Mayflower Autonomous Ship Launches

PLYMOUTH, England, Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ocean research non-profit ProMare and IBM (NYSE:IBM) have announced the completion and launch of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) – an AI and solar powered marine research vessel which will traverse oceans gathering vital environmental data.

Following two years of design, construction and training of its AI models, the new fully-autonomous trimaran was today lifted into the waters off the coast of Plymouth, England ahead of its official launch tomorrow.

Designed to provide a safe, flexible and cost-effective way of gathering data about the ocean, the new-generation Mayflower promises to transform oceanography by working in tandem with scientists and other autonomous vessels to help understand critical issues such as global warming, micro-plastic pollution and marine mammal conservation. ProMare is co-ordinating the scientific studies working with IBM Research and a number of leading scientific organizations.

MAS features an AI Captain built by ProMare and IBM developers which gives MAS the ability to sense, think and make decisions at sea with no human captain or onboard crew. The new class of marine AI is underpinned by IBM’s latest advanced edge computing systems, automation software, computer vision technology and Red Hat Open Source software.

„Able to scan the horizon for possible hazards, make informed decisions and change its course based on a fusion of live data, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship has more in common with a modern bank than its 17th century namesake,“ said Andy Stanford-Clark, Chief Technology Officer, IBM UK & Ireland. „With its ability to keep running in the face of the most challenging conditions, this small ship is a microcosm for every aspiring 21st century business.“

To enable followers around the world to stay updated with MAS as it undertakes its various missions, IBM and ProMare have today launched a new interactive web portal. Built by IBM iX, the business design arm of IBM Services, the MAS400 portal is designed to provide real-time updates about the ship’s location, environmental conditions and data from its various research projects. Live weather data will be streamed from The Weather Company, as MAS is receiving forecast data and insight from the new IBM Weather Operations Center.

The portal even features a seven-armed, stowaway octopus chatbot called Artie, who claims to be hitching a ride on the ship. Powered by IBM Watson Assistant technology and created in partnership with European start-up Chatbotbay, Artie has been trained to provide information about MAS and its adventures in a lively, and accessible format.

„MAS400.com is one of the most advanced ocean mission web portals ever built,“ says Fredrik Soreide, Scientific Director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project and Board Member of ProMare. „Protecting the ocean depends on our ability to engage the public in important matters affecting its health. This MAS400 portal is designed to do exactly that and tell people where the ship is, what speed it’s travelling at, what conditions it’s operating in and what science we are conducting. Users can even help Artie the Octopus fish out surgical masks, cigarette butts and other increasingly common forms of ocean litter from a virtual ocean of facts and data.“

MAS will spend the next six months in sea trials and undertake various research missions and voyages before attempting to cross the Atlantic in Spring 2021. MAS’s transatlantic voyage will be based on a similar route and pioneering spirit to the 1620 Mayflower which made the same crossing 400 years ago.

MAS Facts:

Name: Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS)
Organizations and
companies behind it:   
ProMare, IBM and a global consortium of partners 
Mission:MAS and other autonomous ships and drones working in tandem with human scientists to collect vital oceanographic data
Humans on board:0
Autonomy level5 (can operate independently with no human intervention)
Sensors on board:30+
AI Cameras on board:   6
Octopuses on board:1
Science projects:Marine mammals, micro plastics, sea level height & wave patterns, oceanographic and environmental data collection
Length:15M
Width:6.2M
Max speed:10 knots
Weight:5 tons/4535KG
Equipment capacity:    0.7 tons/700KG
Hull design:Trimaran (central hull with two outrigger wings)
Power:Solar-driven hybrid electric motor
Software:IBM Visual Insights computer vision technology, IBM edge systems, IBM Operational Decision Manager automation software, IBM Maximo asset management software, data from The Weather Company        
Hardware:IBM Power Systems AC922, 6 Jetson AGX Xavier, 2 Jetson Xavier NX, 4+ Intel-based computers, 4+ custom microprocessor systems
Navigation equipment:Precision GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), IMU (Inertial Measurement Units), radar, weather station, SATCOM, AIS
Live mission portal:https://mas400.com
More information:https://newsroom.ibm.com/then-and-now
B-roll:  https://newsroom.ibm.com/mayflower-b-roll
Images:https://newsroom.ibm.com/mayflower-images

