Don’t expect to see pole vaults, balance beams and diving boards when some of the world’s brightest young minds come together this month in Washington for what sponsors are calling the first international robot olympics. Teams from nearly 160 countries and six continents are set to gather at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington starting Sunday to participate in three days of games designed to test their ingenuity and promote STEM education.
Robotics are about to take off, with applications for the technology expanding across many different industries, said Susan Teele, the head of marketing and communications for the Pittsburgh-based Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM). A push to make robots more easily customized and more flexible will especially increase their use, she added.
Newfoundland and Labrador is Canada's charming East Coast fishing province, and it's in big trouble. The province, which is decorated with iconic rows of brightly painted houses, had an unemployment rate of 14.4 percent as of May this year, more than double the national average. Now, a new and frankly terrifying robot that can butcher a crab in seconds is being touted as a way to reinvigorate the province's beleaguered seasonal fishing industry.
Jobs were in the center spotlight in this year’s election. Donald Trump used it as a weapon against Hillary Clinton to mobilize the many millions of voters who felt as though technology, immigrants and free trade had left them behind. Clinton suggested spending hundreds of billions to upgrade our infrastructure and make state colleges and universities tuition-free.
Just as they have in manufacturing, defense, aerospace, transportation and dozens of other industries, robots and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing how humans teach and learn. Manifestations of robotic and AI teaching technology can already be seen in the educational sphere.
Florida is now the fourth state in the U.S. to pass a law which allows unmanned delivery robots on both sidewalks and crosswalks. The law, which goes into effect July 1, 2017, states that authorized operation "of personal delivery devices within a county or municipality [are permissible] under certain circumstances.
In 1964, a group of professors, activists, and scientists put together a report that warned US President Lyndon B. Johnson of three impending threats, including a “Cybernation Revolution” that would put massive numbers of people out of work. The committee included a list of recommendations for staving off each crisis. Number one was “a massive program to build up our educational system.”
In spite of educators’ best efforts to reach all students in class, there always seem to be some who remain difficult to engage. They could be shy, socially awkward, have a learning disability, or fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. As educators, we must continue to find ways to reach these kids.
Robotic teams not only build robots and program them to perform designated tasks, but involved students also build science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. On the Treasure Coast, elementary and middle school teams use Legos to help create their team robots, while in high school, the students use more advanced techniques, such as 3D printing, to build the parts necessary for the robots to complete specific tasks.
It has become an article of faith that workers today are experiencing almost unprecedented levels of labor-market disruption and insecurity: Robots are automating factory jobs, kicking lunch-pail workers into the unemployment line. Taxi drivers are being displaced by Uber. Artificial intelligence is even taking over some of the tasks that lawyers and doctors used to do.