MOwayduino are mini robots designed to get kids & kidults playing around with robotics — from techcrunch.com by Natasha Lomas

Excerpt:

Fast forward a few decades and enter mOwayduino: programmable Arduino-based robot toys designed to be used in conjunction with mobile apps (e.g for radio controlling the device via the phone’s accelerometer) plus hardware add-ons — creating a rich environment for learning by playing around with hardware and software building blocks.

Or that’s the idea. At the moment, mOwayduino is at the concept/prototyping stage.  The Spanish company behind the project is apparently aiming to crowdfund the idea via Indiegogo. For now, you can register your interest via their websiteUpdate: mOwayduino’s makers say the Indiegogo campaign to fund production will launch in less than two weeks. “If we succeed, in three months, it will be on market. For people supporting the Indiegogo project, mOwayduino will be available at a special prize,” the company tells TechCrunch. “If we exceed the money we need for the production, we will develop a graphical programming App for tablets.”

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Charting technology’s new directions: A conversation with MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson — from mckinsey.com
A leading expert explores the new relationship between man and machine and the challenges that emerge when innovation is decoupled from growth in jobs and incomes.

Why robots are ready for takeoff– from cnn.com by Keller Rinaudo

Robot pharmacist fills patient prescriptions — from NBC News by Todd Kenreck

Will robots create new jobs when they take over existing ones? — from technologyreview.com by Tom Simonite
A new class of smarter robots is being readied for the workplace.

Robots and jobs, a nuanced issue — from abb-conversations.com by Per Vegard Nerseth
Judging by some of the headlines around the world it would be easy to conclude that robots are the source of our employment problems. The reality is far more nuanced.

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Updated Robotics Roadmap presented to US congress — from robohub.org by Frank Tobe

Excerpt:

Henrik Christensen, the KUKA Chair of Robotics at GA Tech and Chairman of the Roadmap project, Rodney Brooks, CEO of Rethink Robotics, Pete Wurman, CTO of Kiva Systems, and Russ Angold, CTO of Ekso Bionics all presented the new Roadmap to a packed gallery of the Robotics Caucus of the US Congress

The Roadmap and presentation covered six areas of robotics:
  1. Manufacturing
  2. Medical Robots
  3. Healthcare
  4. Service
  5. Space
  6. Defense

 

The roadmap is here:

RoadMapForRobotics-March2013

 

 

Meet the next generation of smartphone-based robot companions — from popsci.com by Miriam Kramer

 

Office Whiz

Office Whiz
The robot Double can give any telecommuter a physical presence in meetings.
Clockwise from top: courtesy Double; Everett Collection; courtesy Tovbot; courtesy Romotive

 

From DSC:
No doubt that there are positives and negatives to this kind of thing.  However, as I’m trying to relay items of interest/impact, I thought I’d post this here.

 

 

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— from gigaom.com by Derrick Harris

Summary:
A group of European researchers has created a cloud platform designed to serve as a central processing and data-access brains for robots located throughout the world.

From DSC:
Readers of this blog know that one of the areas that I am pulse checking is robotics and trying to ascertain the impact that robotics is having (and has had) on employment. Such research prompts me to ask:
  • Do these trends affect what we should be teaching our youth?
  • Do these trends affect how we should be preparing our youth?
Also see:
  • Summary:
    IBM’s always on the look out for new challenges for Watson to tackle. Two dozen teams of USC students recently had 48 hours to create their own business plans for the technology.!
NOTE:
  • I do NOT mean to “lift up” technology here — such technologies are merely tools; though sometimes folks in this space (esp. from America) tend to overestimate how far they’ve come and underestimate what God has created/designed.

From DSC:
First, what prompted the questions and reflections that are listed below?  For that, I turn to some recent items that I ran across involving the use of robotics and whether that may or may not be affecting employment:


 

The work of Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee; for example their book Race Against the Machine

Excerpt of description:

But digital innovation has also changed how the economic pie is distributed, and here the news is not good for the median worker. As technology races ahead, it can leave many people behind. Workers whose skills have been mastered by computers have less to offer the job market, and see their wages and prospects shrink. Entrepreneurial business models, new organizational structures and different institutions are needed to ensure that the average worker is not left behind by cutting-edge machines.

 

How to freak out responsibly about the rise of the robots — from theatlantic.com by Derek Thompson
It’s fun to imagine an economy where machines are smarter than humans. But we don’t need  an artificial crisis over artificial intelligence.

Excerpt:

Let’s say it upfront: Technology can replace jobs and (at least temporarily) increase income inequality. From the spinning jenny to those massive mechanical arms flying wildly around car assembly lines, technology raises productivity by helping workers accomplish more in less time (i.e.: put a power drill in a human hand) and by replacing workers altogether (i.e.: build a power-drilling bot).