Bloomberg Media and Intelligence Squared U.S. present a new limited debate series “That’s Debatable” hosted by Award-Winning Journalist and Moderator John Donvan and featuring AI from IBM Watson

The one-hour program will premiere on Bloomberg Television on Friday, October 9 at 7:00 PMAudiences can join the conversation now by submitting their arguments at IBM.com/debatable on the first debate topic: “It’s Time to Redistribute the Wealth”

NEW YORK September 3, 2020 — Bloomberg Media today announced a new interactive debate series titled “That’s Debatable,” to debut on Bloomberg Television Friday, October 9 at 7:00PM ET. Presented in partnership with Intelligence Squared U.S. and hosted by four-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, broadcaster and Intelligence Squared’s longtime debate moderator John Donvan, the program will feature industry leaders, economists, policy makers and public intellectuals debating some of today’s most pressing issues. “That’s Debatable” is sponsored exclusively by IBM.

Filmed in front of a live virtual audience, “That’s Debatable” will be conducted in the traditional Oxford-style format with two teams of two subject matter experts debating over four rounds. The live audience will select a winner via mobile, to be announced at the conclusion of the program.

The show will also demonstrate how AI can be used to bring a larger, more diverse range of voices and opinions to the public square and can help uncover new perspectives to enhance the debaters’ arguments. The general public is invited to submit a short argument for or against each episode’s position statement. During the debate, IBM Watson plans to use Key Point Analysis, a new capability in Natural Language Processing (NLP) developed by the same IBM Research team that created Project Debater, which is designed to analyze viewer submitted arguments and provide insight into the global public opinion on each episode’s debate topic.

“Bloomberg Media’s global audience regularly turns to Bloomberg Television as a critical source of news and information,” said Al Mayers, Global Head of Bloomberg Television and Radio. “By partnering with Intelligence Squared for ‘That’s Debatable,’ we will provide viewers with thoughtful discourse and insights into some of the most important subjects currently at the forefront of national and global conversation.”

“Globally, we are facing unprecedented and complex challenges,” said Intelligence Squared U.S. CEO Clea Conner. “In this era of seemingly endless soundbites and social media echo chambers, it is harder than ever before to truly engage with the other side of an issue. At this historic moment, we are calling for a return to civilized and substantive debate to help us navigate a rapidly changing world. Together with Bloomberg TV, and our exclusive sponsor IBM, ‘That’s Debatable’ will explore multiple viewpoints of the most important topics of our time — and give a voice to a global audience with Watson’s advanced AI analysis.”

The debut episode’s debate topic is: “It’s Time to Redistribute the Wealth.” As nations around the world face a reckoning on race and social justice and work to combat the economic impacts of the pandemic, “That’s Debatable” will take a hard look at the hotly contested question with leading experts on both sides of the argument.

Audiences can join in the discussion by submitting a short argument for or against the motion: „It’s time to redistribute the wealth“ starting today through September 14 at www.ibm.com/debatable. Then tune into “That’s Debatable” on October 9 to see a debate fueled in part by your submission.

„Our ambition for ‘That’s Debatable’ is simple — to showcase one of the many ways AI can be used for good by helping people understand nuanced viewpoints, discover and surface critical insights, and inform high stakes decision making,” said Daniel Hernandez, General Manager, IBM Data and AI. “What we learned from over 30,000 Watson client engagements inspired IBM Research to create cutting-edge innovation in language, automation and building trust, which will be demonstrated in the series and made available in Watson for all businesses to use.”

About Bloomberg Media:

Bloomberg Media is a leading, global, multi-platform brand that provides decision-makers with timely news, analysis and intelligence on business, finance, technology, climate change, politics and more. Powered by a newsroom of over 2,700 journalists and analysts, it reaches influential audiences worldwide across every platform including digital, social, TV, radio, print and live events. Bloomberg Media is a division of Bloomberg LP. Visit BloombergMedia.com for more information.

