Gonzales, senior director, Google Lunar XPRIZE. “Dario and Sasha were incredibly engaging, and their mission will provide inspiration for kids all over the world.”

In addition to developing their lunar rover, the cousins contributed to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education by sharing their innovation with underprivileged children through Associazione Quartieri Spagnoli Onlus – a nonprofit organization in Italy.

The kids’ competition attracted 235 teams from 29 countries, who entered phase one by submitting a written or video entry about what inspires them about the moon. Teams are comprised of 2-4 members (ages 8-17) and one team captain at least 18 years old. A panel of judges selected 30 teams to qualify for phase two, each of which was provided one of three platform systems (LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, VEX IQ, MECCANO Meccanoid G15 KS) to build and program a unique simulated robotic mission based on the moon tale they submitted in phase one. In addition, they were asked to contribute to STEM education by sharing their innovation with children and adults in their community.

Along with Moonshot, other grand prize winners are: Mecaliks of Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico; Team GalacTECHs of Tustin, Calif.; and Linked Lunas of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Since 2010, MOONBOTS has challenged thousands of young people from around the world. In addition to XPRIZE and Google, competition partners include FIRST® LEGO® League, Cogmation Robotics, VEX Robotics Inc., Spin-Master Ltd., the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (RECF), GeekDad, GeekMom, Robomatter Incorporated and Dexter Industries. More information, including the full list of finalists, can be found at moonbots.org.

 

About the Google Lunar XPRIZE 

The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth. For more information, visit lunar.xprize.org/.

 

About XPRIZE 
Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences.  Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and the $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE. For more information, visit xprize.org.

Mehr als 1.000 Teilnehmer aus 15 Ländern werden zu den RoboCup German Open erwartet

Am kommenden Wochenende wird die Landeshauptstadt Magdeburg wieder zum Treffpunkt nationaler und internationaler RoboCup Teams. Insgesamt 200 Teams mit über 1.000 Teilnehmern werden zu den spannenden Wettkämpfen in der Ottostadt erwartet. Die RoboCup German Open finden vom 24. bis zum 26. April 2015 auf der MESSE MAGDEBURG statt. Der Eintritt ist frei. Weiterlesen

Husarion Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Build-Your-Own Robot Device

Husarion’s RoboCORE Offers Easy and Affordable Way for Anyone to Construct a DIY Robot

Krakow, Poland – February 11, 2015 – Husarion, a Poland-based technology start-up, today announced it is seeking funding for RoboCORE, a device that acts as the “heart” of the DIY robot. Husarion’s mission is to bring robotics into the mainstream consumer market and RoboCORE offers the ultimate solution that allow robotics enthusiasts and companies to easily build their own robots, without the need for high-level programming or engineering skills.

Husarion founders are looking to raise $50,000 to bring RoboCORE to market. Over the next 30 days, investors may support and track Husarion’s campaign at the official project page on Kickstarter. 

The market for consumer and office robots is surging. A recent report from Business Insider Intelligence found that the multibillion-dollar global market for robotics, long dominated by industrial and logistics uses, has begun to see a shift toward new applications. According to BI, There will be a $1.5 billion market for consumer and business robots by 2019. BI also projects the market for consumer and office robots will grow at a CAGR of 17 percent between 2014 and 2019, seven times faster than the market for manufacturing robots.

“The design and production of robot components is so costly that robots are currently used mainly for military and industrial purposes,” said Dominik Nowak, CEO at Husarion. “There’s been little or no opportunity for robotics to become widespread. Our mission is to make out-of-the-box modules available so that anyone can create an inexpensive robot with advanced capabilities.”

RoboCORE is a combination of software and hardware, packaged in a sleek, heart-shaped device. Unlike other robotics systems, RoboCORE allows users to control or code from anywhere in the world, as well as stream both audio and video. RoboCORE’s rich peripherals, high-performance CPU and intuitive software enable robot makers to create without limits.

Building simple telepresence robots with a RoboCORE module is easy. Consumers can simply use old smartphones and tablets to control the robot by connecting them to an app, and then connect the construction with a cloud app, using a Wi-Fi or mobile (3G, LTE) network. The cloud-based RoboCORE app is a hub for managing all robots. Users can log in through a web browser, program and control the robot, and even share their project with friends.

