Melanie & Tunde!

We were very lucky  to welcome two special visitors to school yesterday. We first met Melanie when we took part in I’m An Engineer Get Me Outta Here as part of our school STEM week. Melanie & Tunde are engineers who work for HSSMI (High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute!). They work with augmented reality technology and robotics to develop improvements for industries eg car building. We had such fun learning about their jobs and asking them about how the computing technologies we learn about are used in the real world. They also helped us to develop our bin designs – many improvements!

They told us about their careers – they are both engineers, studying PhD’s. Tunde is a “mechatronic engineer”, which he explained is a combination of mechanical and electronic engineering. They research ways to improve processes and solve problems. As well as how things work, they have to consider things about how their inventions may affect people’s lives – such as safeguarding their data and privacy. Engineers work in many areas – chemical engineers may design cosmetics, engineers design life-saving & life-improving medical equipment such as baby incubators and artificial limbs, civil engineers design bridges & software engineers write programs. If you’re interested in a career in engineering, click here or here. There is an event here that might also interest you. There are some lovely Wallace & Gromit engineering challenges here – I think you’ll enjoy them.(It took me a while to work out what to do but I think you’ll get there a bit quicker than me!)

We were really motivated by this visit and school is really buzzing today.

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Augmented reality blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell. Augmented reality is closer to the real world than virtual reality – it adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists.

Melanie & Tunde showed us two Augmented Reality examples – Chromville & Leap Motion:

Chromville

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Chromville is a free app that makes your drawings come to life and lets you interact with them. You need to visit the Chromville website to find the colouring sheets and to download the app (there is a version for ios and for Android/ Google).

Leap motion

Leap motion is a small, USB pad that senses your hands and replicates them on the computer screen. You can then try to build using your virtual hands, controlled by your real hands! Melanie & Tunde brought one in for us to play with:

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Can you think of some useful applications for this in the real world?

Learn more by watching the video below:

(Thanks to lots of people on Twitter for recommending links for this post – @cambselearning @TheIET @gamesbritannia )

15 thoughts on “Melanie & Tunde!

  1. I think that the leap motion is really cool how you don’t actually need to be touching anything and you can control what is happening on the screen.

      

  2. The leap motion is really cool and it is amazing that you could use a computer to do things using your hands.

      

  3. I really liked them coming because I learned a lot about sensors and that people do this job for a living. I also really liked seeing the UBISENSE.

      

  4. I think that chromville is very interesting as it can recognise where everything is and it can even adapt to when you move the iPad.

    I also think that the LEAP motion is also very interesting as it can find points on your hand and put them onto the computer.

      

  5. Like Ellie I’m grateful for Melanie and Tunde helping out at Code Club. I learnt a lot from them and their advice has really improved our bin design. Also, I just found the talk very interesting. Thank you!

      

    • @Isabella:
      I agree Isabella I found the talk very interesting. I think that those “UBISENSE” things were so cool aswell as when you shake them they make a sound.

        

  6. It was so interesting and they gave us lots of feedback to do with our bins. Chromville is really cool.

      

  7. The Leap Motion is almost like a simulator. You can experiment with different games without touching the screen! I think these could be used to help people who have lost arms because you simply just move your hand/hands around and it works! This could also be used to help younger children to use computers as they wouldn’t have to worry about clicking the mouse.

      

  8. Chromeville looks amazing! I would really like to download the app at home and then try it out. I wonder if the colours you use affect the moving picture.

      

    • @Ellie: Dear Ellie, the colours you use do indeed affect the moving picture! The app does recognise the different colours you use by (and here I got information from the Chromville team) “taking a scan of the colouring sheets. The app automatically creates a 3D model of the colouring sheet and overlays the colours from the sheet onto this model in the same place they occur on the drawing.” At HSSMI, we use technologies that are used to develop e.g. computer games to create our augmented reality world.

        

    • @Melanie: So if you coloured a strawberry blue it would come out blue!

        

  9. I LOVED it when Melanie and Tunde came to code club. They really helped my partner and I with our bin designs and made us think even more about how everything would actually work and how things would have to be programmed. Thank you to them SOOOOOO much for giving up their afternoons to visit our school!

      

    • @Ellie: Thanks, Ellie! 🙂 We had such a great time visiting your school! It was really interesting to learn about your bin designs – we will keep an eye on this blog to see how they will develop! Really would like to use the smart recycling bins developed in your Code Club instead of the ones we have here! 🙂

        

    • @Melanie: Maybe one day your work will own bins that we made!

        

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