I remember many years ago, probably 10 or so at this point, watching a little dog play around the living room of my sister-in-law's apartment. The dog had a ball that it loved to fetch. It very clearly let you know its mood. It napped and it played. It stretched and it did tricks. Sounds like most any dog you know, right? Wrong. This dog had no fur to pet and no tongue to slobber all over you. It was AIBO, the robotic dog manufactured by Sony from 1999 until 2006.
The name AIBO stands for Artificial Intelligence roBOt. And that's what AIBO is. He's fun to play with because he does actually learn. He has intelligence. He's just not very cuddly. But he's a fascinating little guy, and he is one example of what is possible in the broader fascinating field of Robotics. In our latest book by Kathy Ceceri, Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future, we explore one of the most exciting fields in technology today. Kids of all interests and abilities will come up with creative solutions to tricky problems and marvel at the working robots they make themselves.
This book makes robotics accessible to the masses. For those kids who may be intimidated by the topic, an Art-Making Vibrobot may be just the thing to wow them and show them what they can do. Or they can mix up some frubbery robot skin to get a feel for what some robots are made of. For those ready for another step, the Robotic Arm project is a bit more in-depth to keep them stimulated and challenged. And of course they'll learn about hacking. Take apart some remote control cars and make them do all sorts of new things!
Just make sure, as one of our endorsers says, "to use your newfound powers only for good!"
If you want to see a video of AIBO in action, here's a fun one!
Enjoy your new discoveries!
Pam at Nomad