RoboCORE will be useful for a variety of business settings and in solving real human problems. The module is also ideal for students and hobbyists, who will now be able to create and design complicated constructions that were previously impossible to build inexpensively, or without advanced programming skills. In addition, RoboCORE is compatible with any mechanics system, including pieces from popular LEGO® MINDSTORMS® sets.

The small (115×125 mm for the basic version, 82×82 mm for mini) device conceals a number of components with high scaling capabilities. Internal components include the Cortex-M4 core microcontroller, Intel Edison miniature computer with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, DC engine ports with encoders, sensor ports, extension modules (for instance, for servomechanisms), a slot for microSD cards, and a microUSB socket. On Kickstarter, Husarion is also presenting the RoboCORE-mini, an even smaller module with basic features for beginners, as well as extensions.

 “We believe that today’s consumer robotics is at the same development stage as the computer industry in the late 1970’s. Not many people then appreciated young electronics enthusiasts. Now, it’s similar with robot makers,” says Radoslaw Jarema, CTO of Husarion. “We’ve created RoboCORE because we know that the world is on the eve of another technological revolution. The age of the personal computer has been here for a while—and now it’s time for personal robots. We hope that the Kickstarter community will receive our project well and support it.”

Dynepic® to Launch Internet of Toys™ Platform & Debut Product on Kickstarter: 15 November

Dynepic® is pleased to debut the future of toys with our premier device, the DynePod™, which will launch 15 November on Kickstarter.com.  DynePods™ operate on The Internet of Toys™ (IoToys), Dynepic’s state-of-the-art open platform designed to share cloud content and connect toys, merging elements of child’s play and technology to enable children to interact with their toys in revolutionary and modern ways.

The DynePod™ is an educational, Bluetooth connected toy designed to introduce fundamental concepts of customization, socialization, programming and engineering, by allowing children to create their own interactive programs for their toys. Using a graphical If, Then programming interface, developed under contract with the National Science Foundation, children can create a multitude of unique, useful programs that involve both the digital and physical world.  DynePods™ are modular, fully customizable toys that are compatible with a multitude of self-designed and 3D printed accessories, encouraging the next generation to start innovating.  Enabled by the Internet of Toys™ platform, DynePods™ can morph and grow with the child through cloud updates, as well as connect wirelessly with other DynePods™ and a host of other future toys linked to the platform.

„DynePods™ and The Internet of Toys™ platform will enable new play patterns and encourage open-ended exploration for the future of toys, for children, makers, and toy inventors alike,“ Krissa Watry, Dynepic’s Co-Founder & CEO, comments.  „We hope you will join us by supporting DynePods™ and the Internet of Toys on Kickstarter, 15 November.“ For more information on how Dynepic is working to build the COOL aisle for toys, please visit our website www.dynepic.com or contact us at [email protected]. A Press kit is available.

Founded in 2011, Dynepic® is focused on building cool connected toys and an open architecture and cloud platform to drive child friendly content in new and innovative ways. Dynepic® is a women owned, veteran owned, small business focused on creating the Internet of Toys™.  

Open Roberta – Programmieren ist ein Kinderspiel

Unter dem Motto »Jeder kann programmieren – mit Open Roberta!« stellen Fraunhofer-Experten heute ihre neue, internetbasierte Programmierplattform »Open Roberta« vor. Kostenlos und interaktiv können Schülerinnen und Schüler eigene Programme für Roboter erstellen und mit anderen teilen. Diese offene Lernumgebung soll mehr Mädchen und Jungen für Technik begeistern. Sie entsteht in Partnerschaft mit Google und unter der Schirmherrschaft des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung BMBF.

Intelligente Roboter, selbstfahrende Autos, Smartphones als Assistenten des Menschen – in unserer Gesellschaft sind digitale Technologien allgegenwärtig. »Um unsere digitale Welt zu gestalten, brauchen wir kluge Köpfe – junge Menschen, die Technik verstehen, Software programmieren und innovative Lösungen finden. Ich freue mich, dass heute dieses spannende und vielseitige Projekt startet«, sagt Prof. Dr. Alexander Kurz, Fraunhofer-Vorstand für Personal, Recht und Verwertung.

