Leading Roboticists Celebrate 10th Anniversary of National Robotics Week

The annual STEM-focused week kicks off April 6, 2019 with more than 300 events across all 50 states

BEDFORD, Mass., April 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The 10th annual National Robotics Week kicks off April 6, with more than 300 STEM-related events taking place across the country throughout the week. Established by Congress in 2010, National Robotics Week serves as a unique platform to engage students and local communities in robotics-based activities.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary, National Robotics Week asked a group of leading roboticists and artificial intelligence (AI) experts to reflect on a range of topics, including why it’s important to expose students to STEM concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and how parents, educators and business leaders can help foster students‘ interest in robotics. The experts also offer insight into how robots will evolve in 10 years and what initially sparked their interest in robotics.

Participants of the video include:

  • Colin Angle, chairman and CEO, iRobot
  • Rodney Brooks, Panasonic Professor of Robotics (emeritus), MIT
  • Kate Darling, researcher, MIT Media Lab
  • Dr. Ayanna Howard, professor and chair, Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing
  • Mark Palatucci, co-founder, head of Cloud AI and Machine Learning, Anki
  • Ian Bernstein, founder and head of product, Misty Robotics

Watch the video to learn which roboticist was given a book entitled „Computers and Giant Brains“ at the age of eight, sparking a career in pioneering robot technologies. Or learn who found their passion for robots by reading The Bionic Woman, and who still keeps the robot they built at age 10 on their desk.

„Engaging students in robotics and other STEM fields will prepare them for jobs and an economy that we cannot even imagine yet,“ said Congressman Joe Kennedy III. „Throughout the 10th Annual National Robotics Week, students and educators around the country will be able to pursue their passion and engage with companies and organizations pushing the boundaries of science and technology.“

National Robotics Week events include activities such as panel discussions, introductory robotics courses for kids, robotics competitions, robot demonstrations, tours of innovative labs, science fairs, and more. This year, there are events happening in all 50 states. A full list of 2019 registered events can be found at: https://www.nationalroboticsweek.org/Events.aspx 

The National Robotics Week website also has helpful resources available for event hosts. Resources include a template press release, National Robotics Week logo, Snapchat filters for download, 2019 trading cards, and an activity book for elementary school teachers, among other helpful items.

For more information about National Robotics Week, go to: http://www.nationalroboticsweek.org/.

National Robotics Week is also on Twitter (@roboweek and #roboweek) and Facebook (facebook.com/roboweek).

National Robotics Week kicks off April 6, 2019 with more than 300 events taking place across all 50 states. 
Credit: Peter Goldberg
National Robotics Week brings together students, educators and influencers who share a passion for robots and technology. Events across the country include robotics competitions, expos, parties, meetups, workshops, classes, camps, and open houses or tours of companies and universities. To list an event, or to identify existing regional events, please visit: http://www.nationalroboticsweek.org/Events (PRNewsfoto/National Robotics Week)

SOURCE National Robotics Week

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.

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/

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.

Robots Are Coming To A School Near You

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

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

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

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

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

About ROBOLOCO, Inc.

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

About RoboTerra, Inc.

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

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

Sony Global Education Launches an Indiegogo Campaign for KOOV, a Coding and Robotics Kit for the Next Generation of Young Innovators

SAN DIEGO, CA (June 20, 2017) – Sony Electronics in conjunction with Sony Global Education announced today the launch of a limited Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for KOOV, a new coding and robotics kit for the next generation of young innovators.

The Sony Global Education team developed KOOV as a fresh approach to learning robotics and programming. KOOV is already available in Japan and China, and Sony is now looking to expand the program to the US in order to gain feedback and insight into the American market.

KOOV is a robotics and coding educational kit made up of blocks, sensors, motors, actuators, and a companion app that teaches children core concepts about design, coding and robotics. The app also features a secure social space, where children can share their designs and code with other young inventors from around the world.

The blocks can be assembled into any shape, with the final figure capable of being controlled as a robot. The kit encourages learners to „Play“ by building with 7 kinds of translucent blocks, „Code“ by controlling the assembled figure through the KOOV app, and „Create“ by embracing their creativity and imagination.

Sony Global Education believes that the teaching materials for robotics and programming will play a major role in cultivating STEM literacy and nurturing the next generation of problem solvers.

KOOV was built on the belief that STEM learning tools should be accessible to all children. Through the use of inclusive colors, shareable design and the goal of building a foundation for future STEM learning, Sony hopes to attract parents of children 8 to 14 years old, with equal emphasis on boys and girls.

