Walking with a drone

Reda Sadki Personal, Thinking aloud, Video

We went up the Semnoz this afternoon, taking our two-and-a-half year old baby on a no-pram-allowed walk for the first time. In addition to the usual suspects (cows and goats, mostly), we also ran into Benoit Pereira Da Silva, an application developer at the helm of a contraption he uses to code and walk at the same time. If I understood correctly, he has programmed the drone to document his walks. Today, his 13-year-old son manually guided a small, buzzing quadcopter equipped with an onboard camera to capture HD footage.   Our baby sized up the little machine and its four buzzing rotors, perhaps with his recent interactions with the family Roomba (plastic and metal, moves and makes noise) and the flies (the buzzing and flying things around the cows) as reference points. Given the accelerating pace of technological change (cf. The Second Machine Age), I’m expecting that he will be growing up in a world populated …

The Robot (Education) Lady

Reda Sadki Interviews, Personal

With my eight-year-old son, we are planning to build and program a Lego Mindstorms EV3 this Summer. They are robots that look cool and for which you can code tasks and decisions. So, at Google’s Course Builder workshop, when I heard Jennifer Kay, a computer science professor, explain that she has been using robots (including the Lego ones) for education for years, I couldn’t help but ask for an interview. I’ve been reading The Second Machine Age, which is all about the accelerating pace of technological change and one of its implications, that robots will (sooner than we think) be taking on many tasks that previously required humans to do them, hence my questions around this. However, Jennifer’s work is really focused on using simple robots to teach coding skills to kids now, not think about what the future might look like. You can check out Jennifer’s Educational Robots for Absolute Beginners …