Das Projekt erweitert die Fraunhofer-Initiative »Roberta – Lernen mit Robotern«, die Kinder und Jugendliche spielerisch an Naturwissenschaften und Technik heranführt. »Open Roberta verbindet das erfolgreiche, pädagogische Roberta-Konzept mit einer innovativen technischen Lernumgebung, die das Programmieren lernen leicht macht und offen ist für spannende, kreative Experimente«, sagt Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel, Leiter des Fraunhofer-Instituts für Intelligente Analyse- und Informationssysteme IAIS. Die IAIS-Experten entwickeln Open Roberta mit Unterstützung von Google. Das Unternehmen hat für das Projekt eine Million Euro für zwei Jahre bereit gestellt. »Google setzt sich seit vielen Jahren und mit vielen Initiativen für die Förderung von Informatik in Bildung und Ausbildung sowie von Open-Source-Software ein. Wir freuen uns sehr, unser Engagement mit Open Roberta auf eine noch breitere Basis zu stellen«, erläutert Google-Entwicklungschef Dr. Wieland Holfelder das Engagement des IT-Konzerns.

Jeder kann programmieren – mit »Open Roberta«

Im Projekt »Open Roberta« entwickeln die Fraunhofer-Forscher eine frei verfügbare, cloudbasierte grafische Software, die Kindern und Jugendlichen mit Spaß und ohne technische Hürden das Programmieren ermöglicht – von ersten Programmierschritten bis hin zur Entwicklung intelligenter LEGO MINDSTORMS Roboter mit vielerlei Sensoren und Fähigkeiten. Dabei spielt es zukünftig keine Rolle, ob man vom Computer, Tablet oder Smartphone aus auf die Plattform zugreift. Sie lässt sich einfach über den Internetbrowser aufrufen, speichert die geschriebenen Programme in der Cloud und macht aufwändige Software-Updates überflüssig. Davon profitieren besonders Schulen, da deren IT-Wartung häufig mit großem administrativem Aufwand verbunden ist und viele Einrichtungen oftmals nicht über ausreichende Mittel für leistungsstarke Rechner verfügen. Die internetbasierte Software wird es auch ermöglichen, sowohl in der Schule als auch zuhause an eigenen Programmen zu arbeiten, sie mit anderen zu teilen und sie unabhängig von Ort und Zeit gemeinsam weiterzuentwickeln. Für Lehrkräfte stehen demnächst Tutorials für die Arbeit mit Open Roberta bereit, die auf die unterschiedlichen Interessen von Mädchen und Jungen eingehen.

Der Nachwuchs von heute programmiert für den Nachwuchs von morgen

Die Open-Roberta-Software ist zur Zeit im Beta-Stadium und wird Open Source weiterentwickelt. Im nächsten Schritt beziehen die IT-Experten vom IAIS Lehrkräfte, IT- und Bildungsexperten aus dem Roberta-Netzwerk sowie Hochschulen und ihre Studierenden aktiv in die Entwicklungsarbeiten ein. »Somit stärkt das Projekt gleichzeitig die Zusammenarbeit mit Hochschulen und fördert die praktische Programmiererfahrung von Studierenden«, erläutert Wrobel. Mitte 2015 wird die Software ohne Einschränkungen für alle zugänglich sein und sich zum Beispiel um die Programmierung weiterer Robotersysteme erweitern lassen. Sowohl die Software als auch die Open-Source-Entwicklertools stehen über Fraunhofer-Server bereit. Zudem können Schülerinnen und Schüler aus ganz Deutschland über Ideenworkshops und Wettbewerbe aktiv die Open-Roberta-Programmierumgebung mitgestalten.

Im Kontext von Open Roberta führt das Fraunhofer IAIS auch seine langjährige Zusammenarbeit mit LEGO Education fort. LEGO Education stellt 160 Roberta-Baukästen für die weitere Verbreitung von Open Roberta in den Bundesländern zur Verfügung. In Zusammenarbeit mit der Initiative »Jeder kann programmieren. Start Coding« und der Initiative D21 stellen die Kooperationspartner ihr Projekt am 4. November 2014 in Berlin erstmals der Öffentlichkeit vor.