About Intelligence Squared U.S.:

A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches millions of viewers and listeners through multi-platform distribution, including public radio, podcasts, live streaming, newsletters, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps including Roku and Apple TV. With over 180 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to „think twice“ on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008.

About IBM Watson:

Watson is IBM’s AI technology for business, helping organizations to better predict and shape future outcomes, automate complex processes, and optimize employees’ time. Watson has evolved from an IBM Research project, to experimentation, to a scaled set of products that run anywhere. With more than 30,000 customers, Watson is being applied by leading global brands across a variety of industries to transform how people work. To learn more, visit: https://www.ibm.com/watson.

To learn more about Natural Language Processing and how new capabilities like Key Point Analysis are designed to analyze and generate insights from thousands of arguments on any topic, visit: https://www.ibm.com/watson/natural-language-processing.

MOFLIN, a lovable Pet Robot with advanced Artificial Intelligence that replicates a living animal, launches in Kickstarter Campaign

2020-08-05 15:48:32 – Minato City – (PR Distribution™)

Japanese hardware startup “Vanguard Industries, Inc.” launches its newly developed AI Pet Robot that is not only soft and cuddly and interactive, but learns and evolves like a real pet.

Tokyo based Vanguard Industries, Inc (CEO: Masahiko Yamanaka) will launch a Kickstarter campaign on August 5th, 8:00pm (Japan Time) for its advanced AI Pet Robot MOFLIN that realizes an ambitious concept of creating a soft and lovable AI pet robot that can interact with its owner and evolve like a living animal.  It can thus give you the satisfaction of living with a pet that has its own unique personality cultivated by its interaction with you and its living environment.

Supporters of the campaign can make advanced purchases of MOFLIN. The campaign targets consumers in the US, Canada, the EU, and Japan. The funds raised through this campaign will be used for further product development, manufacturing, delivery, and preparation for entering the consumer market. 

Delivery of MOFLIN to supporters will start in Spring of 2021.


What is MOFLIN

MOFLIN was created from an entirely new and ambitious concept of a having a soft lovable pet robot with advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) that enables it to learn, evolve, interact, and create its own unique personality like that of a living pet. It has a soft warm fur coat, makes lovable sounds and adorable movements that will make you want to love it forever. We took a nature inspired approach and developed a unique algorithm that allows MOFLIN to learn and grow by constantly using its interactions to determine patterns and evaluate its surroundings from its sensors. MOFLIN will choose from an infinite number of mobile and sound pattern combinations to respond and express its feelings. To put it in simple terms, it’s like you’re interacting with a living pet. MOFLIN offers a simple user experience that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages and provide a lovable partner to your everyday life.

In November 2011 Vanguard Industries presented for the first time, the MOFLIN concept, at the Web Summit 2019 that took place in Lisbon, Portugal. Web Summit is one of the world’s largest technology conferences and the live demonstration of the MOFLIN prototype received raving feedback from industry professionals.  Through the success of this Kickstarter campaign, we plan on developing MOFLIN even further.

Also, in parallel with this Kickstarter campaign, we will be exhibiting MOFLIN at the b8ta Tokyo – Yurakucho store in Tokyo, the first experiential store in Japan for b8ta. If you are ever in the area, please come and interact with MOFLIN in person. 

Kickstarter Campaign Details

Campaign Period: August 5th, 2020 – September 20th, 2020
Campaign days: 50 days
Funding Goal: 2,000,000 Yen (Approx. $US 19,000)
Funding Model: All or Nothing
Kickstarter Campaign Page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vanguardindustries/moflin-an-ai-pet-robot-with-emotional-capabilities/


b8ta Tokyo – Yurakucho Store Details

Name: b8ta Tokyo – Yurakucho
Address: 1st Floor, Yuracho Denki Building, 1-7-1, Yurakucho, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
Business Hours: 11:00 – 19:30 (7 days a week)
URL: https://b8ta.jp/

Vanguard Industries, Inc.