Pre-orders are available for a limited time beginning June 20th via an Indiegogo, with product scheduled to ship to backers in early December. The suggested retail price is $359 for the Starter Kit and $499 for the Advanced Kit with limited quantities available at discounts of up to 40% for early backers. Interested consumers can learn more about KOOV, and place preorders at https://igg.me/at/KOOV.

 

Robotics for STEM Teachers: Online Workshop Series

Join CoderZ’s Robotics workshop serie, starting June 5th, and take your robotics skills to the next level. We encourage all robotics, STEM and EdTech lovers to attend this free sessions and to get to know a great way to engage students with the STEM fields.

The series, conducted by CoderZ’s very own master trainers Adi Shmorak and Dorin Shani, is composed of 3 sessions, each covering a different topic. It’s up to you how far you want to take it.

Session 1: In which you get to move your virtual robot around
In this session, we will learn the various components of a robots drive train; how it is powered, how it turns and how to control it using code.By the end of the session you will be driving your virtual robot around.

Session 2: In which you will see the world like a robot
In this session, we will learn about the various sensors robots use to sense their surroundings and how to put this data into good use, using code.By the end of the session you will understand how robots collect data from their surrounding and be able to integrate that data into our code using conditional statements.

Session 3: How Robots Think?
In this session, we will learn how to use variables , loops and math to program our robots to perform complex operations and accurately navigate their surroundings. By the end of session, you will be able to program your virtual robot to autonomously follow a line using basic control algorithms.

 

The entire CoderZ team will be waiting for you there! Save your spot here: http://bit.ly/2rgk2wj

bionicTOYS Launches Flexible Building Bricks on Kickstarter

bionicTOYS Launches Flexible Building Bricks on Kickstarter An Award-Winning Design That Turns Child’s Play Into STEM Learning

BERLIN, November 29, 2016 — Inspired by nature’s own flexibility, bionicTOYS has launched its first collection exclusively on Kickstarter. These highly-elastic building bricks let children and adults explore the art and science of motion through play.

 

bionicTOYS was created by German product designer Marcel Pasternak as a way to introduce important STEM-based skills to children. Through creative building, they are able to replicate organic actions found in nature and learn about bionics, mechanics, potential energy and other important principles of physics. The patent-pending flex-brick design allows for inventive, multi-functional play that can also interact with existing building bricks, such as LEGO® Technic or TinkerBots®.

With its Kickstarter launch, bionicTOYS is reimagining construction-based play. “It’s quite handy because you can just bend it in all directions,” says 13-year-old Felix. Its colorful design and easy-to-construct sets allow school-age children, parents, teachers, LEGO® fans, and design enthusiasts to explore a great range of creative possibilities.

About bionicTOYS bionicTOYS was created by 29-year-old Marcel Pasternak as part of his master’s thesis in product design. It has quickly developed into an educational toy company that has won the Green Product Award (Kids category), the Marianne Brandt Award – Material Effects (Product category) and is one of the winners of DMY ́s New Talent Award.

Link to Kickstarter

Two Bit Circus Launches Kickstarter Campaign for New Maker Kit That Combines ART and STEM to Inspire Creativity in Young Inventors

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Two Bit Circus, an engineering entertainment company, today released a new survey report highlighting the gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)-based activities for children, revealing art as the key entry point to STEM, especially for girls.

Two Bit Circus recently surveyed an audience of more than 500 parents to understand gender differentiators in how children play and learn in relation to STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) activities. The report uncovers key insights on children’s educational interests and preferences for extracurricular activities and also shows a lack of awareness for STEM/STEAM in general. In fact, 47 percent of parents are unfamiliar with STEM/STEAM toys such as chemistry sets, microscopes, Arduinos, etc. And surprisingly both boys and girls share similar levels of interest in science and math in school, but girls are far more likely to prefer arts and crafts inside and outside of school than boys. This points to why there has been such a strong push for STEAM in order to help close the gender gap in STEM.

Additional key findings from the STEM vs. STEAM: The Gender Gap report include:

  • Parents of both male and female children equally report that their child’s favorite STEAM subject in school is either math (26%) or science (30%)
  • 41% of parents with boys say their child shows the most interest in technology/computing activities outside of school compared to only 18% of parents with girls
  • 45% of parents with girls report their child shows the most interest in art outside of school compared to only 10% of parents with boys
  • 62% of parents say that their child never participates in STEM extracurricular activities outside of school

To drive momentum for the STEAM movement and blend creativity, curiosity and critical thinking to inspire the next generation of inventors, Two Bit Circus is launching a Kickstarter campaign to support the creation of Oomiyu, a paper craft and technology kit. By allowing beginner inventors to build a fun, customized and interactive paper craft robotic owl, kids get hands-on experience with basic mechanical principles, electronics and programming that combined creates a unique STEAM experience. This maker kit is designed to bring art alive through creative innovation, combining art with STEM for a well-rounded and engaging creativity platform.

