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/

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.

Sony’s New KOOV Educator Kit Makes Science and Technology Learning Accessible to Everyone

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — February 14, 2018—Sony Electronics today announced its unveiling of the KOOV Educator Kit, an all-in-one coding, robotics and design kit that combines digital coding with physical building to teach the next generation of problem solvers and innovators. Reflecting Sony’s commitment to both technology innovation and quality science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) education, KOOV is designed to help cultivate students’ collaboration and problem solving skills, which have become critically important in 21st century learning.

Studies show that 65 percent of kids entering primary school today will work in jobs that do not exist yet,* and that there will be 4.4 million computer and IT jobs in the USA by 2024.** STEAM-focused education helps children develop the abilities they need for a technology-driven world. To meet the marketplace’s growing demand for these skills, KOOV helps students develop their creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication abilities. KOOV was created to make STEAM learning tools accessible to all students. By using inclusive colors, a shareable design and the goal of building a foundation for future STEAM learning, KOOV serves as a ready-made, easy-to-use resource for teachers, students and parents.

“KOOV is a dynamic educational tool to help pave the road for tomorrow’s creative geniuses,” said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics.” As a technology company, Sony depends on the next generation of talented engineers and artists to carry our industry forward. Exposing students to engaging science and technology projects during their formative years encourages them to embrace these subjects.”

KOOV is made up of over 300 building blocks and accessories, along with a plethora of sensors, motors, LEDs and more. The KOOV Educator Kit includes the KOOV App, which features more than 30 hours of easy-to-follow educational content via its Learning Course. The KOOV Learning Course offers a great starting point for students to begin learning key concepts in coding, building and design. This educational course introduces the different electrical components that KOOV uses and provides students an overview of how those parts work and how to use Scratch-based coding to control them. The KOOV Educator Kit also comes with 23 pre-designed, pre-coded “Robot Recipes” ranging from simple structures to complex animals and vehicles. These recipes enable students to start building right away and quickly develop the skills needed to create their own original robots. The Robot Recipes showcase what can be done with KOOV, giving young learners the inspiration they need to move ahead and make their own unique creations from scratch.

Designed for children ages eight and up, the KOOV Educator Kit allows students to build on core concepts that they will learn over time and create increasingly complex robots as they go. Once a student masters the basic concepts and skills, they can use their imagination to create an infinite number of robotic combinations.

KOOV is flexible enough for students to use for independent study or in a structured setting led by an educator. One KOOV Educator Kit can accommodate up to five students. The Educator Kit offers curriculum-aligned lesson plans, step- by-step teacher guides, and student progress reports. In addition, KOOV provides class management features to give educators the tools to quickly implement KOOV-based learning into any classroom. KOOV will be available for pre-order beginning February 14, 2018, and products are expected to start shipping in late March 2018. For more information please visit: https://www.sony.com/koov

Sources:
*World Economic Forum Future of Jobs report, 2016
**Bureau of Labor and Statistics

 

About Sony Electronics Inc. Sony Electronics is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America and an affiliate of Sony Corporation (Japan), one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world, with a portfolio that encompasses electronics, music, motion pictures, mobile, gaming and financial services. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sony Electronics is a leader in electronics for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution and customer service. Sony Electronics creates products that innovate and inspire generations, such as the award-winning Alpha Interchangeable Lens Cameras and revolutionary high-resolution audio products. Sony is also a leading manufacturer of end-to-end solutions from 4K professional broadcast and A/V equipment to industry leading 4K Ultra HD TVs. Visit http://www.sony.com/news for more information.

VEX Robotics Unveils its International Modern Education Solution at CES 2018

A faster, smarter, and more powerful control system perfect for any learning environment

For over ten years, millions of schools around the world have chosen VEX Robotics as the premiere STEM education solution. This year at CES 2018 (Booth 43761, Sands Hall D) the world’s leading education STEM solution is unveiling a faster, smarter, and more powerful control system designed to scale from the classroom to the competition field. The V5 control system is engineered to provide the most advanced robotics learning experience, which is complimented with customizable STEM Labs and a programming environment that grows and evolves with the student.

From the touch interface of the Robot Brain to the VEX Coding Studio programming software, V5 was designed with the key focus of “Intelligent Simplicity.” This system of products embraces the model of explorative STEM learning through each unique component.

