Arts & Bots Mentioned in CNN Article

Sue Mellon's robotic poetry class was used as an example of what education should look like in an opinion article about robotics and STEM education.

From the middle of the article:
"Instruction ends up looking different than your father's science class, as evidenced by the robotics poetry class offered at one innovative Pennsylvania middle school."

Check out the full article here:
More info about the robotic poetry class:
Example bots: here and here 

We the Geeks

Arts & Bots was recently highlighted in a White House "We the Geeks" Google+ Hangout on robots. Matthew Mason, the director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, showed off the King Tut bot and explained how robots can be used in an educational setting.

Skip to 6:00 to see the bot in action.

More about this Hangout can be found here.

Arts & Bots in the News

The public availability of the Hummingbird Kit through BirdBrain technologies is a big step towards increasing the impact of Arts & Bots and promoting the use of robotics as tools for creative expression and exploration. We look forward to continuing to work with our wonderful partners and meeting even more educators interested in particpating in our ongoing research activities.

Since the release, Arts & Bots has been discussed by a number of news organizations, magazines and prominent blogs. We've included information on a few articles below.

Thanks to all of the educators and community partners who made this project so successful!

On Engadget: 

Hummingbird is a 'pre-Arduino' for kids

“It's never too early to get kids into robot building -- or so goes the thought process behind this nectar-loving kit. At its center is a custom controller that can be used to manipulate a slew of different sensors, motors and lights, a number of which are included in the box.”

On WESA 90.5 (Pittsburgh's NPR News Station): 

Arts, Crafts, & Robots: New Kit Brings Technology to Classrooms

“Teachers in any classroom can infuse robotics into commonplace arts and crafts materials to make sculptures that move, talk, and even sense objects — for example, a green cardboard dragon that chomps at any hand that gets too close, or a replica of the Star Wars robot R2D2 that slides and chirps just like its namesake. It’s meant to inject creativity into the sometimes dry process of programming robots, according to Hummingbird co-creator and Carnegie Mellon University robotics professor Illah Nourbakhsh.”

On Fast Company: 

Hummingbird: An Educational Robotics Kit Designed To Get Girls Into Engineering

“Most educational robotics kits focus on building robots, but Hummingbird treats robotics as one element combined with craft materials and text to communicate thoughts, feelings, or ideas. […] Teachers whose students have experimented with the kit say it fosters interest in technology among students ages 11 and up.”


Kit turns kiddie art into robots

“Hummingbird differs from robotic kits available at toy stores where the focus is on building a specific robot; rather it comes with a control board along with lights, sensors, and motors that you use to roboticize your art project. This incorporation step is thought to make robotics more meaningful and useful to the user.”

 On IEEE Spectrum:

Every Kid Needs One of These DIY Robotics Kits

“Now, although this is called a "kit," it's not like there's instructions that tell you what to build. It's the best kind of robot kit: the kind where you use your imagination and some creativity to build a robot of your very own. You might need some additional structural components (like cardboard), but beyond that, all it takes is a good idea to make whatever you want, which (in essence) iswhat's so great about robots in general. ”

On DesignNews:

Kit Turns Arts & Crafts Into Robots

"An educational robotics kit developed at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute is fostering an interest in technology that goes a step beyond simply putting supplied parts together."

On NetworkWorld:

Arts & crafts & robots

“The Hummingbird offering from BirdBrain Technologies costs $200 and uses a drag-and-drop user interface that requires no programming experience on the part of the user. The kit (which includes components such as a controller, power supply, cables and senors) can convert artwork made from paper and cardboard into creations that move or display lights based on sensors. More elaborate creations have included a working replica of Star Wars' R2D2.”

On GizMag:

Hummingbird kit lets children design their own functioning robot 

"Children generally love to create art and are fascinated by robots, so what if there was a way for them to turn their art projects into robots? Well, there is. [...]Unlike some other educational robotics kits, in which people simply follow instructions to build a specific robot, Hummingbird is intended to foster a DIY spirit in its users."

On Treehugger:

Hummingbird Kit Combines Crafts with Robotics for School Kids

"It's amazing to think about students becoming this familiar with the functions of and potential for technology. Students can learn how electronics can sense what's happening in the environment and react to it, and as the kit is tied in to crafts and imagination, who knows what creative and helpful ideas will come out of classroom projects. The Hummingbird kit seems like an amazing tool for teaching our next generation of scientists, and inspiring creative uses for what technology is available. It'd be great to see a school host a science faire themed on technology helping the environment, using Hummingbird kits!"

On RoboticsBible:

Build your own art robot with Hummingbird kit

"Hummingbird is an educational kit that allows children or adults to turn their lovely arts or crafts into a functional robot within hours. This excellent stuff was developed byBirdBrain Technologies, a spinoff company of Carnegie Mellon University. The goal of this invention is to make the children to develop technologies rather than using it."

Original CMU Press Release:

Roboticize Your World: Educational Kit Can Turn Artwork and Crafts Into Robots

"The results often amount to kinetic sculptures that use sensors to detect changes in their environment and respond with movement and/or light displays. A cardboard dragon that turns its head and tries to bite anyone who comes close is one example. Students in West Virginia built a working replica of Star Wars' R2D2."



Hummingbirds are here!

We've just received our first batch of 250 production Hummingbird
kits! Here's some pictures of the giant boxes they came in, the final
Hummingbird controller, and the kit contents (attached to the
controller). Each kit contains:

1 Hummingbird controller
1 6' USB A to mini-B Cable
1 5V/2A Motor power supply
4 HS-311 Servos
2 DC Gear Motors
2 Vibration Motors
8 Single color LEDs (2 each of red, amber, yellow, green)
2 Tri-color LEDs
1 Distance sensor
1 Light sensor
1 Temperature sensor
1 Knob
1 Sound sensor
1 Resistor+wires to make your own sensor (for example, a play-dough sensor)

We're very much looking forward to seeing how these get used!

New Name: Arts & Bots

Robot Diaries will be going by a new name: Arts & Bots. The project has grown beyond the original diary concept and Arts & Bots better describes the components of the project today. The transition may take a little while as we're still getting used to the new name ourselves, but expect to see more "Arts & Bots" in the future.