Foosball players that can’t find enough competition can rejoice in the fact that they can now play against a robo-player. Engineering students from the Univ. of Adelaide won an award for their mechatronics project that took 8 months to complete. The system consists of a motions sensor system, software for decision making, and an actuation system for control manipulation. The 4 sets of rods can move side to side and rotate for kicking. The winners were sponsored by Sage Didatic and supported by Rockwell Automation.
Read More | Rockwell Automation
Today, HP made rumors of their releasing a low-cost ultra-portable PC a reality with the official announcement of the HP 2133 Mini-Note. Meant for the education market, the HP 2133 Mini-Note is designed with students in mind, and is optimized for both in-classroom and out-of-school learning. The 2133 Mini-Note features an 8.9-inch WXGA scratch-resistant display, lightweight anodized aluminum shell,and Wi-Fi. HP also threw in their 3D DriveGuard technology, which locks the drive in the event of sudden movement for protection of data, as well as HP DuraKeys, which prevents fading. You know kids and their greasy fingers.
“HP listened to our needs and now is delivering a product designed by education for education,” said Chris Sieger, director of information technology for Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia. “Teachers and technology are the two most important assets in education. HP’s announcement demonstrates that it understands what schools need from industry.”
HP is aiming to keep this one inexpensive, so the Mini-Note starts at $499 USD. You can add on things like Bluetooth, integrated VGA webcam, and CompuTrace software which helps local law enforcement track stolen computers.
The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC should be available later this month, and you can check out more images of the device in our Mini-Note photo gallery.
Gallery: HP 2133 Mini-Note PC launches
Another laptop has entered the competition at minimal cost. In addition to the Asus EEE and the OLPC, the Intel 2g0 PC has also been designed mainly for students. It features an Intel Celeron M CPU with 915GMS chip, 512 MB RAM (which is upgradeable to 1GB,) and 40GB storage. The 9-inch device also has a 800 x 480p resolution, and room for an SD card. Available in the next couple of months, the 2go should retail for ~$400.00.
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Pitzer College has begun to offer college credit for students that watch YouTube. Approximately 35 students attend the class where they watch videos and make comments about them. They are also encouraged to submit their own work. Professor Alexandra Juhasz, who set up the “Learning From YouTube” course, believes that one can learn about the “corporate-sponsored democratic media expression.” This sounds to us like one of those excuses not to have to issue and/or do real homework on the part of both the instructor and students, and suspect it will soon have the popularity of such classes as basket weaving and Dummy Math 101.
Read More | ABC
School supplies have certainly become more sophisticated. Seeing a commercial from Crayola spurred us to investigate their new line of Total Tools. Their Audio Ruler measures in 1/8-inch increments with disappearing ink. Open the lid, turn it on and it talks to you. All this and/or “silly, nonsensical measurements” for only $7.99. The Staple Free Staple uses a paper punch to cut a small tab that folds into a slot and is good for up to 4 or 5 sheets of paper, and features a self inking stamper. Its MSRP is only $4.99. Check out Crayola’s Total Tools Page for more innovative gadgets. If you purchase up to $15.00 worth, you get free Silly Putty. Who could refuse an offer like that?
Read More | Crayola Store
Ever since the tragedy at Virginia Tech 5 months ago, many colleges and students have been purchasing devices to ensure their safety. The Rave Guardian has a “safe walk” feature that lets students set a timer when they want to be watched while crossing a dark campus. It also features the means of allowing administrators to contact students in an emergency.
Napco Security offers a Gem-WP Panic Button that can be placed on a key chain or pendant. The system features radio waves to find student locations. Other colleges and universities now have installed systems such as Send Word Now, so that students can receive instructions in case of an emergency.
Many of the institutions require scholars to purchase equipment after enrollment. It makes us sad that it took an extreme incident to make the schools sit up and take notice, but happier knowing that our kids are safer when going to and from classes.
Read More | CNN Money