Yesterday Opcom Robotics took a brief break during the 11’th hour of the build rush and went to the University of Alberta to visit the robotics lab in the Department of Computing Science. The graduate students in the lab showed us some cool robotics awesomeness such as autonomous robotics navigation and robots recognizing and tracking objects.
Obviously these sort of capabilities are well beyond what we are able to achieve for our current robot, the visit did, however, give us lots of food for thought for future seasons.
It is remarkable how we take for granted all the processing and computation that our brain is capable of performing instantaneously. One does not realize what a feat this is until you try to make a robot repeat the simplest of tasks. What appears effortless and straightforward to us, e.g. picking up a tennis ball resting on a table right in front of you, requires a tremendous amount of complex computations and clever algorithms for a robot to perform. During our visit we were presented with a tour de force of the bleeding edge of robotics algorithm research. Although we still have some way to go before robots are able to seamlessly and autonomously perform many of the tasks that are straightforward to humans there is already some pretty cool robotics technology out there.
Science classrooms are unique learning environments unlike any other classrooms. As a matter of fact, some things only happen in science classrooms. Here is a collection of event that happened in my own science classroom over the last school year. It's a growing list, so check back for updates.
Report from yours truly live-tweeting and navigating the melee at GETCA 2015 (Annual Greater Edmonton Teachers' Conference).
Can a pencil be more than just your average run of the mill pencil? The legendary Palomino Blackwing Pearl can take a student or teacher's writing to new heights. We have taken a batch of the Pearls for a spin and are blown away by how much writing and sketching can be transformed by this unassuming pencil.
Dr. Pineda's Classroom is going YouTube with the release of its first screencast on the exciting topic of calculating percents. Only time will tell if this is the start of something big and shiny or just a passing fad.
After several weeks working on setting up habitats for new classroom animals the big day finally arrived. The newest addition to our classroom include aquatic denizens in our new aquarium and a teenage bearded dragon with lots of attitude and no table manners.