What ails us today isn’t a surplus of robots, but a deficit of demand. Yes, we have a manufacturing industry undergoing a sensational, but job-killing, productivity revolution — very much like the one that took farm employment from 40 percent in 1900 to less than 5 percent today. But the other nine-tenths of the economy are basically going through an old-fashioned weak-but-steady recovery, the kind that hundreds of years of financial crises would predict.

 

America has hit “peak jobs” — from techcrunch.com by Jon Evans

Excerpt:

“The middle class is being hollowed out,” says James Altucher. “Economists are shifting their attention toward a […] crisis in the United States: the significant increase in income inequality,” reports the New York Times.

Think all those job losses over the last five years were just caused by the recession? No: “Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market,” according to an AP report on how technology is killing middle-class jobs.

 

Technology and the employment challenge — from project-syndicate.org by Michael Spence

Excerpt:

MILAN – New technologies of various kinds, together with globalization, are powerfully affecting the range of employment options for individuals in advanced and developing countries alike – and at various levels of education. Technological innovations are not only reducing the number of routine jobs, but also causing changes in global supply chains and networks that result in the relocation of routine jobs – and, increasingly, non-routine jobs at multiple skill levels – in the tradable sector of many economies.

 

 

Man vs. robot — from macleans.ca by Peter Nowak

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industrial-robots

 

 

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Secondly, some reflections (from DSC)


I wonder…

  • What types of jobs are opening up now? (example here)
  • What types of jobs will be opening up soon? How about in 3-5 years from now?
  • Should these trends affect the way we educate and prepare our kids today? 
  • Should these trends affect the way we help employees grow/reinvent themselves?

Again, for me, the answer lies at least partly in helping people consistently obtain the knowledge that they need — i.e. to help them build, grow, and maintain their own learning ecosystems — throughout their lifetimes.  We need to help people dip their feet into the appropriate streams of content that are constantly flowing by.

Perhaps that’s one of the key new purposes that K-12, higher ed, and the corporate training departments out there will play in the future as they sift through the massive amounts of information coming at us to help individuals identify:
.

  • What are the most effective tools — and methods — that people can use to connect with others?
    (Then allow folks to pick what works best for them. Current examples: blogging/RSS feeds, Twitter, social bookmarking.)
    .
  • Who are some of the folks within each particular discipline/line of work that others (who want to learn about those disciplines) should know about?
    .
  • What trends are coming down the pike and how should we be preparing ourselves — and/or our organizations — for those changes?
    .

 

Attack of the telepresence robots! — from informationweek.com by Rick Lehrbaum, BYTE

From DSC: Note the language/subtitle –> Devices: Bring Your Own Human!

Excerpt:

The growing trend toward telecommuting and outsourcing has driven companies to seek ways for remote workers and teams to communicate and collaborate more efficiently and effectively. This need has inspired a handful of innovative high-tech startups to create a new market: remote telepresence robots.

 

 

InfoWeek-Jan2013-telepresence-robots

 

 

 

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Just ahead: The robotics revolution — from kiplinger.com by Art Pine; with thanks going out to Erik Brynjolfsson (@erikbryn) for his posting on Twitter re: this
The U.S. is on the cusp of an explosion in robotics that will have a significant impact on business and the economy over the next decade. Here’s how it will affect you.

Excerpt:

The use of robotics in manufacturing and service industries is expected to mushroom over the next 10 to 15 years, forcing significant changes in the way many companies do business, and posing opportunities — and problems — for workers.

 

From DSC:
I don’t mean to be negative here…but…are we leaving a large swath of people behind?  If many people don’t like learning — as evidenced by the dropout rates across the United States — the mountains will be much harder to climb in terms of helping people reinvent themselves as these events/trends take place.  The ramifications are immense and affect all of us!

What SHOULD these things mean for K-12? Higher education? The corporate training departments?

 

 

 

EV3-Lego-Jan2013

 

From DSC: I originally saw this at
Mindstorms EV3: LEGO Education unveils its next generation robotics platform
from HackEducation.com by Audrey Watters

“Mom! Check out what I did at school today!”

If you’re a parent, don’t you love to hear the excitement in your son’s or daughter’s voice when they bring home something from school that really peaked their interest? Their passions?

I woke up last night with several ideas and thoughts on how technology could help students become — and stay — engaged, while passing over more control and choice to the students in order for them to pursue their own interests and passions. The idea would enable students to efficiently gain some exposure to a variety of things to see if those things were interesting to them — perhaps opening a way for a future internship or, eventually, a career.

