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Archive for December, 2018

Silent Night by Chewbacca

December 22nd, 2018 No comments

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Elektro the Moto-Man Had the Biggest Brain at the 1939 World’s Fair

December 21st, 2018 No comments

From IEEE Spectrum
By Allison Marsh
28 Sep 2018 | 19:00 GMT

This voice-controlled robot could walk, talk, and smoke, and it captivated crowds

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be very glad to tell my story. I am a smart fellow as I have a very fine brain of 48 electrical relays.” This is how Elektro the robot introduced itself to crowds at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Standing 2.1 meters tall and weighing 118 kilograms, Elektro performed 26 different tricks, including walking, talking, counting, and singing. It had a vocabulary of approximately 700 words, although its responses were all prerecorded and played back from 33⅓-rpm records. One of Elektro’s pet lines was, “My brain is bigger than yours.” At 25 kg, it certainly was.

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Amazon To Make Its Engineering Training Courses Available For Free.

December 21st, 2018 No comments

TechCrunch (11/26, Loizos) reports that AWS announced Monday “it has made available, for free, the same machine learning courses that it uses to train its own engineers.” Paraphrasing Amazon GM of AI and Deep Learning Dr. Matt Wood, TechCrunch says “there are more than 45 hours across 30 different courses that developers, data scientists, data platform engineers, and business professionals can take gratis.” Wood said each lesson “starts with the fundamentals, and builds on those through real-world examples and labs, allowing developers to explore machine learning through some fun problems we have had to solve at Amazon.” According to TechCrunch, the company “is also introducing its own machine-learning certification that customers can take right now for half price.” TechCrunch says, “Presumably, part of the idea is to enhance Amazon’s retail pages, as well to potentially to recruit more people into the company so it can accelerate its own growth. If Amazon earns some much needed goodwill along the way, so be it.”

Full Article Here

Direct link to AWS Training and Certification HERE

Categories: Computing, Teaching Technology Tags:

Robotics engineer Barbie joins the girls who code

December 21st, 2018 No comments

From: Reuters
June 26, 2018

Video Link

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Barbie, the world’s most iconic doll, is venturing into coding skills in her latest career as a robotics engineer.

The new doll, launched on Tuesday, aims to encourage girls as young as seven to learn real coding skills, thanks to a partnership with the kids game-based computing platform Tynker, toymaker Mattel said.

Robotics engineer Barbie, dressed in jeans, a graphic T-shirt, denim jacket and wearing safety glasses, comes with six free Barbie-inspired coding lessons designed to teach logic, problem solving and the building blocks of coding.

The lessons show girls, for example, how to build robots, get them to move at a dance party, or do jumping jacks.

According to U.S. Department of Commerce statistics, only 24 percent of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) jobs were held by women in 2017.

Barbie has held more than 200 careers in her almost 60-year life, including president, video game developer and astronaut.

Tynker co-funder Krishna Vedati said in a statement that the company’s mission to empower youth worldwide made Barbie an ideal partner “to help us introduce programming to a large number of kids in a fun engaging way.”

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Robotics, the sport of STEM education

December 20th, 2018 No comments

From: The Daily Memphian
By Michelle Corbet
Updated: December 19, 2018 4:00 AM CT

A new sport is emerging in local middle schools — robot battles.

St. Mary’s Episcopal School, a private all-girls pre-K through high school, held its first VEX IQ Challenge Tournament at its East Memphis campus last weekend.

The event sold out within 30 minutes.

If an indication is needed to show how popular robotics competitions have become among kids, that’s it.

“I told the girls that robotics is a new sport,” said Meagan Michael, a lower school science teacher at St. Mary’s.

Participants came from Piperton, Medina, Collierville and Memphis. The 32 competing teams were made up of co-ed elementary and middle school students ranging from 3rd to 8th grade.

“It’s this generation of students,” Michael said. “They are interested in STEM and robotics.”

A lot of schools, including St. Mary’s, also are pushing robotics because it involves problem solving.

“When building robots, it requires a lot of skills students might not learn in the classroom,” Michael said.

Parents are recognizing the benefit of robotics competitions as a way to prepare their child for jobs of the future.

“Parents realize their girls are learning how to think,” said Hilary Robinson, head of St. Mary’s Lower School. “We say this a lot around here; we’re preparing these girls for jobs that don’t even exist yet. If they can learn to problem solve and think, then they can ultimately do anything.”

Competitions are not solely about building robots, they also involve design, writing and public speaking.

St. Mary’s has been working to host a VEX Robotics competition since Michael joined the school as a new teacher last year.

“She was already involved with the VEX program and brought that to St. Mary’s,” said Laura Leathers, St. Mary’s assistant head of school. “We’ve been in conversation about growing the program and hosting a competition here.”

St. Mary’s is part of Girl Powered, Redefining the Face of STEM, a global initiative to increase girls’ access to and confidence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Launched in 2016 by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation and VEX Robotics, Girl Powered is striving for 50 percent of robotics competitors to be girls.

The ultimate goal is shattering the status quo.

Currently, girls make up about 23 percent of VEX Robotics participants and women represent 24 percent of the STEM workforce, according to Girl Powered.

“Our main goal is to open (robotics) up to the greater Memphis area,” Leathers said. “All these different VEX teams can come together, learn, compete and meet each other in this common space.”

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Robot Gift Guide 2018 – IEEE Spectrum

December 18th, 2018 No comments
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CNN: Meet the engineer behind NASA’s robotic arm for Mars

December 6th, 2018 No comments

CNN: Meet the engineer behind NASA’s robotic arm for Mars.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/05/africa/nasa-engineer-behind-insight-robotic-arm/index.html

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