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Education

The Hummingbird kit allows children to turn their art projects into moving, interactive ro...

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. Carnegie Mellon University spin-off company BirdBrain Technologies has introduced the Hummingbird kit, which contains everything kids (or adults) need to add powered movement and interactivity to their dragons, kitties or spaceships.  Read More

The Fretlight learning system uses LED lighting to show students finger placement on a gui...

I have to admit to a tinge of sadness as I report that both of the LED learning sleeve for guitar projects we featured back in April have so far failed to appear. Development of both projects is said to be continuing but Tabber withdrew its presence on Kickstarter after only two weeks to regroup and improve the product and the LED Sleeve didn't make its funding target. Fortunately, there is an existing system called Fretlight that uses lights embedded in the neck to show would-be players exactly when and where to place fingers on a fingerboard. The recent addition of the rather attractive FG-461 PRO electric guitar to the range offered the perfect opportunity to take a closer look.  Read More

LazyTruth is an app that searches your inbox for untruthful viral emails, and provides you...

Pretty much everyone has that one wide-eyed person in their lives who is constantly forwarding them emails about things like airplanes that disperse mind-control drugs, maniacs who hide under parked cars, and major corporations that are run by Satanists. While you may think about setting these people straight – and thereby helping to quell the online flood of malarkey – it can be a hassle finding the proper information to send them. That’s where the LazyTruth inbox widget comes in.  Read More

Engineering student Brady Morton uses the winch device to ascend a tower

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory wants to find a better way for airmen to scale tall structures or rock faces, so it did what just about anyone seeking new ideas does these days – it held a contest. Its 2012 Service Academy and University Engineering Challenge saw teams from 17 universities and three service academies showing off their wall-scaling systems, earlier this month at Wright State University’s Calamityville tactical laboratory in Fairborn, Ohio. One of the teams, from Utah’s Brigham Young University, devised an impressive system that was inspired directly by Batman’s grappling hook-shooting, power winch-equipped gun.  Read More

Ergo Electronics has launched two new color e-Readers at this week's London Book Fair, tog...

Reading for pleasure among today's youngsters simply cannot compete with the temptations of readily available immersive gaming, online networking and HD movie entertainment. According to a report by the Every Child a Chance Trust, shortcomings in child literacy are said to cost the taxpayer an estimated £2.5 billion (nearly US$4 billion) per year in England alone. Ergo Electronics has responded to the electronic reading needs of children by launching two new color e-Reader solutions, an Android reading app and a parent/child reading campaign at the London Book Fair, which runs from April 16 to 18 at the capital's Earls Court.  Read More

Having previously predicted a March launch, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has finally announ...

Welcome news, finally, for the Raspberry Pi-watchers out there. Having previously predicted a March launch, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has finally announced that batches of the US$25 Linux computer are finally being delivered to customers.  Read More

Both Tabber (shown) and the LED Sleeve propose using lights to show guitar learners where ...

Guitar tablature is a powerful form of musical notation, where learners are shown where to place a finger on the neck of an instrument, and in what order. Such things as timing, note duration and playing force are not given, so unless a student knows or has access to a recorded version of the song being learned, the result may be somewhat different from what the composer intended. Usefully, such missing elements can be included in software like Guitar Pro to show users exactly how a song should be played. Two projects have now appeared on crowd-funding portal Kickstarter that take this idea and put it directly onto the guitar, so that learners won't need to keep switching views from screen to instrument. Tabber and the LED Sleeve guide players to the correct finger positions via LED lights on the neck.  Read More

Arturo’s Desert Eagle, being air-lifted to its release altitude

At a length of 45 feet (13.7 meters), a wingspan of 24 feet (7.3 m), and a weight of 800 pounds (363 kg), Arturo’s Desert Eagle is claimed to be the largest paper airplane ever made. Its design was based on that of a much smaller paper airplane, created by 12 year-old Arturo Valdenegro of Tucson, Arizona. Valdenegro was the winner of a contest held by the Pima Air & Space Museum, in which children competed to see whose airplane could fly the farthest. A team of engineers proceeded to recreate his winning plane on a grand scale, and last week managed to fly it after releasing it from a helicopter over the Arizona desert.  Read More

Dhairya Dand's prototype ThinkerToys are edutainment modules designed to put functional e-...

Electronic waste is a huge global problem, and its often devastating impact on our environment is not going to lessen any time soon – in fact, it's predicted to get worse. Faced with a panorama of mountainous e-waste when passing an immense landfill site in suburban Phnom Penh, Cambodia and seeing young children working there instead of going to school, a researcher at Keio-NUS CUTE Center and Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore came up with a novel idea to help tackle both issues. His plan involves creating simple and cheap-to-produce edutainment kit modules that could be shipped out to those unfortunate areas of the world where e-waste is transported for disposal, where they would be paired up with discarded but functional tech such as PS/2 keyboards and mice, speakers and old CRT monitors.  Read More

The SpikerBox is a scientific educational device, that lets you listen to the neural activ...

Neurons, the nerve cells that send and receive electrical signals within the body, are one of those things that most of us probably don’t give a lot of thought to. Educational entrepreneurs Timothy Marzullo and Gregory Gage, however, think about them a lot. They think about them so much, in fact, that they’ve designed a gadget that lets anyone listen to the neural electrical activity of bugs, and conduct a series of interesting experiments. It’s called the SpikerBox, and oh yeah – in order to use it, you have to take the leg off of a cockroach.  Read More

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