“We want kids to learn how much fun it is to solve challenging problems,” commented Paul Copioli, President of VEX Robotics, Inc. “With the launch of V5, we’ve revolutionized the way VEX EDR robots communicate so that teachers and students can focus on solving other truly complex STEM principles that will get them both excited and prepared for their future.

Our STEM Labs were designed by a team of classroom teachers, cognitive scientists, and pedagogy experts who work closely with the world-renowned Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy to conduct collaborative research on educational robotics and computer science. Our STEM Labs are mapped to educational standards, and designed to transform the learning experience for students and teachers with fun and engaging activities that incorporate hands-on educational robotics. STEM Labs spark creativity and innovation in the classroom by moving students through projects that allow them to test and apply their knowledge in multiple situations, while understanding the real-world relevance of the topics and concepts they are learning.

STEM Labs Overview

VEX, in partnership with Robomatter and Modkit, is developing a completely new programming environment named VEX Coding Studio. VEX Coding Studio is a simple, intuitive programming environment to teach students of all skill levels how to program and keep them programming as their skills advance.VEX Coding Studio has multiple programming languages, device updates, and diagnostic tools are built into one package. Users can start with graphical programming using Modkit Blocks, move into the transitional (blocks & text) language called Modkit Text, and then advance into text-only programming with ROBOT C++ (the next evolution of ROBOTC). VEX Coding Studio includes many features that VEX users have been requesting for years, such as auto-complete, syntax assistance, color-coding, and UI themes and will also work on multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, Chromebook, iPad and Android tablets.

VEX is also used in the world’s largest and fastest-growing educational robotics competition, providing the perfect opportunity for educators and students to apply learning in an exhilarating environment both in the classroom and beyond.

 

T-BOTS | Self-Balancing Robots – Build Program PLAY!

KliK Robotics is a new startup  seeking to make advanced robotics accessible to everyone! T-Bots are built around the Arduino micro-controller and make use of multiple sensors to maintain their balance and interact with their environment.

Both addictive and frustrating – battle play will have you endlessly tweaking your code and refining your battle tactics! A STEM product that is educational, challenging an fun!

T-BOTS are also adorable! They come with removable skins designed to encourage artistic expression. Make them your own and release your inner da Vinci!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/753376058/t-bots-balancing-robots

Elemental Path, maker of award-winning cognitoys, launches Indiegogo campaign for new artificial intelligence learning companion toy Stemosaur

NEW YORK  – Elemental Path, known for its award-winning line of artificial intelligence toys for kids, today launches an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to support its newest product in the CogniToys family, STEMosaur. The STEMosaur is a customizable toy that doubles as a learning companion for children, combining the best elements of the flagship CogniToys Dino, such as the Friendgine, with a more hands-on approach featuring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) elements, as well as lessons in Coding. The Indiegogo campaign aims to raise $25,000 in 45 days, with the super early bird backer level starting at just $99. To support this campaign, visit https://igg.me/at/stemosaur.

“We launched the Dino in 2015 with a very successful crowdfunding campaign that raised over a quarter-million dollars. In the past two years since, we’ve definitely learned a lot about our users and what they want in a product, and we are using these important lessons to create an even better and more hands-on experience with kids,” said Donald Coolidge, CEO and co-founder of Elemental Path. “This time around with the STEMosaur, we’ll be offering a more interactive and engaging experience – where kids will have the ability to construct the STEMosaur from scratch, carry intelligent conversation, play games and also learn the basics of coding.”

With STEMosaur, kids ages seven and older can construct, code and play. The learning begins with a hands-on exercise that allows children to construct their new friend from a variety of building pieces to bring it to life. Once constructed, the Wi-Fi enabled STEMosaur is immediately capable of holding conversation, telling jokes and playing games that engage the user’s imagination and creativity. This is achieved through Elemental Path’s own Friendgine technology, a cloud-based artificial intelligence software platform that allows the smart toy to hold intelligent conversation with the child and share answers to questions in real time.

In addition, Elemental Path is launching its Coding Panel, an easy-to-use platform that will teach different elements of how to code and allow kids to create their own custom educational content and STEMosaur programming. The Coding Panel may be accessed through a computer or tablet and registers with the individual toy. Such features include coding the STEMosaur to tell unique jokes, share additional stories and play games of the child’s choosing.

