Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Computing

Say the word ‘robot’ and it conjures up a variety of images – some of them are scary, some noisy, some fantastical, some mundane.  Your individual experience influences how your mental image of any given object forms itself.  We’ve been making some incredible leaps in the use of robots or ‘robotics’ over the last decade or so.

Now – imagine your life if your reliance on robots was the only way forward for you…   Henry Evans is the inspiration and instigator of R4H (Robots for Humanity). Henry suffered a tragic stroke when he was 40 years old, rendering him speechless (mute) and quadriplegic. Through robotic technology, Henry continues to find ways to explore and interact with the world.

I, myself, am an avid museum-goer (I minored in Art History during the course of my education).  Hence, I was fascinated by this WONDERFUL usage of robots to give that opportunity to someone who can not be onsite physically.  The robots even give the ‘home-bound’ visitor the chance to interact with people who ARE at the museum.  It certainly is far superior to a still photograph or poster on the wall depicting a particular artwork or sculpture…

 Robots Give Virtual Tours of the de Young Museum

AND

Robot allows those who can’t visit to take

virtual tour of Seattle Art Museum

 

Here’s an interview with Henry Evans from 2013 (credit San Jose Mercury News):  Q&A with Henry Evans, mute quadriplegic and robotics pioneer

While physically limited, Henry’s bright mind has lifted him far beyond his bed.  What other activities might robots give us a chance at which have been out of reach until now??  Your move!

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Many of us have heard about Watson since it competed on Jeopardy! in February 2011.  Since that time, Watson has been busy assisting the medical and financial industries.  Most recently, Watson has had success in the culinary world.  The latest announcement attributed to Watson is the newly published Watson cookbook – Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson which includes 65 recipes.

In contrast to a search engine that simply sifts through existing data to serve up a list of already published recipes, Chef Watson is not programmed to come up with a defined answer to a defined question – it understands, learns, and considers not just the data behind recipes and flavor compounds, but also human perception to design highly creative recipe ideas.

Using the app, users can create novel recipes by selecting ingredients, dish type and dish styles, as well as any ingredients to exclude in the final recipe. Once the user has entered in their choices, the app will generate a list of never before seen recipe suggestions.

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And, there is an app to help you with your dinner menu planning.  What one-of-a-kind dish can you and Watson cook up?

 

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April 16th, 2015
13:18
 

DIY electronics are all the rage these days.  A new kit called MESH (Make, Experience, Share) is intended to make coming up with your own clever projects easier than ever.  From customized alarm clocks to trash cans that thank you for recycling, it’s claimed to open up a host of possibilities for amateur inventors.

MESH is a creative DIY platform that lets you make your own “smart projects” in just minutes.  No coding required!  Simply drag and drop.

Do you have any processes that you’d like to build a solution for?  Maybe MESH is something useful for the project you are working on.

There is a wealth of information about this new kit here.  Sets are available to order for $119 and above. Delivery of the first kits is estimated for May. View the video below for a guide to some of MESH’s key features.

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Ever think about the machines behind the machines?  I really hadn’t given it much thought myself – until I stumbled on this particular announcement about a machine that performs laser deposition welding and precision milling.  What’s so great about it?

“By combining both, additive manufacturing via powder nozzle and the traditional cutting method in one machine, totally new applications and geometries are possible. Especially large workpieces with high stock removal volumes are now possible to be machined in an economical way.”

Read more on the actual product specs here:  LASERTEC 65 3D

Having made its debut at IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) 2014, the new machine by DMG Mori was pulled straight off the line from its Davis California plant – machines, the company says, that are “made in the USA for the USA.”  Read the pre-announcement about the product at American Machinist.

DMG Mori

Part 3-D printer, part machine tool, the Lasertec 65 3D can produce parts in steel, nickel and cobalt alloys, brass or titanium.  (Photo Credit: americanmachinist.com)

 

And, it you’re not convinced that this is a way cool technology – watch the video on Gizmodo!

If this stuff fascinates you, check out job opps at DMG Mori by clicking here:  DMG Mori logo

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April 3rd, 2015
5:26
 

Population growth and over-reliance on resources that have ‘given us all they’ve got’ has caused overcrowding and problems the world over that have created shortages of many kinds – lack of materials, poor nutrition, healthcare & medicine being unavailable – you name it!  Here is a story concerning the Asian sector of the globe about the need for better methods that will serve to help people and the environment!

Asian countries urged

 

to plan for sustainable

 

urbanization

 

Urbanization drives Asia’s position as an economic powerhouse, but for this growth to be sustainable, careful planning is being urged to create more resilient cities that are not only resource-efficient, but also promote quality of life.”

 

Shell brought around 300 leading thinkers together for its 2015 Powering Progress Together Asia forum in Manila, Philippines, on February 26 to discuss how each sector of society can help cities become more resilient and liveable in the face of rapid urbanisation and resource pressures.  Click the pic to visit the site and learn about the forum!

Crowded street

Here are a couple of sites for the companies mentioned in the article posted on Inquirer.net that you should visit if you are interested in getting involved with Smarter Planet Planning for better urban life around the world:

Xyntéo: “Xyntéo’s mission is to reinvent growth.”

The Manila Observatory: “At the turn of the 21st century, the Observatory finds itself at the nexus of global concerns for environment and development.”

Shell Corporation: “At Shell, we use human ingenuity, innovation and technology to unlock the energy our customers need to power their lives in the years ahead, while aiming to limit our impact on the environment.”

Is there work that you’re doing along these lines?  Will you propose the next great system or technology that pushes urbanization to the new levels needed to keep our planet humming along?  There’s much to do – be a part of it!

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