It's National Robotics Week!


#1

Figured I’d mention this. I’m volunteering at my local highschool, gotta get the kids involved in STEM!

http://www.nationalroboticsweek.org/Events


#2

Have you seen Qoopers in regards to robotics? Seems like a useful robot for students to learn robotics. I haven’t gotten one yet but the bot requires assembly and provides multiple possible forms. Also, it’s metal unlike the LEGO Mindstorms kits. For the price on Amazon, appears to be a good deal for kids learning robotics


#3

I did not know about Qoopers, it looks really cool.

I feel robotics is at the stage where the Apple I was. You need to do a lot of hand assembly, but then you actually understand the device. I appreciate the audacity in Jibo’s approach, but I must confess they missed it by a long shot. The revolution of social robotics isn’t happening through “seasonal content”.


#5

We’ve been using Marty, another Indiegogo project based in Scottland. Marty’s eyebrows can convey some emotion - quite funny - and we enjoy Marty’s silly walks and dancing. Plenty of tutorials and hacking ideas. We just had a big kid-centric research event and included ball tracking and playing soccer. The kids really enjoyed programming Marty with Scratch to play a soccer game. Marty is arduino and Raspberry friendly. Easy to 3D print Marty as well. On one Marty, we customized a new head with an Adafruit LED strip smile…though it looked more like a zombie smile :wink: Another Marty was customized with a Raspberry and camera to perform image recognition and tracking of a white ping pong ball. The Marty arduino compatible board connects servos on the legs, arms and eyebrows. Also a connector for an RPI

robotical.io

What I’ve experienced is that it’s important to personalize one’s robot such as with costumes we’ve already seen with Jibo and perhaps the ability to also 3D print robot parts takes personalization to another level …of fun and for kids - reducing the fears of tech ?? or ?


#6

I had deleted my initial reply because I didn’t want to sound too negative, but yeah, the event I volunteered at over the weekend was massive. Lots of robots there, of all sizes and functionalities. MIT Media Lab also had a table and they had brought, among other robots, a Jibo. Well, here comes the part why I had deleted my original post: Jibo just didn’t work, and people, if they stopped at all to check out Jibo (he didn’t garner that much interest overall), quickly moved on. He kept staring into random directions, and the woman running the table kept saying “Hey Jibo” repeatedly to make him turn around, to no avail. I also watched one kid trying Circuit Saver but he didn’t get past the calibration part. Jibo couldn’t deal with more than one face in its view, so the “lineup face” kept jumping around. The kid gave up and checked out the more Lego-based robots they had next to it.

So yeah, my experience was the same as yours. The kids were interested in the hands-on robots, the ones that were clearly designed to be modified and programmed.


#7

In my situation, the room noise was that of a mob - we had about a 1500 people wander in over 5 hours. So I can understand that Jibo will have troubles in a crowd. Alexa nearby also had troubles - even she was in a more secluded spot. I also padded a small area with cloth…not much help. Next time I’ll try setting up a DYI sound booth with one side facing out, rug on the floor etc… or maybe just invite folks into a sound booth tent :wink:
Right, Circuit saver pretty hard with a crowd, but word of the day was fine until it became too noisy. German speakers speaking English was fine but the puns were hard to understand…I did my best to explain :wink: