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Google Acquires Seven Robot Companies, Wants to Play a Big Role in Robotics

Google Acquires Seven Robot Companies, Wants to Play a Big Role in Robotics | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it

A few months ago, Andy Rubin, the engineer who spearheaded the development of Android at Google, initiated a new robotics effort at the company. Rubin, who is personally interested in robots, now wants Google to have a major role in making new kinds of robotics happen. Not just robotic cars, but actual real robots. A recent article in the New York Times has revealed more about Google's plans. According to the article, Google is funding a major new robotics group, and that includes acquiring a bunch of robotics startups:

 

Among the companies are Schaft, a small team of Japanese roboticists who recently left Tokyo University to develop a humanoid robot, and Industrial Perception, a start-up here that has developed computer vision systems and robot arms for loading and unloading trucks. Also acquired were Meka and Redwood Robotics, makers of humanoid robots and robot arms in San Francisco, and Bot & Dolly, a maker of robotic camera systems that were recently used to create special effects in the movie “Gravity.” A related firm, Autofuss, which focuses on advertising and design, and Holomni, a small design firm that makes high-tech wheels, were acquired as well.

 


The seven companies are capable of creating technologies needed to build a mobile, dexterous robot. Mr. Rubin said he was pursuing additional acquisitions.

 

 

Some brief highlights:

Schaft is one of the Track A teams participating in the DARPA Robotics Challenge with their own custom robot based on the HRP-2.Industrial Perception spun out of Willow Garage back in March of 2012; read our Startup Spotlight post on them here.Meka Robotics builds research robots with series elastic actuators in them; they're probably best known for the M1 humanoid (pictured above in front of the Google logo) and Dreamer, which you can read about here.Redwood Robotics is (was) a collaboration between Willow Garage, SRI, and Meka that was supposedly designing a very low cost robotic arm. We've been asking around and haven't heard much for the last year or so, maybe now we know why.And of course, there's Bot & Dolly, which uses robot arms for precise and repeatable camera control, making things way more awesome than "precise and repeatable camera control" probably makes you think of.

 

Obviously, we're curious about what other acquisitions Rubin is pursuing, and more generally, just what Google is actually working on. Fortunately for us, the Google robotics group will at least initially be based right here in Palo Alto, meaning that I'll get a chance to put my spy drones and ninja outfit to good use.


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Antonio Marcos Alberti's curator insight, December 12, 2013 3:02 PM

A guess: probably, they are looking for hardware to implement the embodiment of their AI solutions - mainly being designed by Kurzweil. 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, December 12, 2013 3:08 PM

It's too soon to think Terminator, Matrix, and "I, Robot" - but not too soon to see a trend developing to make robots a reality in our daily lives, beyond that of manufacturing. ~  D 

Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, December 12, 2013 11:44 PM

THE SINGULARITY IS GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING
Supercomputing requires math, thinking skills, algebra and computational thinking and an awareness of gateways to computing. New technologies require rethinking the use of technology Cyberlearning does that for transformational learning.
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Why women won't code is topic of new documentary

Why women won't code is topic of new documentary | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
Documentary filmmaker Robin Hauser Reynolds new movie, 'CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap,' looks at why women often are moved to dismiss computer science careers at great risk to our economic future

Via Paul Herring
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Paul Herring's curator insight, March 31, 7:27 PM

Reynolds: an "ambient belonging" problem. - "That's simply being in a place where you see no role models, and since you cannot be what you cannot see, you often give up"

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nanotechnology | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYB...

nanotechnology | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYB... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
This collection contains a selection of content from NG Education about nanotechnology. Use search to find more.
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Enhancing Learning Through Differentiated Technology

Enhancing Learning Through Differentiated Technology | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
Three tech tools -- SAS Curriculum Pathways, Newsela, and EDpuzzle -- can help differentiate instruction by showing where students are and offering appropriate formative assessment.
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Learn Code for What? Keeping Students at the Ce...

Learn Code for What? Keeping Students at the Ce... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
With all the hype about teaching kids to code, we must be careful not to forget the core aspect of any education movement: the kids.
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Computational Thinking, Learning Skills, 6Cs, a...

Computational Thinking, Learning Skills, 6Cs, a... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
I've been doing some extensive reading on this somewhat new term called Computational Thinking (thanks @cordym!) by Jeannette Wing. She testifies that Computational Thinking represents 21st century...
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How Google is Leading the Charge on Teaching Kids to Code (EdSurge News)

How Google is Leading the Charge on Teaching Kids to Code (EdSurge News) | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
Back in July, one of EdSurge's coding-themed articles went viral. It told the story of the genesis of Google's CS First initiative--a program designed by a team of educators and computer scientists to get students interested in coding through afterschool and summer programs, but at a very low cost.

Via Paul Herring
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Paul Herring's curator insight, March 30, 11:42 PM

"As of March 20, the number of students engaging in CS First clubs has hit the 27,000 mark across five continents--70% of which are females and/or minorities."

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Teach Your Kids to Code: 6 Beginner's Resources...

Teach Your Kids to Code: 6 Beginner's Resources... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
Blogger Matt Davis has collected some helpful resources parents can use to help their kids start learning about computer programming.
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Learn Code for What? Keeping Students at the Center of the Coding Movement (EdSurge News)

Learn Code for What? Keeping Students at the Center of the Coding Movement (EdSurge News) | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
With all the hype about teaching kids to code, we must be careful not to forget the core aspect of any education movement: the kids.
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EARCOS Teachers Conference 2015 | COMPUTATIONAL...

