A transformative summer for student engineers

MIT News

Visitors roaming the MIT Stratton Student Center chatted with high school students stationed at various booths, as 3-D printers hummed and a remote-controlled inflatable shark swam above their heads. Down the street at the Johnson Ice Rink, self-driving miniature racecars hurtled down a racetrack while onlookers cheered them on. This was the scene on Sunday, Aug. 5 at the final event of the Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI), a four-week summer science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program for rising high school seniors. BWSI is an initiative of Beaver Works, a research and education center jointly operated by MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the MIT School of Engineering. BWSI started in 2016 with 46 students.

Why the Pursuit of a 'Killer App' for Home Robots Is Fraught With Peril

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

This is a guest post. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not represent positions of IEEE Spectrum or the IEEE. In the past two months, Mayfield Robotics, makers of Kuri the robot, has shut down sales and operations, and Jibo, which has run through more than $70 million of venture funding, announced a significant downsizing of the company. This marks a sad time for the personal/social robot market. There were amazingly talented and passionate people at both of those companies who drove themselves constantly in the pursuit of building awesome products that were well-liked.

Explore New Worlds With JPL's Open Source Rover

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars rovers have a special place in my heart. I loved seeing pictures of Sojourner nuzzling up to rocks, and I still wonder whether it managed to drive around the Pathfinder lander after contact was lost. Spirit going silent was heartbreaking, and Opportunity continues to inspire so far beyond its expected lifetime, even as a dust storm threatens to starve it to death. And I particularly remember thinking how insane it was that Curiosity was going to drop onto the surface from a hovering robotic sky crane (!), and then being entirely overwhelmed to watch it happen flawlessly from the media room at JPL. I'm not the only person who thinks that JPL's rovers are incredible, and other rover fans have been pestering the roboticists at JPL for a cute little rover that can be built at home.

Optus and Curtin University partner for artificial intelligence research


Optus Business has announced a partnership with Curtin University that will see the pair work together on artificial intelligence (AI). There are some things that machines are simply better at doing than humans, but humans still have plenty going for them. Here's a look at how the two are going to work in concert to deliver a more powerful future for IT, and the human race. A new research group that will operate out of the School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences has been stood up under the partnership, which will focus on the impact of AI on regional telecommunications, higher education, and the urban environment. The five-year arrangement will also see the appointment of an Optus chair in artificial intelligence and three Optus Research Fellows, as well as funding for PhD scholarships and student projects, Optus explained on Monday.

Drone Programming summer camp exposes youth to emerging fields


Rocco Alonso, 10, right, with both an aerial and ground-based drones during a Drone Programming summer camp being held this week on the UTEP campus. It is the result of a collaborative effort from New Mexico State University's Physical Science Laboratory, the Federal Aviation Administration, Insights and UTEP. It is among a series of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics summer camps being offered by Insights Science Center on the UTEP campus. Because there are so many job openings in the drone and unmanned vehicle industries it is necessary to expose students to this emerging field, said Michael Brown, facilitator from the NMSU STEM Outreach Center. The camp's last day is Friday.

Oregon Professor Working to Make Robots More Social

U.S. News

She and her students have also programmed a TurtleBot they call Resolution Bot, a play on the New Year's resolution because it acts as a health coach. At the beginning of the year, the robot visited professors and students to ask how they were feeling. The robot would then count out exercises for the person to do, such as push-ups, or go on a walk with the person. The robot also carried bananas and other healthy snacks to offer the people. The robot was remote controlled by students, who developed ways to animate the robot more, such as having the robot nod when it counted out exercises or move toward the person if they put their hand up for a high five.

How to Get Started in Machine Learning and Robotics


"It's very easy to get intimidated," says Hamayal Choudhry, the robotics engineer who co-created the smartARM, a robotic hand prosthetic that uses a camera to analyze and manipulate objects. "You have this idea for a project, then think, I don't know a thing about this." Here's how Choudhry and his partner Samin Khan, who programmed the smartARM's machine learning algorithm, used code libraries, college assignments, and sponsored hackathons to find and execute a meaningful project at age 20. The smartARM works by integrating the two fields of machine learning and mechatronics (robotics). A camera in the palm detects objects, and an algorithm analyzes the video feed (this is called computer vision) and tells the robotic hand how to manipulate the objects.

NVIDIA expands deep learning institute with new offerings - AI News


NVIDIA is expanding its Deep Learning Institute (DLI) with new partnerships and educational courses. DLI, which trains thousands of students, developers and data scientists with critical skills needed to apply artificial intelligence, has joined hands with Booz Allen Hamilton and DLI and Booz Allen Hamilton will provide hands-on training for data scientists to solve challenging problems in healthcare, cybersecurity and defense. NVIDIA is also expanding its reach with the new NVIDIA University Ambassador Program that enables instructors worldwide to teach students critical job skills and practical applications of AI at no cost. The graphics processing designer is already working with professors at several universities, including Arizona State, Harvard, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and UCLA.

Embrace big data and robots -- they're the future of work


President Donald Trump's July 19 executive order establishing the President's National Council for the American Worker is directed at preparing Americans for the workplace of the future. Although short on specifics, the order sends a powerful message about the need for revitalizing educational opportunities if Americans are to thrive in the era of big data, robots and artificial intelligence. The president's intent is to lay the groundwork for tackling a national "skills crisis." His order accepts that Americans need additional skills to fill the current 6.7 million job vacancies. In fact, the executive order gives official imprimatur to what many in industry and academia have feared for some time: "The economy is changing at a rapid pace because of the technology, automation, and artificial intelligence," and existing programs have "prepared Americans for the economy of the past."

This Week In China Tech: AI Disrupting Insurance Claims, China Opens Airspace For Drones And More

Forbes Technology

Airplanes fly over Xiamen City, southeast China's Fujian Province, July 18, 2018. After a short holiday, we have a lot to catch up on. AI made huge leaps and has made insurance claims 176,000 times more efficient than humans, China has opened their low-altitude airspace for the booming drone industry, and classrooms are getting quantified using AI and brain research. Let's get you the news. Yes, you read that correctly.