The device I pictured in my mind was the sort of device that I saw a while back out at Double Robotics and/or at Suitable Technologies:

.

doublerobotics dot com -- wheels for your iPad

 

 

Remote presence system called Beam -- from Suitable Technologies - September 2012

 

The thoughts centered on implementing a growing network of such remote-controlled, mobile, videoconferencing-based sorts of devices, that were hooked up to voice translation engines.  Students could control such devices to pursue things that they wanted to know more about, such as:

  • Touring the Louvre in Paris
  • Being backstage at a Broadway musical or checking out a live performance of Macbeth
  • Watching a filming of a National Geographic Special in the Fiji Islands
  • Attending an IEEE International Conference in Taiwan
  • Attending an Educause Conference or a Sloan C event to get further knowledge about how to maximize your time studying online or within a hybrid environment
  • Touring The Exploratorium in San Francisco
  • Touring the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago
  • Being a fly on the wall during a Senate hearing/debate
  • Seeing how changes are made in the assembly lines at a Ford plant
  • Or perhaps, when a student wheels their device to a particular area — such as the front row of a conference, the signal automatically switches to the main speaker/event (keynote speakers, panel, etc. via machine-to-machine communications)
  • Inviting guest speakers into a class: pastors, authors, poets, composers, etc.
  • Work with local/virtual teams on how to heighten public awareness re: a project that deals with sustainability
  • Virtually head to another country to immerse themselves in another country’s language — and, vice versa, help them learn the students’ native languages

For accountability — as well as for setting aside intentional time to process the information — students would update their own blogs about what they experienced, heard, and saw.  They would need to include at least one image, along with the text they write about their experience.  Or perhaps a brief/edited piece of digital video or audio of some of the statements that they heard that really resonated with them, or that they had further questions on.  The default setting on such postings would be to be kept private, but if the teacher and the student felt that a posting could/should be made public, a quick setting could be checked to publish it out there for others to see/experience.

Real world. Engaging. Passing over more choice and control to the students so that they can pursue what they are passionate about.

 

 

 

An interesting augmented reality app:

Some other innovative apps:

  • Nuclear — with thanks going out to Mr. Steven Chevalia for this find/resource
    .

Nuclear lets you learn, play, discover and explore the chemical elements at the atomic scale.

 .

.

http://robotsapp.spectrum.ieee.org/

.

  • Solar Walk — with thanks going out to Mr. Steven Chevalia for this find/resource
    .

 .

The Wider Image app from Reuters

 

From DSC:
Publishers — take a look at what Reuters is doing here; consider offering such a constantly up-to-date stream of content that fills up digital “textbooks.”

 

Addendum:

.

 

Note Anytime app

 

Note Anytime – Write stylish notes, mash up handwritten text or typed text with photos and high resolution graphics; scale from a piece of paper to a whiteboard, then output to your favorite social networks. Take a Note Anytime! By MetaMoJi Corporation

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

.

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Digital Revolution’s Winners And Losers — from Information Week by John Foley
Workers with in-demand digital skills benefit most as computers increasingly take over
everyday tasks. In this InformationWeek 500 video, MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson discusses
how this trend could affect your enterprise.

.
.
From DSC:
I agree with Erik that a large swath of people are being left behind, mainly because of technological changes and the pace of those changes. Again I ask, can you hear the engines roar?  How can we re-train folks to take advantage of the 3+million open jobs out there? How can we reinvent ourselves as quickly as possible?
.
The pace has changed -- don't come onto the track in a Model T
.
Addendums:
  • Andrew McAfee: Are droids taking our jobs?
    Robots and algorithms are getting good at jobs like building cars, writing articles, translating — jobs that once required a human. So what will we humans do for work? Andrew McAfee walks through recent labor data to say: We ain’t seen nothing yet. But then he steps back to look at big history, and comes up with a surprising and even thrilling view of what comes next.
  • America’s jobs gap: 9 million — from cnn.com by Tami Luhby

The robot doctor will see you now — from tech.fortune.cnn.com by Jennifer Alsever, contributor
The RP-VITA robot promises to eliminate geographic boundaries and allow physician specialists to care for faraway patients.

.

Also see:

Top 10: Best jobs for robots 2012 — from roboticsbusinessreview.com by Tom Green
Help wanted: humans need not apply

.

Also on that page, a link to:

 

From DSC:
Why do I keep putting these items re: robotics up on a blog called Learning Ecosystems? Off the top of my head, here are a couple of the reasons why:

  1. Each year, more workers are losing their jobs to robots.  Such workers, if they want to remain in the workforce, are going to need to go back and do some more learning. Lifelong learning continues its way to becoming the norm now. To put it another way…we are potentially leaving a large swath of people behind in this quickly moving technological age — with a larger swath amassing unless such folks can reinvent themselves. Such reinventing work will likely require obtaining some new skills and/or knowledge
  2. It relates to engineering and computer science, two (of the many) disciplines that I’m interested in and like to keep an eye on.

 

 

 

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