Established in June, 2016, Vanguard Industries is a hardware startup that work mainly with Industry-Government-Acadamia open innovation projects. It specializes in the engineering, production, and market entry of innovative products created by partnerships between the R&D departments of large Japanese firms, small and medium sized manufacturing companies, and Universities. Our mission is to create innovation that contributes to the advancement of the Japanese manufacturing industry.

Nabot by Ximpatico

Nabot is a programmable robot that can autonomously perform tasks such as sanitizing packages, mopping the floor, vacuuming, collecting small objects, and playing with pets. Nabot is both the robot to play with and a tool to explore the world of AI and coding. Nabot was previously marketed as a remote control robot but we upgraded it with artificial intelligence and a coding interface and turned it into a smart and autonomous robot. Nabot can introduce children to the coding concepts and make them interested in STEM fields. It can also be a great assistive technology for the disabled and elderly and help them with activities of daily living. That has been the topic of Ph.D. research of the founders.

How does it work?

Nabot’s coding interface consists of blocks, which users will drag, drop, and attach them together to write a code for Nabot. These coding blocks enable the user to move the robot forward/backward, rotate the robot left/right, move each of the joints individually or all together, create custom categories of objects and write code for when the robot detects an object from a certain category, mark/assign objects to one of these custom categories, create variables and use them in various math equations, and other basic programming logic blocks such as if, else, repeat, loop, while. There is also a more advanced Python API for hackers to program complicated and useful tasks.

User’s privacy is our priority. Nabot does not send or store any information outside the user’s phone. All the processing is done on the phone and the application doesn’t even need an internet connection (except for logging in).

About Ximpatico

We are Ximpatico, a venture-backed startup based in the US with offices in San Jose, CA and Orlando, FL. Founders are a couple of Ph.D. graduates in computer science and engineering behind the state-of-the-art in AI and robotics. We developed a cutting-edge AI technology back in 2016 in our research lab.

Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ximpatico/nabot-ai-trainable-and-programmable-robot?ref=brgm6n

Make A Robot Kit – Accessible yet Intelligent, MARK is where you start your AI education journey

Parents & educators worldwide understand the importance of equipping the next generation with vital skills of the future – robotics, coding & AI. However there is a lack of resources which make learning about artificial intelligence accessible, hands on & fun! So TinkerGen has developed a kit which provides a learning experience for kids and hobbyists.

Make A Robot Kit, aka MARK, is an artificial intelligence robot which allows learners to achieve an exciting range of applications, from interacting with pet animals to experimenting with how autonomous vehicles work

Supported with an abundant range of course materials, beginners start with a hands on assembly of their own robot, moving onto graphically coding their MARK to implement a self-driving car through street sign recognition & collision avoidance. As stated by MARK developer & TinkerGen course designer Dmitry Maslov, a main feature of MARK is, “making machine learning concepts and workflow more transparent, easier to understand and use for teachers and students.” 

An electromagnetic attachment allows sorting application which teaches kids the concept of automated logistics. While 5 pretrained model categories are included so many applications can be easily and quickly implemented, students will also be able to train their own image recognition models.

The pretrained model categories include:

  • road signs
  • domestic animals
  • zoo animals
  • common objects
  • Numbers

With slingshot and grabber attachments, and the ability to recognise almost any object, a whole new world of play is discovered. The whole family can get involved, multiple MARKS can battle in a sumo style fight, breeding productive competition, On the other hand, you could use MARK to feed, amuse and tease your pet with treats.

Features to Highlight:

  • Machine Vision Capability
  • Object & Image recognition
  • Self driving car application
  • Interactive with humans, pets, and the environment
  • Graphical programming support
  • Develops hands on robotics skills
  • Extendible & Customisable
    • Attachment points for accessories
    • Connection ports for extra input/output modules 

About TinkerGen: 

TinkerGen is a STEM Education company which grew from an open source hardware manufacturer in Shenzhen – Seeed Studio, so we know our tech, but we’re here to serve the education community. We make the process for educators convenient, so kids can quickly get to the fun mind expanding bits of tinkering and creating! We believe that helping kids to develop STEM skills is really beneficial for their future, and also a proven way to bridge the privilege gap that unfortunately exists in our society today.

