16-year-old wins Marvel’s STEM challenge with seeing eye robot

May 20, 2016 by  
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Seeing eye dogs make great companions for the visually impaired, but what if there was one that didn’t need to be fed or cleaned up after? Sixteen-year-old Maia Dua created one: a seeing eye robot  that can do everything a dog can, without the expensive and lengthy training. Her invention beat out a thousand other entries to win Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War — Girls Performing the Future Challenge . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AryhbCZqgYs The California high school student was inspired to create a robotic aid for the visually impaired after she heard about the high cost of raising and training seeing eye dogs . Compared to the $50,000 expense of breeding and training seeing eye dogs, and then connecting them with visually impaired owners, Dua’s invention costs just $600. She built her robot in four days, a tiny fraction of the time it takes to train a companion animal . Related: Teen wins $100,000 for new water purification system to remove Everglades pollutants The wheeled robot has a long handle and looks a bit like those non-electric carpet sweepers used at movie theaters. The device is equipped with a series of sensors that detect nearing objects and beeps to alert the user. The seeing eye robot can’t replace a trained animal companion, as it lacks the ability to scope out a situation and make decisions (such as at a crosswalk). However, in simple surroundings, the robot can give a hardworking dog a much needed break. The design competition, open only to girls aged 15 to 18 enrolled in 10th to 12th grades, awarded each participant with a $500 savings account from sponsor Synchrony Bank. Dua, the grand prize winner, won an internship at Marvel Studios. Although the contest backers advertised the challenge as a means to empower girls in STEM fields, critics say Marvel (a Disney-owned company) would have had a greater impact by simply putting more female characters in their movies. Via Yahoo Images via Marvel Studios and KCRA

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16-year-old wins Marvel’s STEM challenge with seeing eye robot

Trump says he wants to "renegotiate" the global climate accord

May 20, 2016 by  
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In case you weren’t already terrified of the prospect of Donald Trump winning the election, a new Reuters interview revealed yet another reason for concern: Trump has made it clear he has no qualms about potentially sabotaging last December’s historic climate deal. In the interview, he stated, “I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else.” The deal is the first time in nearly twenty years that the world’s nations have been able to agree on a unified plan to combat climate change. Needless to say, the US pulling out or altering their commitments after the deal has been made could spell disaster. Trump’s reasons for potentially pulling out of the deal are simple — he claims he doesn’t trust other nations, particularly China , to hold up their end of the agreement. This claim is especially bizarre given China’s recent commitment to shutting down its coal-fired power plants, drastically increasing its renewables market, and expanding its nature conservation efforts. Of course, perhaps this is exactly what we should expect from a man who once tweeted that the concept of climate change is a Chinese hoax invented “to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” While Trump has promised to do his best to undo the most significant progress we’ve made to combat global warming, chances are he’ll face an uphill battle. As the Washington Post points out , it’s possible the agreement will be completely ratified before the next president can even take office, in which case Trump would be forced to comply with the agreement for the next four years. Related: Trump taps climate denier, fossil fuels advocate as energy adviser In fact, the agreement was drafted specifically with this type of scenario in mind, and designed to endure the changing of political administrations in member countries. An unnamed state official interviewed by the Guardian agreed with this assessment, and also added that even if Trump were to pull out of the Paris deal, US businesses are already well on the path to a lower-carbon economy and the US would still meet its carbon goals. However, even if his threats aren’t likely to be carried out, they’re important to keep in mind in the run-up to the election. Via Reuters Images via  Gage Skidmore

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Trump says he wants to "renegotiate" the global climate accord

Japanese Company Develops a Robot Guide Dog

November 8, 2011 by  
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The Japanese company NSK has developed a guide dog that uses a Microsoft Kinect sensor to visualize the world around it and lead its owner out of danger. The dog glides around on four legs that have wheels attached to them instead of feet, and when it senses an obstacle it begins to climb. Using its hinged legs, the pooch climbs up and down stairs — albeit very slowly — with its charge following safely behind guided by a handle attached to the back of the dog. Watch a video of the robotic feat after the jump. Read the rest of Japanese Company Develops a Robot Guide Dog Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: green gadgets , green robot , green technology , nsk , robot , seeing eye , seeing eye dog , seeing eye robot , sustainable robot

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Japanese Company Develops a Robot Guide Dog

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