Robotics For Kids
It's that time of year again! In November, the local Lego robotics tournaments will begin & we HIGHLY recommend that you attend a weekend tournament in your area! It's FREE for the whole family to attend too. It's very exciting to see the Lego robots & watch the teams compete. It's also interesting to see how each Lego robot is built differently to solve the same tasks! Some robots are more successful at getting points than others & you can learn why.
So, are you interested in attending?!? We recommend a couple things:
1. Figure out which local robotics competition to attend
- Check out http://www.usfirst.org/whats-going-on. Look for "FIRST Lego League (FLL)" for ages 9-14 & "Jr. First Lego League (Jr. FLL)" for ages 6-9.
- Google FLL & your city name to see if there are any local websites with more competitions
2. Learn more about this year's robot game called "2015 Trash Trek Challenge" so you learn what the robots are doing & how the robots can score points. Check out this video:
3. Learn the basics of what FLL is all about by watching this video below:
And if you're interested in joining a team for next year, keep in mind that you can introduce yourself to an FLL team coach or start your own team next year!
Have fun & let us know if you enjoyed the tournament! Also, what did you learn?
It's time for Halloween & some hobbyists have been turning their drones into flying ghosts & other spooky halloween characters!
Check out this video to see some of the spookiest ghost drones around:
NOTE: Please DO NOT try this at home with your drone. It is VERY dangerous to scare people with ghost drones!
Would you be scared by a ghost drone if you saw one flying in the air? Why or why not? Why do you think it is dangerous for people to create ghost drones?
Tesla drivers can now test a new beta auto-pilot feature in the new Model X & also available for download for the Model S, Tesla's first car. In auto-pilot mode, the Tesla vehicle completely takes over steering & driving! However, the driver should still keep their eyes & hands on the steering wheel just in case the driver needs to override it. This is NOT a fully self-driving or autonomous car in which the driver can relax & not pay attention to driving. Instead, this auto-pilot feature is more similar to the cruise-control feature that is built into cars today since it still requires driver's assistance.
So far, some Tesla drivers who have tried the new auto-pilot feature say that the feature is great, while other drivers have said it is scary & dangerous. Since this auto-pilot feature is still in beta testing, there are some glitches & the software engineers will be working on fixing those in the upcoming months. Check out this video in which a driver shares his experience on the road while testing out the new auto-pilot feature:
What do you think about this "auto-pilot" feature in the new Teslas? Would you feel safe in a Tesla driving in "auto-pilot" mode?
A team of researchers in Switzerland have been trying to answer that question! They have spent hours working on building a team of drones to fly & work together to build a rope bridge together. These drones are NOT controlled by a human via remote control. Instead, they're controlled autonomously all by themselves! Each drone has to be careful not to hit other drones or ropes or else the drone will crash!Watch this video to see the drones in action:
Do you think these flying robots could build large bridges in the future? Do you think we'll use drones for building construction in the future too?
Leave us a comment & let us know your thoughts below!
Robots are not perfect! Get ready to see this very funny, must-see video of humanoid robots falling during a recent robotics competition called the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge in Pomona, California. Get ready for a few good laughs!
Oh... and before you watch this video, don't forget to turn your volume up:
While it's funny to watch what the robots didn't do right, just think about how hard it must be to program these robots do a lot of these tasks that seem so easy for humans. Even after engineers & researchers spent years building these robots, they still aren't perfect.
During the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge, 25 teams from around the world competed for a grand prize of $2 million. The goal of each humanoid robot is to complete tasks that could help in an emergency disaster where it is too dangerous for a human.
Check out this video to watch the humanoid robots successfully completing their tasks:
And in case you're wondering, DARPA stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency & is part of the US government that is responsible for new technologies for the military.
Do you think you'll want to build a humanoid robot in the future? Will you win the $2 million grand prize?