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Misty for education?

I wasn’t sure which category was best for this topic…

So Misty is not meant to be a general/multi-purpose robot right now…that makes sense.

I’m sure there’s a good chance Misty Robotics has been thinking along these lines: it could be a multi-purpose robot in the educational sector. Anyone like myself with kids in elementary school and beyond know how much emphasis there is on the STEM programs. I think the Misty platform is a great candidate for covering curricula from the early grades into high school:

  • Kids enjoy programming when they can see how their code is physically demonstrated (why Lego Mindstorms and Boost are popular)
  • Since it supports Blockly and JavaScript it can apply to a wide range of programming capability (= cover different grade levels)
  • Doing science experiments that involve a robot will be more interesting. The hardware expansion will enable students to incorporate HW to experiment as they are learning about temperature, magnetics, etc
  • “Growing up” on the same platform should be inspiring to kids: Next year we get to teach Misty how to move through the hallway…and did you see what the sixth graders are doing with the Misty robot…?

In the software world, we often see it’s the platforms and technologies with great steward and community support that succeed amidst their competitors. People have said that ROS dominates its space for this reason. So if it made sense for Misty Robotics, I think putting support behind a STEM program would make the platform attractive to the schools. iow, Misty Robotics would support a website that included suggested experiments, assignments and other curricula for grades x through y. And maybe it could support some level of community appropriate for school children and their teachers that could introduce them to the important ideas of open source and collective problem solving. (The price would involve the robot and site membership, whatever price model makes sense…)

Please let me know if this happens, I may consider going back to grade school…

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@Joe we are 90% thinking along the exact same lines. We see lots of viability for students “from A to Z”. Even college and beyond because JavaScript is just the first step - full deep learning machine learning will shortly be possible via an onboard SDK, so all those Ph.D candidates who are not “in robotic” but could use a robot for their research can move forward easily. While Blockly works brilliantly, it’s harder for me to see parents of elementary school kids investing $1,500 or more in a robot that might be discarded by a younger child before they graduate to the power of JavaScript, Python and eventually machine learning. Kids can have varied interests, especially at younger ages, By High School, though, STEM oriented students are often locking in on their robot future.

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@tenwall, very interesting to hear about the deep learning plans. I recently learned that Google released a JavaScript version of TensorFlow that will supposedly become node.js-compatible…so I imagine that could be another way of getting deep learning on the Misty – which would be so cool.
I agree with your thoughts on a parent spend considerations… I may not have been clear enough in my post…I was thinking that the schools would purchase the Misty and the accompanying curricula subscription (I think there are about 100K elementary schools in the US). After posting I was thinking: if it didn’t make sense for Misty Robotics to develop and maintain STEM content, maybe you would consider a partner program that supports businesses that want to create this content and manage the sales and support with the schools.
Thanks for your reply!

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