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Programming

The Raspberry Pi Model B+ offers some key improvements for the same price as the original ...

The Raspberry Pi was designed to put an affordable computer into the hands of young programers. Since then, it has gone on to be used in all kinds of interesting projects, and has even found its place in the home of casual users as a media center. Now, the team is launching a new model called the Raspberry Pi Model B+, which brings some key improvements to the hardware while keeping the same US$35 price tag.  Read More

LEVAN learns by associating words with images

Word-picture association is one of the basic mechanisms of human memory. As children, it helps us to learn language by verbalizing what we see, as adults it is an invaluable aid to visualizing broader concepts or perhaps helping those with an LBLD (Language-Based Learning Disability). Now researchers from the University of Washington and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence have created the first fully automated computer program named LEVAN that teaches itself everything there is to know about a visual concept by associating words with images.  Read More

The Kibo robot kit from KinderLab Robotics

KinderLab Robotics has launched a new robot building and programming platform called Kibo that's designed for youngsters from 4 years and up. After customizing and personalizing a two-wheeled base unit, the kids can tell the robot what they want it to do by grabbing some colorful wooden blocks, putting them in order according to a specific function and scanning their bar codes into the base in sequence. Pressing a button will then start the program running and the robot creation springs to life.  Read More

The LittleBits Arduino Bundle

Last year, my daughter and I had the opportunity to try out Littlebits – magnetic circuits that make it easy for kids to create a variety of simple projects – for a few weeks. She's been talking about it ever since. Now the company is offering a new Arduino module that allows kids to not just make cool circuits, but to program them too.  Read More

SkyJack was made from a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 like the one pictured here

Amazon's Prime Air announcement last week brought concerns about the use of commercial drones to the fore, but one programmer may have just muddied the waters even more. Notable hacker Samy Kamkar recently modified a Parrot AR.Drone 2 with his custom software, called SkyJack, allowing it to seek out the wireless signals of other UAVs and take control of them, even while in flight.  Read More

The Kano computer kit makes learning programming concepts painless (Photo: Kano)

Billed as "the computer anyone can make," the US$99 Kano kit supplies a Raspberry Pi computer board with the various accouterments (save for a display) required to make it into a complete computer. The Kano programming language uses graphic code blocks to implement a simple but powerful language reminiscent of BASIC.  Read More

Tynker for Home 16 week programming course for kids

The skills involved in programming are in many ways a lesson in life. Coding requires both logical and creative thinking which in turn leads to a greater ability to solve problems. Technology is shaping our world and our future and understanding computers and coding is an integral part of that future. Tynker, a California based education company aims to teach your kids programming using a visual platform and is targeting 8-14 year olds with a 16 week course that promises both fun and learning.  Read More

X-RHex-Light shows off its obstacle beating agility

Parkour is all about hurling yourself quickly and efficiently past whatever obstacles are in your path while maintaining as much momentum as possible. It's a challenge for humans, so how would robots fare? In an effort to push the boundaries of robotic agility, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania decided to find out by teaching their RHex robot some Parkour moves.  Read More

Pingtime: Ping Pong augmented (Video still: videogram)

If, like me, you've always found ping pong a little lacking in flashing lights, Pingtime, an augmented reality project created for the 2013 Rokolectiv Festival in Bucharest, may just take your fancy. Conceived by Sergiu Doroftei, the arts project augments an ordinary table tennis table with projections and sounds by equipping the paddles with sensors and using an infrared camera to track the ball.  Read More

One of the CodeSpells gnomes, that players help using spells written in Java

They say that one of the most effective ways of teaching someone a skill is to turn it into a game. Well, that’s just what a team at the University of California, San Diego have done with their CodeSpells video game – it teaches its players how to use the Java programming language.  Read More

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