Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
other possible programs

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!

Bookmark and Share

The concept is a rolling classroom; its purpose is to bring hands-on tech education to classrooms and build interest in students for science and math as fun subjects.

Where there’s a spark, there’s a flame – and the blaze is growing!!  This Stanford University (California, USA) rolling classroom is reaching both students and teachers alike…

Read about their beginnings and their continuing journey here:

SparkTruck

 

And if you’re inspired by their success, maybe this is a project you and your fellow students will want to take on at your university!  Click the pic for a guide…

image

 

Where will you roll?

Bookmark and Share

Kodak logos  For many, many years, this company name was widely known.  The name was synonymous with picture taking.  They revolutionized an industry.  Then things began to change and film cameras were no longer in the hands of every person on the planet.  (insert violins playing sadly here…) We’d gone – gasp – digital!  And Kodak was facing a precipice from which there might be no survival…

There were plans to move to digital consumer cameras, but the cash Kodak made on traditional photography made it complacent.  There always seemed to be time.  By 2001, even before smartphone cameras, film sales started to fall by 20 to 30 percent every year.

 

Then came bankruptcy filing. Most people don’t even realize Kodak is still in business.  But, quietly, they’ve been working to resuscitate their corpus from its labored breathing and they are looking at tech they shelved in their past to move them forward.

In a warren of basement labs, some of the 300 scientists and engineers who work for Mr. Taber [a veteran of 34 years with Kodak] are studying nanoparticle wonder inks, cheap sensors that can be embedded in packaging to indicate whether meats or medicines have spoiled, and touch screens that could make smartphones cheaper.

What happens after a tech company is left for dead but the people left behind refuse to give up the fight? At Kodak the answer is to dig deep into a legacy of innovation in the photography business and see if its remaining talent in optics and chemistry can be turned into new money in other industries.

 

Although the article I’ve linked here is lengthy, this is really worth reading – take the time to do more than a quick scan.  Consider what lessons you can learn from this article.  And can you apply those lessons to help yourself and others achieve a Smarter Planet?

 

At Kodak, Clinging to

 

a Future Beyond Film

 

 

So…although their logo may have evolved over time, the company itself didn’t keep up.  The surviving employees are hoping that they can change all that now and re-emerge as a well-known and respected brand once more.

 

 

 

Bookmark and Share
October 3rd, 2014
2:54
 

Or at the very least, inspire change for the better in some capacity?  While you should aim to ‘make your mark’ on a global scale, sometimes starting small makes sense – take into consideration financial constraints and that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.  But, don’t stop dreaming on a large scale!  Every idea that comes to fruition began with a dream…

Here’s an event being held in October in the U.S. that is worth investigating (click the pic for full details). 

 

BBC World Changing Ideas

 Speakers are to include:

  • Professor Mary “Missy” Cummings, Director of Humans and Autonomy Laboratory, Duke University
  • Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
  • Julius Genachowski, Former Chairman, FCC
  • Alexis Ohanian, Partner, Y Combinator and Co-founder, reddit
  • Alfred Spector, Vice President of Research, Google

 

NOTE: I’m aware it’s a pricey event for a Grad Student.  If you aren’t able to attend, you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter!

Bookmark and Share
June 12th, 2014
11:00
 

NEW Students for a Smarter Planet Award
One more option to get funds for your school: use IBM’s new cloud platform, IBM Bluemix™, to write an application to improve the world in some way that you make freely available.  The app needs to be related to any smarter planet theme, and should be connected to your school work – helping to build your skills. Write it, make it available, and apply for $1,000 award for your school to use to celebrate your achievement.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to this category Subscribe to other possible programs

 
ChatClick here to chat!+