Maker-Spirit in Corona-Zeiten – Erste weltweite virtuelle Maker Faire am 23. Mai

Hannover, 7. Mai 2020 – Aufgrund der Corona-Pandemie wurden nahezu alle Maker Faires in 2020 abgesagt. Darunter auch die achte Maker Faire Hannover, die vom 12. bis 13. September im HCC geplant war. Statt von Angesicht zu Angesicht treffen sich die Maker jetzt online. Das US-Maker-Faire-Team organisiert am 23. Mai ein 24-Stunden-Event, bei dem die Macher aus aller Welt ihre Ideen virtuell vorstellen können. Im Fokus stehen dabei die Covid19-Projekte.

Deutschlands größtes DIY-Festival, das sich in Niedersachsens Hauptstadt in den vergangenen Jahren zu einem Publikumsmagneten für die ganze Familie entwickelt hat, wurde auf den 11. und 12. September 2021 verschoben. „Leider werden wir die Maker Faire Hannover in der aktuellen Situation nicht wie geplant durchführen können. Somit haben wir uns schweren Herzens dazu entschieden, die Veranstaltung in diesem Jahr auszusetzen“, bedauert Daniel Rohlfing, Leiter Events und Sales, Maker Media. Im vergangenen Jahr bestaunten in Hannover 17.500 Besucherinnen und Besucher die vielen spannenden Ideen der internationalen Maker-Szene.

Einfach machen
Mit ihren unkonventionellen Erfindungen machen die Makerinnen und Maker gerade in der Corona-Zeit von sich reden. Weltweit hat die Community auf den Mangel an medizinischer Versorgung und Ausrüstung reagiert. Die Macher haben ihre 3D-Drucker und ihre Nähmaschinen aktiviert und mit ihrem ganz eigenen Spirit gemeinsam innovative Produkte geschaffen.

Drucken gegen Corona
In Deutschland ist das beispielsweise die Initiative „Maker vs. Virus“. Hier haben sich etliche Maker und Fablabs zusammengeschlossen, um sich gegenseitig zu unterstützen und ihre Ressourcen besser zu organisieren – etwa bei der 3D-Druck-Fertigung von Gesichtsschutzmasken, den sogenannten Face Shields. Im Rahmen des WirvsVirus-Hackathons von der Bundesregierung hat ein interdisziplinäres Maker-Team sogar ein komplettes Beatmungsgerät als Prototyp entwickelt.

Maker-Spirit im Netz erleben
Diese Covid19-Projekte stehen auch im Fokus der ersten virtuellen Maker Faire, die am Samstag, den 23. Mai, als 24-Stunden-Event weltweit in allen Zeitzonen vom US-Maker Faire-Team organisiert wird: der Bildschirm als Bühne für die einfallsreichen Konzepte und ihre Macher. Auch das deutsche Maker Media-Team beteiligt sich an der digitalen Show. Weitere Infos gibt es hierzu unter: makerfaire.com. Wer dabei sein will, kann sich hier anmelden: https://makerfaire.com/virtually-maker-faire-call-2020-for-makers/

Auf dem Laufenden bleiben
Wer sich für die Maker-Bewegung interessiert, kann sich auf der Webseite www.maker-faire.de auf dem Laufenden halten. Ein monatlicher Newsletter informiert über aktuelle Themen, neue Termine und allgemeine DIY-Nachrichten. Folgen Sie uns auch auf Facebook, Twitter und Instagram .

Alle Maker Faires in D/A/CH werden vom deutschsprachigen Make Magazin präsentiert.

