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Lego Boost is robot building for the rest of us

Mashable

Vernie considers me with his icy blue yes, an orange eyebrow slightly cocked. Then, suddenly, he races forward and asks me my name. I shout it into the nearby tablet and we commence bonding. Okay, we don't so much bond as I command and Vernie, a new Lego robot, responds. SEE ALSO: This'Terminator 2' action figure would be greatest gift of all time Vernie is one of five models that children ages 7-to-12 can build and program with Lego's new Boost kit.


DIY Lego Robot Brings Lab Automation to Students

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

In an attempt to get robotics-minded kids more interested in life sciences--and vice versa--Stanford researchers have designed DIY robot kits for automating chemistry experiments. Using a Lego Mindstorms EV3 set and some plastic syringes, students can build robots that measure and transfer liquids, automating their their classroom laboratory assignments. Instructions for building the robot were published Tuesday in the journal PloS Biology. "What's key for me is that we merge robotics education--which is loved by kids and teachers--and life sciences education," says Ingmar Riedel-Kruse, a bioengineer at Stanford who led the project. And maybe it's more fun to engage in chemistry or biology experiments if you do it with a playful robot."


Launching into AI's "October Sky with Robotics and Lisp

AI Magazine

Robotics projects coupled with agent-oriented trends in artificial intelligence education have the potential to make introductory AI courses at liberal arts schools the gateway for a large new generation of AI practitioners. However, this vision's achievement requires programming libraries and low-cost platforms that are readily accessible to undergraduates and easily maintainable by instructors at sites with few dedicated resources. This article presents and evaluates one contribution toward implementing this vision: the RCXLisp library. The library was designed to support programming of the Lego Mindstorms platform in AI courses with the goal of using introductory robotics to motivate undergraduates' understanding of AI concepts within the agent-design paradigm. The library's evaluation reflects four years of student feedback on its use in a liberal-arts AI course whose audience covers a wide variety of majors. To help establish a context for judging RCXLisp's effectiveness this article also provides a sketch of the Mindstormsbased laboratory in which the library is used.


Launching into AI's October Sky with Robotics and Lisp

AI Magazine

Robotics projects coupled with agent-oriented trends in artificial intelligence education have the potential to make introductory AI courses at liberal arts schools the gateway for a large new generation of AI practitioners. However, this vision's achievement requires programming libraries and low-cost platforms that are readily accessible to undergraduates and easily maintainable by instructors at sites with few dedicated resources. This article presents and evaluates one contribution toward implementing this vision: the RCXLisp library. The library was designed to support programming of the Lego Mindstorms platform in AI courses with the goal of using introductory robotics to motivate undergraduates' understanding of AI concepts within the agent-design paradigm. The library's evaluation reflects four years of student feedback on its use in a liberal-arts AI course whose audience covers a wide variety of majors. To help establish a context for judging RCXLisp's effectiveness this article also provides a sketch of the Mindstormsbased laboratory in which the library is used. Today AI should be poised to capture students' interest and imaginations in the same way that movie showed one application in physics and astronomy capturing them in the 1950s and 1960s. Look at what today's undergraduates are seeing and hearing about AI in popular culture. Besides the popularity of the AIinspired fiction in the movies I, Robot and A.I., consider the highly publicized success of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the ESPN coverage of the DARPA autonomous vehicle Grand Challenge, the lust among gamers after cleverer computer opponents, and the prevalence of word processor speech-recognition systems. Students are not just hearing about AI applications--they are experiencing them more directly than did the students in October Sky gazing up at Sputnik's starlike dot. Today's college and high school students can evaluate AI applications firsthand (for example, in games, robotic vacuum cleaners, and intelligent search engines). More importantly for AI, the immediacy of their experience often makes them feel they could replicate or even improve the applications' capabilities--if only they understood the AI theory behind the application. And this situation definitely is enticing students into trying out introductory AI courses at liberal arts colleges. The difficulty for instructors at such schools is retaining these students' interest in the field after their first exposure to formal AI. In many smaller schools' computer science departments there is at most one faculty member with AI training, usually with few dedicated resources.


Lego employs AI to translate instructions into braille and audio

#artificialintelligence

The Danish toy company has launched a global trial with four building sets and hopes to release more next year depending on user feedback. Using the design script used by Lego creators, known as LXFML data, the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence developed software that is able to turn the instructions into braille and English audio. The idea came about after blind entrepreneur and Lego enthusiast Matthew Shifrin previously relied on a friend to translate instructions into braille, which enabled him to build independently for the first time. After his friend died, Mr Shifrin was introduced to Lego's Creative Play Lab and decided to push for development of the technology: "This is extremely important for blind children because there aren't a lot of places where we can say'Look Mum and Dad! I built this on my own... I did this'," he said.