“It’s clear that parents want their kids to play with toys that teach something, especially elements of coding and STEM. We see the STEMosaur, and the CogniToys line as a whole, as a way to unlock kids’ creativity and foster their imaginations through intelligent hands-on play,” added Coolidge. “Our goal is for CogniToys to help fuel the next generation of engineers and scientists.”

STEMosaur is also equipped with a Parent Panel so that parents can stay engaged and informed about what their child is learning. The Parent Panel monitors usage patterns and learning progress. It also includes features such as a bedtime setting. Parents can use this platform to contribute directly to the child’s educational experience, programming their own stories, jokes, games and more.

 

The Indiegogo campaign is now live and running through October 3rd with the goal of raising $25,000. Backer levels range from $99 to $255. There are also two special, higher-priced backer packages – a donation bundle priced at $1,250, where CogniToys will match your product purchase with a donation of 10 STEMosaurs to the school of your choice; and a $2,500 package, where you will receive an engraved STEMosaur and have the opportunity to tour the production facility and enjoy other exclusive perks. The company will ship all STEMosaurs in November for receipt in December 2017, so backers will be able to give the gift of STEMosaur this holiday season.

To view the campaign page, please visit https://igg.me/at/stemosaur. To learn more about Elemental Path and CogniToys, visit www.cognitoys.com.

Algobrix Makes Coders Out of Kids With Its LEGO Compatible Coding Blocks on Kickstarter

DELAWARE, USA  – July 25, 2017 – Algobrix is announcing the launch of its Kickstarter campaign today to make programming simple and fun with its play-based coding blocks. Algobrix turn traditional LEGOs into programmable robots through tangible lines of code. Each coding-block teaches children the basics of STEM with its step by step coding activities for a kid-friendly introduction to programming.

Imagine your typical LEGO set growing up. Chances are you would build a car, play with it and deconstruct it shortly after being left underwhelmed or frustrated. With Algobrix, play is limitless and screenless so kids (or kids at heart), can develop greater analytical thinking skills while learning the basics of coding while creating moving masterpieces. All it takes to upgrade your standard-block play to coding-block play is a bit of programming and imagination. Creators simply:

  • Snap: Each block represents a unique function and commands the AlgoBot to play audio, light or move in any direction.
  • Set: The parameters are stacked on top of the function block to determine specifically how the AlgoBot will carry out the function and for how long.
  • Activate: Once the function blocks are snapped together, a sequence is triggered and the AlgoBot is set into motion.
  • Explore: AlgoBots come with a variety of mats and activity cards to enhance and elevate the learning experience.

Why program on a screen when you can program with your hands? Algobrix takes standard, computer code and allows you to hold it in your hands in the form of coding blocks.  Now, ordinary LEGOs are transformed to create moving AlgoBots. AlgoBots light up, make sounds and explore the space around you through simple code.

“Kids find it difficult to sit next to a computer and learn how to program,” describes co-founder Amir Asor. “The first problem is language related and the second problem is that they don’t enjoy the experience. Algobrix changes what is stereotypically a boring, confined experience to a playful, intuitive, and fun learning experience while maintaining a high, positive correlation with coding languages that leave a lasting impression.”

“The third industrial revolution is around the corner,” says CTO and co-founder Dr. Danny Eizicovits. “We are starting to see robots in hospitals, schools, and even our homes. By teaching our kids to communicate with our robotic counterparts, we are hoping to give them the proper tools, and competitive edge in a world that is moving further towards robotics every day.”

 

About

Algobrix was founded in April 2016 after Amir Asor and Dr. Danny Eizicovits came together with a collective goal to enhance and redefine how children learn to code. The company’s mission is to introduce young children to an entertaining and effective style of education that is based on fun, intuition, and the joy of LEGO-building through the implementation of coding and its patented coding blocks.

Amir, CEO and Co-Founder, established his first educational company, Young Engineers, in 2008 and was named YBI Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011. Following his success with Young Engineers, Amir co-founded BRIXO, an electric building blocks company, that raised $1.5 Million through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Algobrix’s CTO, Danny Eizicovits, received a PhD in Robotics and is an award-winning researcher and lecturer in accordance with Ben Gurion University of the Negev.