Arts & Bots in the News

We're so excited to share this Arts & Bots story, featured yesterday on WESA, Pittsburgh's NPR News Station! 

Sue Mellon, gifted teacher at Springdale Junior & Senior High School and longtime friend of the CREATE Lab, describes her classroom's use of Hummingbird kits in the English curriculum. Mellon uses Arts & Bots as a way for her students to explore themes of poetry that might otherwise feel intimidating or uninteresting. “Repetition in poetry increases comprehension of the poem, so by building you get this natural repetition," says Sue. "They’ll have recorded the poem so it’ll run while their robotic actions highlight what’s going on in the poem. That’s another form of repetition. They have to keep referring back to it to make it come alive.”

Check out the full story here, and watch the video below for a demonstration from one of Sue's students.

We the Geeks

Arts & Bots was recently highlighted in a White House "We the Geeks" Google+ Hangout on robots. Matthew Mason, the director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, showed off the King Tut bot and explained how robots can be used in an educational setting.

Skip to 6:00 to see the bot in action.

More about this Hangout can be found here.

Arts & Bots in the News

Yesterday, Carnegie Mellon University made a press release about Arts & Bots describing the successes of our community partners and announcing the public availability of the Hummingbird Kit through BirdBrain technologies.  This is a big step towards increasing the impact of Arts & Bots and promoting the use of robotics as tools for creative expression and exploration. We look forward to continuing to work with our wonderful partners and meeting even more educators interested in particpating in our ongoing research activities.

Since the release, Arts & Bots has been discussed by a number of news organizations, magazines and prominent blogs. We've included information on a few articles below.

Thanks to all of the educators and community partners who made this project so successful!



On Fast Company: 

Hummingbird: An Educational Robotics Kit Designed To Get Girls Into Engineering

“Most educational robotics kits focus on building robots, but Hummingbird treats robotics as one element combined with craft materials and text to communicate thoughts, feelings, or ideas. […] Teachers whose students have experimented with the kit say it fosters interest in technology among students ages 11 and up.”


Kit turns kiddie art into robots

“Hummingbird differs from robotic kits available at toy stores where the focus is on building a specific robot; rather it comes with a control board along with lights, sensors, and motors that you use to roboticize your art project. This incorporation step is thought to make robotics more meaningful and useful to the user.”

 On IEEE Spectrum:

Every Kid Needs One of These DIY Robotics Kits

“Now, although this is called a "kit," it's not like there's instructions that tell you what to build. It's the best kind of robot kit: the kind where you use your imagination and some creativity to build a robot of your very own. You might need some additional structural components (like cardboard), but beyond that, all it takes is a good idea to make whatever you want, which (in essence) iswhat's so great about robots in general. ”

On DesignNews:

Kit Turns Arts & Crafts Into Robots

"An educational robotics kit developed at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute is fostering an interest in technology that goes a step beyond simply putting supplied parts together."

On NetworkWorld:

Arts & crafts & robots

“The Hummingbird offering from BirdBrain Technologies costs $200 and uses a drag-and-drop user interface that requires no programming experience on the part of the user. The kit (which includes components such as a controller, power supply, cables and senors) can convert artwork made from paper and cardboard into creations that move or display lights based on sensors. More elaborate creations have included a working replica of Star Wars' R2D2.”

Original CMU Press Release:

Roboticize Your World: Educational Kit Can Turn Artwork and Crafts Into Robots

"The results often amount to kinetic sculptures that use sensors to detect changes in their environment and respond with movement and/or light displays. A cardboard dragon that turns its head and tries to bite anyone who comes close is one example. Students in West Virginia built a working replica of Star Wars' R2D2."