Saturday, April 9, 2011

Field Trip to NASA

My daughter's seventh grade class just went on a field trip to NASA,  Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. I was one of the chaperons and I think I had more fun there than the kids! I got some great souvenirs, which included a NASA cup (established 1958 - same year as me!), and a patch.

While we were there, we saw lots of cool stuff. I saw the Robonaut, a humanoid torso, developed to help astronauts with assembly in hazardous conditions. I also got to see what the called a spider which is a multi-legged crawler for surface exploration of other worlds. What a great trip. Thanks Mrs. T! See some web photos of each below.

(NASA's Robonaut - developed with GM)

(NASA's Spider)

Robotics' Merit Badge

The Boy Scouts of American have added a Robotics' Merit Badge to their more than 120 badges. It will be announced officially at National Robotics' Week. The new badge promotes learning in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM.

Ken Berry, who helped developed the requirements for the robotics' merit badge said, "There's a low floor and high ceiling with regard to robotics. It is very easy to get into, and you can go a long, long way."

The image on the merit badge is of the Mars Rover and was used with NASA's permission.

According to Ken Gracey, Vice President at Parallax, Inc., the Boe-Bot , which many of you have seen repeatedly on this blog, is a qualified robotics' kit for the new merit badge.

Friday, April 1, 2011

S2 Robot: Updates and Features

Parallax's new S2 Robot is fantastic. I've been playing with mine for a while and have not posted nearly enough about it. Here is great intro from Jessica at Parallax. Enjoy!