Accenture, Intel and Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation Use Artificial Intelligence to Save Coral Reefs

NEW YORK, SANTA CLARA, Calif., and MANILA, The Philippines; April 22, 2020 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN), Intel and the Philippines-based Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation have developed a new solution powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor, characterize and analyze coral reef resiliency. The solution — the work product of Project: CORaiL, an initiative the three organizations created in 2019 — has been deployed in a reef in the Philippines since last year.

Coral reefs are some of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, with more than eight hundred species of corals building and providing habitats and shelter for approximately 25% of global marine life. The reefs also benefit humans — protecting coastlines from tropical storms, providing food and income for 1 billion people, and generating US$9.6 billion in tourism and recreation annually. But reefs are being endangered and rapidly degraded by overfishing, bottom trawling, warming temperatures and unsustainable coastal development.

“Project: CORaiL is an incredible example of how AI and edge computing can be used to help researchers monitor and restore the coral reef. We are very proud to partner with Accenture and the Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation on this important effort to protect our planet,” said Rose Schooler, corporate vice president in Intel’s sales and marketing group.

A critical element of Project: CORaiL was to identify the number and variety of fish around a reef, which serve as an important indicator of overall reef health. Traditional coral reef monitoring efforts involve human divers manually capturing video footage and photos of the reef. In addition to being dangerous and time-intensive, this approach can disrupt marine life, as divers might inadvertently frighten fish into hiding.

Engineers from Accenture, Intel and Sulubaaï implemented an artificial, concrete reef — called a Sulu-Reef Prosthesis (SRP) — to provide support for unstable coral fragments underwater. The SRP was designed by Sulubaaï and placed in the reef surrounding the Pangatalan Island in the Philippines. Fragments of living coral were planted on it and will grow and expand, providing a hybrid habitat for fish and marine life.

The engineers then strategically placed intelligent underwater video cameras, equipped with the Accenture Applied Intelligence Video Analytics Services Platform (VASP), to detect and photograph fish as they pass by. VASP uses AI, powered by Intel Xeon, Intel FPGA Programmable Acceleration Cards and Intel Movidius VPU, to count and classify the marine life. The data is then sent to a surface dashboard, providing analytics and trends to researchers on the ground in real-time, enabling them to make data-driven decisions that will help the reef progress.

“The value of your data depends on how quickly you can glean insights to make decisions from it,” said Athina Kanioura, Accenture’s chief analytics officer and Accenture Applied Intelligence lead. “With the ability to do real-time analysis on streaming video, VASP enables us to tap into a rich data source — in effect doing ‘hands on’ monitoring without disrupting the underwater environment.”

Since being deployed in May 2019, the solution has collected roughly 40,000 images, which researchers have used to gauge reef health in real-time.

“Artificial intelligence provides unprecedented opportunities to solve some of society’s most vexing problems,” said Jason Mitchell, a managing director in Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology practice and the company’s client lead for Intel. “Our ecosystem of corporate and social partners for this ‘AI for social good’ project proves that strength in numbers can make a positive environmental impact.”  

Engineers from Accenture and Intel are already at work on the next-gen Project: CORaiL prototype, which will include an optimized convolutional neural network and a backup power supply. They are also looking into infra-red cameras which will enable videos at night to create a complete picture of the coral ecosystem. Additional uses could include studying the migration rate of tropical fish to colder countries and monitoring intrusion in protected or restricted underwater areas.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services in strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operations, with digital capabilities across all of these services. We combine unmatched experience and specialized capabilities across more than 40 industries — powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. With 509,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture brings continuous innovation to help clients improve their performance and create lasting value across their enterprises. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

About Intel
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is an industry leader, creating world-changing technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continuously work to advance the design and manufacturing of semiconductors to help address our customers’ greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence in the cloud, network, edge and every kind of computing device, we unleash the potential of data to transform business and society for the better. To learn more about Intel’s innovations, go to newsroom.intel.com and intel.com.

About Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation
Created in 2012, Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation (SEF) is a Philippine-based non-profit organization dedicated to conserve, protect, and restore the natural resources of Palawan through environmentally sustainable practices and active ecosystems restoration. Its action is mainly focused on the island of Pangatalan and its surroundings in Shark Bay. To learn more, visit https://sulubaai-foundation.com/.

