About nic schofield

I’m a primary schools computing technician, interested in teaching children, their teachers & their parents, about IoT, computational thinking and implications of technology on their lives and encouraging children to think critically about technology to influence change in the world.

Smarty Robot

“The best way to avoid being replaced by a robot is to be the person who makes the robot.”  Ross Atkin,maker of Crafty Robot.

Ross was on the BBC2 Big Life Fix – he’s an engineer who specialises in making technology to help less able people. Some of his projects are on his website here.

Remember Crafty Robot? Here’s a nice gold one!
Ross has just launched a crowdfunder for a more sophisticated version – Smarty Robot. Watch the video below and find out more here. What do you think? My favourites – the Lego robot, the potato robot and the xylophone! Could you be the person who makes the robots?…

Robo Photos from IBM

Here are the photos that the official IBM photographer took – I have uploaded them to MyDrive for you if your parents want better quality copies. The originals are slightly bigger eg you can see Katie’s face in the group one, and they are much better resolution for printing.

Flour Babies

“When the annual school science fair comes round, Mr Cartwright’s class don’t get to work on the Soap Factory, the Maggot Farm or the Exploding Custard Tins. To their intense disgust they get the Flour Babies – sweet little six-pound bags of flour that must be cared for at all times.”

If you could add a Micro:Bit to your Flour Baby (or Doll, or Teddy…)

  • what would you program it to do? We are talking looking after it here, not dancing etc!)
  • what would the algorithm be?

Goose Tracking (from Tim)

The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust is concerned about Whitefronted Geese and wants to analyse their behaviour. It has fitted some with their own fitbit or micro:bit for birds containing an accelerometer and fine tuned it to the birds’ movements.
While it can count the number of steps a goose takes, it does much more. It can tell from the bird’s movements how it is grazing – whether it is grazing the surface or digging down deeper. It shows us when the goose is alert with its head up and can tell when she is at the nest and how long her incubation lasts.

From Nicola – How would you code this?

Wimbledon Tennis

The Wimbledon Tennis Championships start next month. Is anyone interested in watching the tennis? Do you play tennis? Have you ever thought about the following:

  • What is Hawk-Eye & how do you think it works? Which other sports use this technology? Can you think of a use for it outside of sport?
  • How do you think serve speed is measured? Can you find out what was the fastest serve speed at last year’s Wimbledon Tennis Championships? What else can you think of that travels at a similar speed?
  • Have you noticed the use of other technologies in sports? Can you let me know which and find out how they work?