Our collaborator Sylvia went on the Katie Couric show yesterday. She showed off the WaterColorBot and did a couple of science demonstrations with Katie. Her video segments are here and here. Fantastic job, Sylvia!
Today we’re thrilled to be launching our newest kit: the WaterColorBot.
The WaterColorBot is a brand-new project from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and Super Awesome Sylvia — a friendly art robot that moves a paint brush to paint your digital artwork onto paper, using a set of watercolor paints.
We’ve previously written about how we got started on this project (in a guest post by Sylvia), and about Sylvia’s visit to the White House Science Fair, where she was able to give President Obama a personal demonstration of the WaterColorBot.
And now, you can get one too! We’re launching the WaterColorBot today on Kickstarter, and we’d like to ask for your support in getting it out there. The WaterColorBot is an enormously powerful tool for helping to get young people interested in technology:
Beyond simple fun, we think that the WaterColorBot has enormous potential for STEM and STEAM education, especially as a way to get young people engaged with hands-on technology and robotics. We are particularly interested finding ways to inspire young women to pursue careers in science and technology. We cannot imagine any better way to do so, than starting with a robot co-designed by a 12 year old girl.
Perhaps more than anything else that we’ve done, we think that the WaterColorBot really can make the world a better place, one (young) Evil Mad Scientist at a time.
Today, Tuesday, July 16, Super Awesome Sylvia and I will be joining Maker Camp for a special Google+ hangout focused on robots at 1 pm PDT. Sylvia will be demonstrating her WaterColorBot, which we’ve worked together on.
Super Awesome Sylvia and I were invited to attend Bring Your Kids to Work Day at Atmel recently. (Atmel, of course, is the company that makes the microcontrollers found inside Arduino products and in many of our own projects and kits.) We were there to help provide tangible, interesting, and playful examples of how Atmel chips can be used. And of course, we weren’t going to miss an opportunity to visit Atmel headquarters!
The biggest hit with the kids were the Octolively interactive LED modules (sporting the Atmel ATmega164P). When the kids waved their hands over them, the LEDs would light up and ripple. Some of the kids would start out by poking and grabbing at the LEDs until they lit up, but as soon as I told them it would work “even without touching it” their eyes would get big, and they’d wave their hands over the top, enthralled.
Some of the other things we brought were our handheld game, the Meggy Jr RGB (with the ATmega328P); a Bulbdial Clock (Atmega328P again), which points rings of LEDs at different heights down at a central point to create shadow hands of different lengths; our giant Alpha Clock Five (ATMega644A); and the Larson Scanner (ATtiny2313A), which lights up nine red LEDs to make a scanning robot eye.
Another project that captured the kids’ attention was a Keepon by BeatBots. Other demonstrations included a quadcopter and a hacked hexabot.
We got to have lunch in the bright sun in the courtyard with Avary Kent, who was demonstrating the PuzzleBox, a brain-controlled helicopter.
Sylvia got to give the PuzzleBox a try, triggering it to fly as soon as she concentrated hard enough.
After lunch, we got to tour of a couple of labs. This workbench was well stocked with a Metcal soldering iron (our favorite) and lots of tools and supplies.
Apparently the poor Pleo on this bench needed some repair.
This machine is for inspecting and testing chips after they have been removed from their housing.
We got to go into the RF anechoic chamber, and watch as our cell phones stopped receiving any signals.
We also had some time to hang out and horse around with friends new and old. Our friend Paul Rako seemed to be having as much fun as the kids.
Thanks to Paul and Atmel for inviting us to visit!
- Sylvia Todd, Science Star, Tinkers With the Idea of Growing Up The New York Times
- A Presidential Pat for Young Scientists The New York Times
- Young Science Minds Impress at White House (video) The Rachel Maddow Show
- Auburn girl invited to White House science fair (video) News10 Sacramento
- President Obama to Host White House Science Fair White House Press Release
- President Obama Tours the 2013 White House Science Fair (video) White House YouTube Channel
- Live from the White House Science Fair with LeVar Burton and Bill Nye (video) White House YouTube Channel
- Meet Super Awesome Sylvia and her Watercolor Bot (video) White House Twitter Feed
- Tween girl gets Internet famous for being really, really good at science Salon
- Auburn 11-year-old takes project to White House Auburn Journal
- Fremont student’s science project brings her White House honors San Jose Mercury News
- Sylvia Todd, 11, the ‘maker’ behind ‘Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show’ making her mark New York Daily News
- 11-Year-Old Web Series Star Inspiring Girls in the Name of Science (video) ABC news
Congratulations to Sylvia on her participation in this fantastic event! We’ll add to this list as we find more articles and links.
We are super-excited because Super-Awesome Sylvia, who we have been working with on the WaterColorBot, has been invited to this year’s White House Science Fair to show off her project! Way to go Sylvia!
Tune in Monday, April 22 starting at 11:30 am EDT, at wh.gov/sciencefair, to watch the event live!