These Robots Want Homes

Mary at The Foundary Makerspace showed me a spectrum of robots that want homes. These are all programmable robots, and some are tablet controlled. Contact Mary Keene through The Foundary’s website or Mary’s Facebook page.

We’ll start with the classroom robot kit made for programming with SolidWorks. It has a programming book as well.

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Next is the Bioloid. This is apparently a tournament soccer robot very popular in South Korea.. You control it and program it with a tablet. Programming can be very advanced.

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The last one is a faithful Lego NXT kit. This looks like a first generation, but these still work well.

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Forget Foreign Languages and Music. Teach Our Kids to Code | Wired Opinion |

Young minds understand coding and logical deduction easily.

The fact that young children can manage such elaborate tasks should be no great surprise, given what we know about their knack for acquiring languages. Five-year-olds trump their elders at learning Spanish or Mandarin because young brains are better (so the theory goes) at formulating “procedural” memories—that is, memories that become so deeply embedded in a person’s psyche that recalling them is a natural reflex rather than a conscious task.

Forget Foreign Languages and Music. Teach Our Kids to Code | Wired Opinion |

However, I don’t like the title of the article. I don’t want to reduce the importance of foreign languages or music. There should be exposure and mentoring in all of these areas for our children.

Great interview on hacker spaces, responsible disclosure (TCLP)

Thomas interviews Tiffany Rad in this episode of The Commandline Podcast. I appreciated this interview because, as a father, I am interested in all the ways I can expose my kids to learning opportunities, and while I might not end up with little net-running hellions, it sounds like public schools are often becoming less and less places where hands-on experience in engineering and science can occur.

I also appreciated how the discussion verged into responsible disclosure. As contractor in my past, one encounters clients that might be in violation of laws, or vulnerable to attack, but just broaching the topic with them might get you sued. This is an aspect of responsible disclosure that I’d be interested in hearing more about.

There is also good discussion about how the auto industry is using the DMCA as a legal claymore to keep people from modding their car computers. This is particularly frustrating to any mechanic. It makes me wonder if there are other examples of “trading down” technologies so that one can use less sophisticated vehicles, computers, appliances, just for the ability to treat them in a more fungible manner. Phones and cameras come to mind.

Makes me wonder if the Sustainable Connections people in Bellingham have heard of hacker spaces?