Die Initiative »Roberta – Lernen mit Robotern«

»Roberta – Lernen mit Robotern« ist ein Bildungsprogramm, das Kinder und Jugendliche bereits seit über zehn Jahren für Naturwissenschaften und Technik begeistert. Es wurde 2002 durch das IAIS und mit Förderung des BMBF ins Leben gerufen. Jährlich erreicht die Roberta-Initiative in über 800 dokumentierten Roberta-Kursen mehr als 30 000 Kinder und Jugendliche. Ein umfassendes Schulungskonzept sowie gendergerechte Lehr- und Lernmaterialien unterstützen Lehrkräfte dabei, naturwissenschaftlich-technische Themen spielerisch zu vermitteln. Regionale RobertaRegioZentren sowie zertifizierte Roberta-Teacher bilden ein europäisches Netzwerk für den Erfahrungsaustausch und die Weiterentwicklung des Roberta-Konzepts.

Weitere Informationen:

www.open-roberta.org

www.roberta-home.de

www.google.org

education.lego.com

Mindboards forums are back!

If you receive a mail like the following below, don’t panic, it’s not a phishing expedition by some ruthless hacker.  You’re seeing the fruits of the hard labour that Sebastian Trella has done to resurrect the Mindboards forums.  Please spread the news on your blog, if you have one.

Dear mindboards.net forum member:

The MindBOARDS forums have finally been moved to a new site and are operational again! In order to login to the forums on the new site you will need to do two things. 

First, go to http://forums.mindboards.net/. You should be redirected to the new hosting site which has URL = https://mindboards.trella.biz/. Click the Login link near the top right corner. On the login page click the “I forgot my password” link. On the Send password page type in your sourceforge username and the email address associated with your forum account.  This may be your username followed by @users.sourceforge.net or it might be another email address that you associated with your forums.mindboards.net account. You will get a message stating “the e-mail/username information submitted could not be found” If the values you enter do not match an existing MindBOARDS account. Otherwise you should receive an email with a link to reset your password. This email will contain a new password that you can use to login after you click on the link in your email to activate it.

Second, go to http://forums.mindboards.net/. Click the Login link near the top right corner. Enter your MindBOARDS username and the password from the email you received in the previous step. Once you successfully login, click the User Control Panel link near the top left corner of the page. On the User Control Panel page click the Profile tab. Then click the “Edit account settings” option on the left (the fourth item in the list). Here you can change your email address from [email protected] (if needed) to another email address of your choosing.  You will have to confirm that change by entering the new email address twice. You can also enter and confirm a new password. Finally, you will have to enter the “current password” from the email you received in order to save these changes. After you successfully save these changes you will have to reactivate your account. You should receive an email sent to the email address you entered on this page containing a link that will reactivate your account.

We hope to see you active in the newly reactivated MindBOARDS forums soon!

The MindBOARDS team

So don’t delay!  Sign up and we’ll see you there!

Der neue Roberta-Grundlagenband ist da!

Dieser Band stellt das Roberta-Konzept vor und enthält Grundlagen zur Planung und Durchführung von Roberta-Kursen. Dazu gehören insbesondere didaktische Hinweise zur gendergerechten Kursgestaltung. Explizit werden die beiden Roboter-Baukastensysteme LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT und LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 vorgestellt. Des Weiteren gibt das Buch einen Überblick über den Einsatz und die Verwendung von Robotern in der heutigen Gesellschaft. Aufgrund der zahlreichen Aufgabenstellungen mit unterschiedlichem Schwierigkeitsgrad, bietet dieser Band gerade für Lehrkräfte viele Anregungen zur Gestaltung eigener Roberta-Kurse. Alle im Buch enthaltenen Aufgabenstellungen folgen dem langjährig erprobten Roberta-Konzept und können kostenfrei auf dem Roberta-Portal heruntergeladen werden.

