Tag Archive | robotic

Dyson: the UK innovation edge


Sir James Dyson is the world’s most famous vacuum maker. His “never loses suction” vacuum is the top-selling vacuum cleaner in the world, and his company has since expanded into making better fans and hand dryers as well. He founded the James Dyson foundation in 2002 to nurture young engineers.

James Dyson said: “I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right. There were 5,126 failures. But I learned from each one. That’s how I came up with a solution.”

Few British designers can claim to have had as much impact on the cleanliness of our homes as James Dyson – but the man’s achievements go far beyond hard-sucking vacuum cleaners.


A decade after the Cyclon came the DA001 (quickly renamed the DC01), the first vacuum cleaner sold under the Dyson name and, to put it mildly, a real game-changer (despite being a very similar design to the Cyclon). Dyson’s patented Dual Cyclone technology gave the DC01 huge suction power compared to its rivals (90 airwatts, to be precise) – although this came at a premium price.


Dyson has been working on a robotic vacuum cleaner for seemingly forever – but has never put it into production. James Dyson claims that the DC06 worked fantastically well thanks to an amazing complement of electronic brains and more suction power than rivals, but its 70 sensors and three on-board computers meant it was also fantastically expensive to build – it would have cost something like £2,500. The company put the project on ice, with James Dyson saying he wouldn’t build a cheap robotic vacuum that didn’t work as well as the pricey prototypes.


Dyson’s air-moving expertise wasn’t to be restricted to vacuum cleaners, and in 2006 it was applied to commercial hand dryers with the Airblade. Rather than using a wide stream of heated air to dry your sodden mitts, it produces a single layer of cool air moving at a speed of 400mph that dries hands in 10 seconds. Dyson says the Airblade uses less electricity than its competitors as well as working far more quickly, while the cooler air doesn’t increase bacteria to the same degree as traditional dryers.


In 2013, Dyson squeezed Airblade tech into a water tap, allowing people to wash and then dry their hands at the basin.

And in 2014, we can be sure that Dyson will continue to innovate with new tests, new failures and of course new products.

Robotics and Optimism

Robotics interface are now able to be connected with our brain. This is here a very good sample of these new natural user interface that will be used in the near future by everybody.

Check the video below:

Video: A year after losing her hands and feet to a flesh-eating bacteria, Aimee Copeland is adjusting to life as the first woman to receive state-of-the-art prosthetic hands. She talks about how she’s coping with her losses and her hopes for the future. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.



by Jonathan Strickland (courtesy fwthinking)

I’m the first to admit that I’m snarky, sarcastic and goofy. But I’m also honestly optimistic about the future. Much of that is because I’ve seen some great stories come out of what was first a tragic set of circumstances. That’s the case with Aimee Copeland.

Miss Copeland suffered an injury while going on a zip-lining adventure. The injury led to a battle with flesh-eating bacteria, which ultimately required Copeland to have a leg and both her hands amputated. I can’t imagine how tough it was for her to go through all that.

Today, Copeland has a new set of hands courtesy of a company called Touch Bionics. Normally, these hands would cost around $100,000 but the company gifted them to Copeland free of charge.

Now, I don’t expect tech companies to display altruistic behavior for every person who would benefit from their products…

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Innovation at school: combining Robotics With Poetry?


In 2013, French government is trying to find a way to push France to be more innovative. France is considered a moderately innovative country in Europe (see more details with the previous article TOP4 Leaders in Europe). French government is focusing on education aspect: how to infuse the spirit of innovation at school?

Art and Engineering Can Co-Exist

At the beginning, people thought she was nuts. Sue Mellon, working in United States, gifted support coordinator for Springdale Junior and Senior High/Colfax School in the Allegheny Valley School District, thought 7th and 8th graders could develop a deeper understanding of poetry by playing around with robotics.

“Originally, people looked at me like I was crazy,” Mellon said. Now, two years later, Robotics Poetry is a staple of language arts classes at Springdale and a new grant has students preparing to be peer mentors.

Poetry isn’t always easy for students. But with hands-on engagement, they gain new understanding. Take Robert Frost’s “Pasture.” Instead of just reading and discussing the work in a typical classroom setting, students made 21st-century dioramas with robotic tool kits containing sensors, motors, LEDs, and a controller. One student made a blue plastic wrap lake in an old cardboard photocopy-paper box that vibrated, thanks to the motor, and, lit up, thanks to the LED. When the student said the word “water”—students record themselves reading the poems aloud in the audio-editing program Audacity—the LED turned the plastic wrap a deeper shade of blue. When he got to the bit about the “tottering” calf, the motor made the toy calf vibrate.

Critical for Innovation

The move to include art and design in the push to advance science, engineering, and math is not just a “feel-good” move. It’s critical to the future economy and families’ standard of living. Researchers are finding that although children’s IQ scores have been steadily rising, results on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking—a key measure of creativity—have been on the decline since 1990, just as the demand for more creative thinkers is rising. In a 2010 IBM survey, 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as a top leadership competency of the future.

At a professional development event for local superintendents, the participants had all read Daniel Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind,” and then Pink came in to discuss the importance of creativity. An executive director of state agency that support the Sue Mellon’s school, spoke to the participants about the importance of “right-brain qualities” like empathy and inventiveness. “The message was loud and clear, and that’s when the movement started. Being strong in math and science wasn’t enough. To meet future workforce needs, we had to address the whole-brain needs of our students.”

See more details on original article