EARCOS Teachers Conference 2015 | COMPUTATIONAL... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
UbD Planner: Robotics and Coding in Kindergarten View in Google Docs: Robotics and Coding in Kindergarten Robotics and Coding at TAS **Note: This will always be a working document. To view the late...
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Coding and creativity could conquer the digital...

Coding and creativity could conquer the digital... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
The first panel of the +SocialGood UK conference in London discussed getting girls and youth more involved in coding to tackle the digital divide.
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The Neurology of Gaming - Online Universities.com

The Neurology of Gaming - Online Universities.com | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
Video games can be used to educate through repetition and feedback, but they can also have some less-than-positive side effects. Learn about how video games can improve the educational experience as well as hinder it.

Via JackieGerstein Ed.D.
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Choosing a Summer Coding Camp That's Right for Your Kids - EdSurge

Choosing a Summer Coding Camp That's Right for Your Kids - EdSurge | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
As the hours of sunshine increase and the dark days of standardized testing wind down, the end of the school year is nigh. And you know what that means: summer camp!
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Learn Coding, 21st Century Fluencies and The Mathematical Process With Robot School

Learn Coding, 21st Century Fluencies and The Mathematical Process With Robot School | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
In this article I would like to explore a new coding app called Robot School from Next is Great (@nextisgreat). What hooked me immediately was how this app teachings kids to block code, but then sh...
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Adobe Creative Class - YouTube

Narration by Kyle Cooper of Prologue Films. Video collaboration between Melcher Media, Prologue and Erik Natzke of Adobe for Adobe MAX 2013 rallies the creat...
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Awesome!!

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nanotechnology

nanotechnology | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
This collection contains a selection of content from NG Education about nanotechnology. Use search to find more.
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Awesome resources to explore.

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Teach Your Kids to Code: 6 Beginner's Resources...

Teach Your Kids to Code: 6 Beginner's Resources... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
Blogger Matt Davis has collected some helpful resources parents can use to help their kids start learning about computer programming.
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Google Code Jam 2015 | Computational Thinking I...

Google Code Jam 2015 | Computational Thinking I... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
It's that time again, Code Jam 2015 Registration is now open! Make sure you register between now and the end of the Qualification Round by clicking on the blue 'Participate' button to the right.
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Martin Stimming: Homage to Digital Creativity

Hamburg-based producer Stimming has become a star in the European electronic music scene. In his live gigs, the audio engineer stuns his audience with improvised compositions, using hand-made...

Via Sue Myburgh, Mark E. Deschaine Ph.D.
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Science on a Sphere

Science on a Sphere | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
Science on a Sphere at GSFC VC
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     NASA Goddard Visitor Center: Science on a Sphere 

 

Science on a Sphere displaying imagery of the Western Hemisphere. This mesmerizing visualization system developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uses computers and video projectors to display animated data on the outside of a suspended, 6-foot diameter, white sphere. Four strategically placed projectors work in unison to coat the sphere with data such as "3-D surface of the Earth and Nighttime Lights," "Moon and Mars" and "X-ray Sun."

 

Built as a vehicle for education and public outreach programs, "Science on a Sphere" targets three audiences: walk in visitors and scheduled event participants, students and teachers participating in formal education exercises, and science professionals who use the system as a platform to share their work with the science community.

Goddard's "Science on a Sphere" video library includes a vast array of visualizations and animations, as well as the following produced films.

 

This Science on a Sphere is in many locations around the world. Google it to find one near you or write a grant to get it in your learning space.

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Computational Thinking, Learning Skills, 6Cs, and 4Ps - Why Teach Coding?

Computational Thinking, Learning Skills, 6Cs, and 4Ps - Why Teach Coding? | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
I've been doing some extensive reading on this somewhat new term called Computational Thinking (thanks @cordym!) by Jeannette Wing. She testifies that Computational Thinking represents 21st century...

Via Paul Herring
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Carry on Learning: Winky Think - computational ...

Carry on Learning: Winky Think - computational ... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
Do I usually send you #EYFS app reviews @kvnmcl? I've been playing Winky Think-goodd for computational thinking http://t.co/907UXq8kQN
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Computational Thinking, the Critical Skill of 2...

Computational Thinking, the Critical Skill of 2... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
““Computational thinking will be a fundamental skill used by everyone in the world by the middle of the 21st Century.
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New Minecraft Mod Teaches You Code as You Play ...

New Minecraft Mod Teaches You Code as You Play ... | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
Like many nine-year-olds, Stanley Strum spends a lot of time building things in Minecraft, the immersive game that lets your create your own mini-universe. The game has many tools.
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The Science (and Practice) of Creativity

The Science (and Practice) of Creativity | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
When schools nurture student creativity, they foster inquisitiveness, persistence, imagination, discipline, and collaboration, leading to improved classroom behavior, motivation, attendance, and academic attainment.
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Carry on Learning: Winky Think - computational thinking in EYFS

Carry on Learning: Winky Think - computational thinking in EYFS | COMPUTATIONAL THINKING and CYBERLEARNING | Scoop.it
Do I usually send you #EYFS app reviews @kvnmcl?
I've been playing Winky Think-goodd for computational thinking http://t.co/907UXq8kQN
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