Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Education

In case you missed this feature in April on IBM’s People for a Smarter Planet Facebook page…there’s news in the Smarter Toys world!   Educational play is still a hot topic, and the stakes are being raised with the help of some innovative uses of today’s Cognitive tech…

Check out the coverage in Forbes -

Meet The Talking Dinosaur

That’s Changing How Kids Play And Learn

 

Talking dinosaur toy

 

And IBM’s own announcements -

Podcast: THE TALKING DINO THAT’S TURNING THE TOY BIZ ON ITS EAR

Facebook post April 10, 2015: https://www.facebook.com/peopleforasmarterplanet?fref=nf

Kinda’ makes me regret being ‘all grown up’, but gives me some great ideas for birthday gifts for my little relatives…

 

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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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Although most of us are, at all times, peripherally aware of the food shortages around the world, there are those who are constantly addressing the needs of the hungry.  Charities, governments, and individuals make concerted efforts to alleviate the challenge of feeding the globe’s inhabitants.  Here are a few links to stimulate your thoughts on what you may be able to contribute through your own work…

Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system. —Bill Mollison

 

From The GuardianPermaculture in Malawi: using food forests to prevent floods and hunger

 

From The African Moringa and Permaculture project: Food Forests, an idea pioneered by permaculture, draw upon the examples provided by natural native forests and carefully incorporate non-aggressive exotic varieties.

Permaculture

 

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May 14th, 2015
8:14
 

We made a small video explaining what the project is and some screenshots of what the final outcome of the project will look like. The video also gives details about our approach and the use of crowd sourcing in building our custom data set.

More details about the current work going on and the challenges we faced will be posted soon!

Please find the concept video at the below link.

Concept Video

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Ever have the desire to roam the globe, meet new people and live among them – learning about their cultures and histories?  While not everyone is interested in hitching a backpack onto their shoulders and trekking remote areas by foot, there are opportunities to be a world traveler even without an endless supply of cash.  For those who want to learn about reusing and re-purposing materials in a non-prescribed manner, this may be of interest to you…

Field Experiments is a nomadic design collective that explores traditional crafts by engaging in collaborative making with local craftspeople in diverse regions around the world.

 

Field Experiments in partnership with MFA Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts in New York, is running a summer design camp in Bali!   (June 1-9,2015)  With a focus on transnational and interdisciplinary exchange, the camp is open to undergraduate and graduate students, along with practitioners from any field of design, located anywhere in the world.

Those who attend will participate in a hands-on exploration into new design perspectives around thinking, making and culture – immersing themselves with local artisans and crafts. The camp explores and emphasizes alternative models for using design; as a tool to learn about culture and people; as a way to build cross-cultural appreciation and understanding; and as a mode of mass communication, opposed to mass production, to share narratives and tell stories.

The cost is $3500USD. This includes all accommodation, meals, most materials, ground transport and field trips.  Flights to and from Bali are not included.  Please come! Places are super limited, so if interested emailproductsofdesign@sva.edu

While this particular trip may not be for you, take a look at the website… it may inspire your next great design or help you improve an aspect of a project already in progress.  Creativity comes in all forms!!

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