Link zum Shop

LegoWorld 2014 Utrecht Pictures

HEROES WANTED! XPRIZE IS LAUNCHING A VIDEO CONTEST FOR 8- to 17-YEAR- OLDS TO FORM THE REAL-LIFE „BIG HERO 6“

XPRIZE has joined forces with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Disney Corporate Citizenship for today’s launch of a nationwide video contest designed to find the real-life counterparts to the animated heroes that will soon burst onto the big screen in „BIG HERO 6,“ an action-packed comedy-adventure from Disney opening November 7, 2014.

The DISNEY BIG HERO 6 – XPRIZE CHALLENGE invites young people between the ages of 8 and 17 to harness their creativity and come up with innovative ideas to tackle the world’s biggest challenges using science, technology, engineering, art and/or mathematics.
The six winners, the real-life „Big Hero 6,“ will travel to Los Angeles to walk the red carpet at the film’s Hollywood premiere in early November, go behind the scenes and meet the creative minds at both Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering, join a special „Visioneering™“ experience at XPRIZE headquarters, plus other prizes.

Video Submissions will be judged on innovation, creativity and presentation. Twenty (20) finalists will be selected based on the highest scores resulting from preliminary scoring by XPRIZE judges. In mid October, a panel of luminary S.T.E.A.M. expert judges will evaluate the twenty finalists‘ submissions and six (6) winners will be selected through a combination of the expert judges‘ scores and public voting results.

Said Walt Disney Animation Studios President Ed Catmull, „We are thrilled to work with XPRIZE to find real-life young heroes whose desire is to tackle the world’s great challenges. It’s an honor for all of us at Walt Disney Animation Studios to welcome them at our Studio and at the premiere of „Big Hero 6.“

„The young people who win this contest will be real-world heroes, ready and willing to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing our world today,“ said Trish Halamandaris, senior vice president marketing & communications at XPRIZE. „The XPRIZE Foundation is excited to be conducting this competition that challenges young people to be bold, creative and smart, and to dare to think big. We believe that solutions to the problems facing humanity can come from anyone, anywhere, and one of these kids just might come up with an idea that can truly change the world.“

In addition to the trip to Los Angeles, the six winners will receive reimbursement for one (1) Contestant registration for FIRST® LEGO® League for the competition season 2014-2015 in the US or Canada, and a Special littleBits® NASA Space Kit and cloudBit™ Starter Kit.

The contest is open for submissions from September 17, 2014, to October 12, 2014.

Participating kids will compete in two divisions: Junior Division (8-12 years of age), and Senior Division (13–17 years of age). All entrants must have prior consent from their parent or legal guardian in order to participate in the challenge. Registration details are available at xprizechallenge.org/bighero6.

The video submissions may involve a short story, sculpture, drawing, model, robot or whatever method best communicates the idea in the most creative way (please see Official Rules for further details, restrictions and limitations). They will be scored on how well they explain the problem, show their solution, and explain what they learned and the impact their idea would have on themselves and the world. The more creative and engaging their presentation is, the better their chance of winning.

Supporting XPRIZE Partners include FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), littleBits Electronics and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Challenge registration and video submissions start September 17, 2014, and end October 12, 2014. Public Voting will start October 15, 2014 and end October 19, 2014. Open to legal residents of US and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are ages 8 through 17 before September 17, 2014. Parental consent is required. Travel must occur on November 2-6, 2014 (or such other dates designated by Sponsor). For details, restrictions, and limitations and to enter, please visit Official Rules at: xprizechallenge.org/bighero6. Sole Sponsor: XPRIZE.

EV3 Sensor Adapter for NXT or Arduino

I just stumbled across the following on the mindsensors.com products:

EV3 Sensor Adapter for NXT or Arduino

 

Using this adapter, you can attach new EV3 sensors to your NXT or Arduino.
(This is basically a UART to I2C adapter).

  • For NXT, works with BricxCC, and new EV3 IDE for NXT
  • Lightweight and small design, that fits in-line with your sensor and brick
  • Use with Arduino with NXShield

 

I will test this adapter in the near future and write more about it here. Because the adapter is not supporting NXT-G, but the new EV3 IDE together with the NXT brick, this will then also be my first time using the new software with the „old“ NXT hardware.