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.
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 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 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:
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 )