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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Marine Advanced Technology Education Center

ROV Competitions

The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center coordinates an international student underwater robotics (remotely operated vehicle or ROV) competition and a network of 20 regional ROV contests that take place across U.S. and in Canada, Hong Kong, Scotland, and Japan. Student teams from upper elementary, middle schools, high schools, home schools, community colleges, universities, and community organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club and 4-H, participate. The competitions consists of three different "classes" that vary depending on the sophistication of the ROVs and the mission requirements.

In addition to technical skills, the events help students to develop the ability to problem solve, think critically, and work as part of a team. By connecting students with employers and professionals from the workplace, the competitions also expose students to ocean-related career opportunities and help them to see the pathways to those careers.

MATE Drifter Project

MATE Drifter Project

Community college faculty from around the country are partnering with MATE, NOAA and COSEE NOW to build and track their own drifters.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Academic Earth - Stanford University: Computer Science 1

Programming Methodology

Programming Methodology is the largest of the introductory programming courses and is one of the largest courses at Stanford. Topics focus on the introduction to the engineering of computer applications emphasizing modern software engineering principles: object-oriented design, decomposition, encapsulation, abstraction, and testing.

Programming Methodology teaches the widely-used Java programming language along with good software engineering principles. Emphasis is on good programming style and the built-in facilities of the Java language. The course is explicitly designed to appeal to humanists and social scientists as well as hard-core techies. In fact, most Programming Methodology graduates end up majoring outside of the School of Engineering.

Building a Simple Fritzing Component

Tales from the Evil Empire is Bertrand Le Roy's blog.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Engineering Design Process (Student Version)

The engineering design process involves a series of steps that lead to the development of a new product or system.

STEP 1: Identify the Problem
Students should state the problem in their own words. Example: How can I design a __________ that will __________?

STEP 2: Identify Criteria and Constraints
Students should specify the design requirements (criteria) and should list the limits on the design due to available resources and the environment (constraints).

STEP 3: Brainstorm Possible Solutions
Each student in the group should sketch his or her own ideas as the group discusses ways to solve the problem. Labels and arrows should be included to identify parts and how they might move. These drawings should be quick and brief.

STEP 4: Generate Ideas
In this step, each student should develop two or three ideas more thoroughly. Students should create new drawings that are orthographic projections (multiple views showing the top, front and one side) and isometric drawings (three-dimensional depiction). These are to be drawn neatly, using rulers to draw straight lines and to make parts proportional. Parts and measurements should be labeled clearly.

STEP 5: Explore Possibilities
The developed ideas should be shared and discussed among the team members. Students should record pros and cons of each design idea directly on the paper next to the drawings.

STEP 6: Select an Approach
Students should work in teams and identify the design that appears to solve the problem the best. Students should write a statement that describes why they chose the solution. This should include some reference to the criteria and constraints identified above.

STEP 7: Build a Model or Prototype
Students will construct a full-size or scale model based on their drawings.

STEP 8: Refine the Design
Students will examine and evaluate their prototypes or designs based on the criteria and constraints. Groups may enlist students from other groups to review the solution and help identify changes that need to be made. Based on criteria and constraints, teams must identify any problems and proposed solutions.

Source: NASA

Monday, August 15, 2011

Swarmaniod - The Movie

At a San Francisco conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) this week, researchers from the Free University in Belgium won the best video award. The video is of their robot swarm called Swarmanoid. The task was for a swarm of three different robots to find and retrieve a book from a shelf. The robot swarm consists of a hand bot that can grab and climb, an eye bot that flies and can view the surroundings, and a foot bot that can rove and pick up the hand bot. The very colorful robots work together to accomplish the task and bring the book back to the starting point. The video is a wonderful visual display of robot swarm grace and beauty and you can easily appreciate why the video won.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


You may think of research robots as tools (and even as simply a means to an end), but they think of you as a friend. This film by David Lu, which premiered at the Robot Film Festival last month, reminds us all: be nice to your robots. They love you.

PyroElectro - August is Robotics Month

PyroElectro brings you cool projects that you can build at home, improve upon or just drool over.

PyroElectro projects & tutorials are released every Thursday and news everyday!

Animatronic Eyes Using Servos

Build it: Robotic Eyebrows

The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

Connect a Million Minds introduces its audience to tomorrow's future leaders -- those who have a love of science, technology, engineering and math.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The ECSITE Project

Engaging Computer Science in Traditional Education

Computer Science is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses researchers with backgrounds in biology, physics, psychology, applied math and other disciplines; combined, they form the core for the development of the “cyberinfrastructure” that has contributed to the advancement of many fields. Computer science graduates must learn to articulate their contribution to science and appreciate their role in that process.

The GK-12 program is ideally situated to address this problem, by training a cadre of computer scientists who have learned how to communicate about what they do to intelligent students and teachers who are not insiders in their field.

Against this background, the goals of our project are:

To train future researchers in Computer Science who are able to communicate effectively with the public about their work, and who understand the connections between their work and other disciplines.

To inform K-12 students about the value of computing in fields they see as important to their further education.

To prepare teachers in other disciplines to communicate to their students the connections between computing and their fields of instruction.

To develop and distribute materials that can be used to replicate our program in other settings.

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence course from Stanford University

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

The class runs from October 10 through December 16, 2011. While this class is being offered online, it is also taught at Stanford University, where it continues to be a popular intro-level class on AI. For the online version, the instructors aim to offer identical materials, assignments, and exams, and to use the same grading criteria. Both instructors will be available for online discussions.

A high speed internet connection is recommended as most of the course content will be video based. Access to a copy of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach is also suggested.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

1. When does the class start?

Please note the class has a revised start date of October 10.

2. What edition of the textbook is required?

We support all editions. The third edition is preferred.

3. Will the text of the lectures be available?

We hope to transcribe the lectures into text to make them more accessible for those not fluent in English.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Microsoft .NET Micro Framework

Microsoft .NET Micro Framework

.NET Micro Framework is an open source platform that expands the power and versatility of .NET to the world of small embedded applications.

The typical .NET Micro-Framework device has a 32 bit processor with or without a memory management unit (MMU) and could have as little as 64K of random-access memory (RAM). The .NET Micro Framework supports rich user experience and deep connectivity with other devices.

Such devices include: consumer devices, consumer medical, home automation, industrial automation, automotive, sideshow devices / PC peripherals.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Custom Geek

The Custom Geek

A site for Jeremy to share his electronics projects. I watched a couple of his videos and I am now a fan.

Arduino Labs

Arduino Labs

This website is an incubator for projects we are working on that haven’t reached an “official” status yet.

It’s also a place where we can create a more direct between Arduino and projects made by our users that we think are particularly valuable. This will, over time become a reference for popular Arduino libraries and tools we work on with our community.

Each project gets a section of the wiki and it’s edited in collaboration with the community members who created the project.