“Not only does Oomiyu foster a sense of excitement for STEAM by building creative confidence and curiosity in children, it also helps develop critical thinking skills and makes technology more appealing for creative and analytical thinkers alike,” said Two Bit Circus CEO and Co-founder, Brent Bushnell. “By creating this holistic STEAM-based kit, we hope to bring out the makers we know are hidden in every child.”

Oomiyu, a customizable platform, allows children to build, design, customize and program a paper creature to move, respond and emote to various stimuli. A companion mobile app and open source software extend the possibilities even further. Simple connectors make it easy to add new features and the included Arduino 101 packs powerful features like Bluetooth low-energy (enables easy connection to other devices and the internet) and machine learning (enables other pattern matching behaviors).

Also included in the maker kit are off-the-shelf components like LEDs, motors and paper patterns. The new Oomiyu maker kit offers a unique balance of design elements combined with more technical aspects of personalized programming for a craft that lives beautifully with technology.

This crowd-sourced funding campaign hopes to reach its goal of $72,921 USD* within the next 30 days, or about 500 units sold. The cost of Oomiyu is $150.

For more information about Oomiyu visit the Kickstarter campaign page.

About Two Bit Circus

Two Bit Circus is a location-based entertainment company creating the future of fun. The team of artists, inventors, educators and performers builds social games and experiences that aim to inspire, engage and reinvent the way people play. For more information, visit www.twobitcircus.com or follow @TwoBitCircus.

Enhance Your Makerspace!

It’s no secret how exciting the trend of makerspaces are for schools. While this movement was started quite some time ago, it seems to have gained particularly great momentum in the past 5 years.

Built on the idea of ‘constructionism’, makerspaces are a very obviously translated idea, where a space is dedicated within a school or educational facility for students to create and ‘make’ things.  There is shared resources and networking that takes place and provides a different structure of learning for students. Ranging from woodworks to robotics, these spaces are extremely important in fostering creativity and problem solving in students.

Where Will Makerspaces Work Best?

Makerspaces also range from elementary schools to college campuses, so their versatility is extremely useful.

According to Educause.edu, on their article 7 Things you Should Know About Makerspaces,

“….certain materials and tools are emblematic of makerspaces, such as microcontrollers called arduinos and 3D printers, valuable for fast prototyping. As the notion of providing space for project design and construction has caught on in education, such places have acquired other accoutrements, from paints and easels and impromptu stage sets to cooktops and candy molds. Used by students, faculty, and staff, makerspaces have become arenas for informal, project-driven, self-directed learn- ing, providing workspace to tinker, try out solutions, and hear input from colleagues with similar interests. “

It’s places like these that encourage a different type of learning to take place, perhaps a more ‘open-range’ type of environment that differs from the structure of a classroom being led by a teacher.

Some supplies for a makerspace are less available than others, such as 3D printers and robots.

If you compare sharing a robot amongst a class of 20 students to them all sharing a computer to learn from; you can see how the essence of learning is diluted. The experience is completely different and likely not nearly as effective or beneficial to the students until it’s their “turn” to use the computer.

The same can be said for robotics. We know they are extremely useful for teaching many STEM concepts and early mechanical engineering, and LEGO robots are very popular for schools and competitions but start around $400. For most public schools, one robot may be more than is affordable so to effectively teach an entire class by sharing; the students are not receiving the best quality experience from their class.

Here is another example where the Virtual Robotics Toolkit can provide a solution to hundreds of schools and thousands of students, where each student is able to individually use the simulator. They can build and control their own robots using the exact same controller and concepts as the physical robots. In fact, if they’ve already learned how to use a LEGO EV3 MINDSTORMS or NXT robot, they will seamlessly navigate the VRT.

Pilots use flight simulators to learn to fly for the same reason students can learn robotics with one; costs and training purposes.

If students are given access to the VRT in addition to the makerspace of sharing a physical robot, their skills and overall experience will be greatly enhanced and at a fraction of the cost of a real robot.

It’s a win-win for teachers as well, since they’re able to help their class all get to the same level.

Where can this movement take students and educators?

The Educause article says, “One key demand of a makerspace is that it exist as a physical location where participants have room and opportunity for hands-on work, but as these environments evolve, we may see more virtual participation.”

This is such a great point, because of global networking the opportunities are truly endless. Again, here is a great window of opportunity for the VRT to be a part of your school’s makerspace.  The software already encourages users to interact and even compete with other robot enthusiasts across the globe via the internet.

This capability allows students to learn from eachother and share ideas and challenges that they would otherwise not have had the access to.