"While working on a top secret formula for (REDACTED) in our lab we were bitten by a radioactive spider. This caused us to change both name, colour and schedule. But fear not, with great power comes great responsibility and we will continue to bring you the most awesome science videos cooked up inside BRITLAB as well as the best science the BBC has to offer. "
Pixar in a Box isn’t a straight-up class like we usually think of them. While there are classes on everything from character modeling to animation, Pixar in a Box is more aimed at showing how basic concepts like math are useable in creative fields. As you’d probably expect from Pixar, it’s a nice balance between practical concepts and creative endeavors. It’s also free and even if you’re not terribly interesting in animation, there’s some value in learning about the ways Pixar gets things done.
The Little Bird Company is run by Madeleine (who goes by Maddy) with help from Marcus Schappi. The company got started when Marcus was studying Design Science at Sydney University in 2006. At the time it was hard for lecturers and students to purchase quality electronics at reasonable prices and Little Bird Electronics was born out of this frustration! We sell a range of Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, sensors, actuators and other maker gear from companies such as Adafruit, DFRobot, Pololu, Seeed Studio, SparkFun and many others. In 2015 we moved the company out of the house and we're now located in the Sydney upper north shore suburb of Mt Kuring-Gai.
We've now been in business for almost 10 years and for all of that time we've been an online business.
"We believe building robots and electronics is great fun! We want to share the excitement of building new inventions and the satisfaction of mastering new skills. We have the parts to help bring your ideas to life including sensors, motor controllers, motors, wheels and microcontrollers like Arduino, Picaxe. Everything we sell is held in stock in Australia for fast shipping every day so you can build it now."
"In recent years, scientists have tried to create swarm movement in robots by building identical, cheap bots whose sole purpose is to be part of a swarm. But these swarms differed from natural swarms, say a plague of locusts, because they lacked diversity. In the natural world, there are physical, spatial and functional differences between each swarm member. One locust is bigger than its neighbors and therefore has to adjust its movements in minute ways in relation to the locusts around it to keep the swarm cohesive. Roboswarm science is now addressing this. Researchers say they’ve developed robots that can swarm while also acting autonomously, so that they’re more like animals than droids."
"Cubelets are magnetic blocks that can be snapped together to make an endless variety of robots. You can build robots that drive around on a tabletop, respond to light, sound, and temperature, and have surprisingly lifelike behavior. But instead of programming that behavior, you snap the cubelets together and watch the behavior emerge like with a flock of birds or a swarm of bees. Each cubelet in the kit has different equipment on board and a different default behavior. There are Sense Blocks that act like our eyes and ears, Action blocks which affect the world around your robot, and Think blocks which are like your brain. Gone are the days of needing to buy a separate battery charger. This Cubelets kit version now includes a USB A to microB cable to charge you Cubelet Battery Block via your computer or 5V wall wart. Additionally, the two included Brick Adapters connect to your favorite brick-based construction systems bringing vivid motion and life to the toys you already own!"
A look at the difference between gamification and game based learning.
"These are merely my pedagogical problems with flipped classrooms. More pressingly, the practice is symptomatic of a larger problem in the dysfunctional relationship between higher education and the Internet—the tendency of faculty to offload their duties to the World Wide Web. In the name of efficiency, convenience, data collection, or perhaps simple laziness, professors are using the Internet in general and the flipped classroom technique in particular to “unbundle” themselves. While that might not be such a bad thing for those faculty who can control all the conditions of their employment, for those of us who can’t, this may constitute professional suicide."
"Here, in Catalonia, every upper-secondary school student, in its first year, has to decide a topic or issue to research into during one year. That’s what we call “Treball de Recerca de Batxillerat” in catalan, and it is quite important for the secondary school’s final mark before entering the university of our choice. I decided to merge some of my interests and came out with the idea of developing a computer vision system for MAVs (Micro Aerial Vehicles, also known as UAVs or drones), primarily aimed for obstacle avoidance. Computer vision would prevent MAVs from colliding with other objects, which is something that cannot be accomplished with GPS. Later on, I shifted to testing on an RC car instead of a flying machine since I was offered by the computer vision group at UAB to work on this project with them. Since then, all the work became very intensive and the project progressed really fast. The research paper focuses on autonomous navigation using stereo cameras. It gets into how camera calibration, scene reconstruction, localization, obstacle avoidance and path planning are accomplished by processing images from a pair of cameras, which is very close to how humans and animals perform navigation using the sense of sight. Some of the processes exposed in the paper are also implemented and tested in code (keep reading for more information)."
"“Blogging – an essential online space” (link to the recording) was the theme of this week’s Tech Talk Tuesdays. I feel stronly that blogging should be open and online. Why? Otherwise students should use offline tools to document their learning etc. A question was asked “How can we ensure that students are safe and secure whilst blogging?” Here are some suggestions:"
"During the last week of June, I did a presentation at the ISTE conference with many other educators from all over the country who also received the Sphero robot grant. What amazed me was that people who taught subjects like language arts and social studies found incredible ways to integrate robotics into their curriculum to create some really engaging lessons for their students."
"Published on 8 Jul 2015
I was intrigued when I first saw the affordable mBot educational robot. But does this product deliver what a "kid's first robot" needs to actually teach them something?"
"Published on 22 Jul 2015
I embarked on a year-long journey to find a way to print a 5-piece fashion collection as part of my graduate collection at Shenkar. Using soft materials and flexible patterns, I printed this collection at home.
Partners:, TechFactoryPlus, XLN, Recreus, BQ."
KIBO is a robot kit specifically designed for young children aged 4-7 years old. It is different from any other kit out there because it appeals to both technically minded kids and those that connect more to arts and culture or physical activity. Young children learn by doing. Children build their own robot with KIBO, program it to do what they want, and decorate it. KIBO gives children the chance to make their ideas physical and tangible—exactly what their young minds and bodies need. And KIBO does all this without requiring screen time from PCs, tablets or smartphones.
"Hackaball is popular with children aged 6-10. It’s a fun way to invent and play games together. Thanks to tiny sensors, Hackaball knows when it's thrown, shaken, dropped or kept very still. The iPad and iPhone apps make it easy to program the ball and respond by changing colour and light patterns, by vibrating and playing different sounds. With Hackaball, children learn basics of programming through play whilst being physically active."
"Vortex is a revolutionary product for children. It is a smart and responsive robot that kids can play with and program. Using the Vortex and apps, kids can play different games, learn about robotics, and even create their own. Take Vortex out of the box, pair it to smartphones (iOS & Android) via Bluetooth, and it is ready to run. The inbuilt computer and sensors keeps Vortex moving around, letting you maneuver it by simply tapping the screen, and interacting with various commands and game objects. Vortex features four pre-installed games: Bumping Fight; Virtual Golf, Driving, and Robot Soccer, all designed to be fun and intuitive to play. You can play against other people or the AI."