Norby

In development for over 3 years, Norby is an interactive learning companion for kids aged 5+. He teaches English, Math & Coding through stories, games & puzzles. 

Norby helps build confidence through positive feedback and encouragement whilst keeping kids emotionally engaged in learning. He delivers new content every week, lessons that are built to establish the fundamentals today while preparing kids for tomorrow.
His intelligence software is constantly adapting to the child’s interests and his lessons are all guided and self-paced. So kids feel comfortable and not under pressure.

Norby is currently available for pre-order and due to be released in late 2020. 

Norby’s Specifications

Norby’s more than just a cute face, he’s got some fancy hardware under the hood too

  • High-performance quad-core processor
  • Full-color HD touch screen
  • Secure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • High-resolution front camera
  • Stereo speakers and microphone array
  • High capacity Li-ion battery pack
  • Motorized mechanical head movement
  • Emotive RGB LED lights
  • High capacity light, touch, proximity & motion sensory Li-ion battery pack
  • Dimensions: 265mm (H) x 170mm (W) x 110mm (L)
  • Weight: 900g

Spin Master Introduces Owleez™,The First Ever Interactive Toy Pet That Kids Can Teach How to Fly

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2019 /CNW/ – Spin Master Corp. (TSX: TOY; www.spinmaster.com), a leading children’s entertainment company, announced today the launch of Owleez, the first ever interactive toy pet that kids can teach how to fly. The adorable baby owl combines the ultimate trifecta of coveted features; unique pet, interactive nurturing toy and the magic of flight, but it needs the help of a child to fly.

Addy & Maya, from YouTube family Tic Tac Toy (CNW Group/Spin Master)

With over 100 interactive sounds and movements, the baby owl responds to touch, love and care. By swinging her through the air, children can teach her how to fly.  Watch her soar or comfort her after a crash, Owleez is made of durable and lightweight materials so when she crashes it’s okay, it’s all part of the learning experience. 

„We are incredibly excited to introduce Owleez, our first ever interactive toy pet that can fly,“ says Kate Keller, VP Marketing RC. „The combination of an interactive toy pet that children can actually teach how to fly is truly innovative. It’s extremely satisfying for kids to see the result of the love and care they put into their own Owleez toy pet. They experience the delight and reward knowing it is something that they taught it to do.“

Spin Master is committed to uncovering the latest trends that push the boundaries of fun. The company’s research team did some digging to get to the bottom of what kids really want and Owleez delivers just that. Eighty-one per cent of kids surveyed said they wanted a pet that could fly while an overwhelming 91% chose flying as the super hero power they most desired*.

To introduce Owleez, Spin Master is teaming up with popular YouTube family Tic Tac Toy for the creation of commercials and how-to content. The kids, Addy and Maya, star in the commercial and reveal the Owleez baby owl in their own unboxing video on their channel. How-to content with Addy and Maya is also available on Spin Master Spark Club YouTube Channel.

Owleez is already taking off, being named a top holiday toy by Target, landing coveted spots on Walmart’s Top Rated by Kids List and UK retailer Argos as well as receiving the Toy of the Year Award from the Revue de Jouet in France.

Owleez will be available on October 4, 2019 at major retailers for a suggested retail price of $49.99. Recommend for children ages 6+. For more information on Owleez visit spinmaster.com or follow @SpinMasterSparkClub on Instagram.

About Spin Master
Spin Master (TSX:TOY; www.spinmaster.com) is a leading global children’s entertainment company that creates, designs, manufactures, licenses and markets a diversified portfolio of innovative toys, games, products and entertainment properties. Spin Master is best known for award-winning brands including Zoomer®, Bakugan®, Erector® by Meccano®, Hatchimals®, Air Hogs® and PAW Patrol®. Since 2000, Spin Master has received 103 TIA Toy of The Year (TOTY) nominations with 30 wins across a variety of product categories, including 13 TOTY nominations for Innovative Toy of the Year.  To date, Spin Master has produced nine television series, including the relaunched Bakugan: Battle Planet and current hit PAW Patrol, which is broadcast in over 160 countries and territories globally.  Spin Master employs over 1,800 people in countries around the world including Canada, United States, Mexico, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Russia, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and Australia.

*Spin Master surveyed a group of 159 girls between the ages of 6-8 years old. Participants were selected from the Funovation Panel, a community of families from across the U.S. and Canada that provide their feedback about potential new toys, television shows, commercials, and much more.
Owleez takes flight on October 4 (CNW Group/Spin Master)

Hanson Robotics Announces “Little Sophia,” New Educational STEM Companion For Kids 7 to 13

Worldwide Kickstarter Campaign Launches to Fund Production of Little Sophia The Robot

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — Hanson Robotics Limited (www.hansonrobotics.com), creator of the world’s most human-like robots, announces their next innovation in consumer robots: Little Sophia. Little Sophia is a tutorial companion that teaches STEM, coding, and Artificial intelligence (AI), with a playful personality and unmatched characteristics of the renowned Sophia the Robot.

Designed for kids (especially girls) ages 7-13, Little Sophia robot comes to life as your AI friend. With the power of character and storytelling, Little Sophia helps kids learn new things in robotics, science, technology engineering, math, coding, and AI. Kids can learn to program Sophia with Blockly and Python; and with her lessons on computer vision, deep learning, and robotics, Little Sophia is the perfect smart, educational companion. Moreover, Little Sophia interfaces with Raspberry Pi, allowing kids to learn electronics and robotics, and to help her become as smart and capable as their imagination will allow.

Standing 14’’ tall, Little Sophia makes dozens of facial expressions (happy, sad, surprise, grouchy, delighted, etc), and she sees and talks with you like a friend. She walks, talks, sings, tells stories and jokes, and recognizes faces. She not only responds to commands, but actively engages in conversations and follows your movement. Also, with her app on your phone, you can use her Augmented Reality (AR) feature to take fun selfies. With her smart software, Little Sophia is also the ultimate AI home assistant. And being an open platform for development of ever-smarter emotional AI, the Little Sophia is truly your friend for life.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of our Little Sophia Kickstarter campaign to the public, and to provide an opportunity to empower young girls around the world by introducing STEM, coding and AI in a fun and adventurous way,” states Jeanne Lim, CEO of Hanson Robotics Limited. “Little Sophia delivers a high-quality, entertaining and educational experience that motivates and inspires young students to spend time learning with her.”

David Hanson, Founder of Hanson Robotics Limited adds, “Our vision at Hanson Robotics is to bring robots to life. Our team of AI developers, engineers, roboticists, scientists, and artists have designed Little Sophia with the expressiveness and engaging personality that made Sophia the Robot so appealing, further extending the reach of our character-driven AI technology.”

Hanson Robotics is launching a worldwide Kickstarter campaign to help bring Little Sophia to the world. Research has shown that over 75% of girls who participate in hands-on STEM activities outside the classroom feel a sense of empowerment, if it is encouraged and nurtured early in a child’s educational life. Hanson Robotics believes that being introduced to STEM, coding and AI as a child in a fun and interactive way will help to empower all children, but especially girls. Little Sophia, unlike other educational toys in the market, was crafted by the same prestigious scientists, roboticists, engineers and AI developers who built Sophia the Robot.

Please visit Little Sophia on our website and our Kickstarter campaign for more information.

About Hanson Robotics Limited
Hanson Robotics is an AI and robotics company dedicated to creating living, intelligent machines that enrich people’s lives. The company develops renowned robot characters, such as Sophia, the world’s first robot citizen, which serve as AI platforms for scientific research, education, healthcare, sales and service, entertainment, and other research and service applications.  Hanson Robotics’ scientists, artists, roboticists, and engineers strive to bring robots to life as true friends who deeply understand and care for people, and collaborate with us in pursuit of ever-greater good for all. For more information please visit www.hansonrobotics.com.