Kids love to build things. Kids also love robots. That’s why Robothink, a Chicago-based company launched in 2016 by Danny Park, was created to educate kids in STEM through building and coding robots. The company's goal is to lay the foundation for kids to pursue careers in STEM-based occupations.
June 26, 2018 - Today, the Barbie® brand launches Robotics Engineer Barbie, a doll designed to pique girls' interest in STEM and shine a light on an underrepresented career field for women. This new doll joins a lineup of more than 200 careers held by Barbie, all of which reinforce the brand's purpose to inspire the limitless potential in every girl.
When FIRST originally launched 30 years ago as an afterschool robotics activity for high schoolers, the STEM movement was a nascent affair and such concepts as “makerspaces” and “hands-on experiential learning” had yet to take root. But as these movements found traction, FIRST has been there to add even more wind to the sails, using focused short-term robotics competitions and electrifying national championships to capture both the imaginations of K-12 students and the interests of instructors.
Perhaps the greatest outrage in modern robotics is the continued non-existence of the robot housekeeper. Is it really so much to ask for a robot that sweeps and mops and brings you pills on platters, like Rosie from The Jetsons? Actually, it kind of is a lot to ask...
Over the next few years, the Pentagon is poised to spend almost $1 billion for a range of robots designed to complement combat troops. Beyond scouting and explosives disposal, these new machines will sniff out hazardous chemicals or other agents, perform complex reconnaissance and even carry a soldier’s gear.
Paul Daugherty, an executive from Accenture who attended the summit, said they addressed concerned about robots replacing humans in the workplace. “The fear that we have is in the short and medium term, there will be displacement as certain jobs are automated by artificial intelligence,” he said. However, the real issue, he said, is not the lack of jobs but the fact that there is a very large skills gap.
Jett the robot, the software, and curriculum were all created by RoboKind, a robotic education company based in downtown Dallas. “We’re trying to capture the students at an early age to generate an interest that they can take with them,” said Scott Murphy, national sales manager for RoboKind. “If you don’t capture a child’s attention by the time they’ve reached the sixth grade, you’ve lost them.
Robots and artificial intelligence are already taking over jobs from people, so many schools are teaching cybersecurity, programming and robotics to provide students with employable 21st century skills.
Engineers are reportedly working on Vesta prototypes with advanced computer vision similar to that in self-driving cars. The robots scan the environment and maneuver around obstacles to navigate your home. Sources who spoke to Bloomberg suggest the robot might be able to follow you around and act as a mobile Alexa-powered speaker, but that hardly seems like a sufficient reason to have a robot.
South Korea, Germany, and Japan are most prepared for the coming wave of automation, according to a new report by The Economist. The U.S., on the other hand, ranks ninth out of 25 countries. And the most-at-risk countries? Mexico, Vietnam, and Indonesia.