Thursday, February 21, 2008

Robotics Institute: Teaching technical creativity through Robotics: A case study in Ghana

There has been a robotics major at Schenley High School. They are now being moved to Peabody, it seems. Plus, there is to be a Univeristy High School Partnership with Pitt that is going into an old middle school.

I wonder what these kids in Africa have next to what we do with our own kids?
Robotics Institute: Teaching technical creativity through Robotics: A case study in Ghana Creating technology that is relevant and accessible to developing communities is an emerging area of scholarly and practical importance. Diversity in both the creators and cons of advanced technology is required to develop sustained and useful applications of robotics, AI, and other technical fields in developing regions. Increased diversity will result in a wider array of technological innovations that are of benefit to both developed and developing regions. However, due to restricted access to technical resources, infrastructure, and expertise, technology education in developing communities is non-trivial. Thus, international partnerships and creative course designs are required. In response to this need, we developed a partnership between Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA and Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana to design and implement an undergraduate introductory Robotics course targeted towards the Ghanaian context.
Check out this example of what's going on with high-tech in developing countries:

Of particular interest (from Joel) is one article linked to from the "Publications" section of the site:

Click on the "pdf" link to get the whole essay.

One has to respect these people -- both the folks from Carnegie Mellon and the natives of Ghana-- who are willing to take on subjects like AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robotics under the conditions they faced.

Near the end of the article, the authors describe themselves as being "in the preliminary development stages of a robotics kit modeled on the Open Source Software approach." I wonder how much progress has been made in this area? Is anyone up for contacting the article's authors and pursuing this?

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