Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented IOT shape robotics bett 2019 fable spin robot
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The Shape of Things to Come

 

A new robot to tackle UK’s STEM skills gap.

Danish company Shape Robotics has premiered its latest educational teaching robot Fable Spin at BETT, the world’s biggest education technology event 23-26 January, this week. Designed to make it easy to teach STEM skills and for students to become creators of technology, the new Danish robot aims to inspire students to engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics to alleviate the shortage of qualified candidates that is estimated to cost UK businesses £1.5 billion per year.

Danish company @ShapeRobotics has premiered its latest educational teaching robot Fable Spin at @Bett_show this week Click To Tweet Fable Spin is the latest offshoot from the Fable System from @ShapeRobotics which gives everyone the fantastic feeling of being able to programme a robot Click To Tweet

“We have chosen London for the world premiere of Fable Spin, which makes robot technology widely accessible and inspires imagination while teaching multidisciplinary skills in the classroom. Fable Spin is the latest offshoot from the Fable System, which gives everyone the fantastic feeling of being able to programme a robot. The Fable System ensures successful programming, innovation and creativity in teaching and is robust enough for rough treatment in the classroom,” says David Johan Christensen, CEO of Shape Robotics

Originally developed in 2011 by a Ph.D. student and an associate professor at the Technical University of Denmark this clever system was launched as a start-up business in 2015. Shape Robotics, located in Copenhagen, where the robot parts are assembled after having been produced all over the world.

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented IOT shape robotics bett 2019 fable spin robot

The Fable Spin has strong magnetic joints, can easily be clicked together and has no wires or cables, so it is fast to get ready and clear up, leaving more time for teaching. The programming is easy, and the unique open-ended system can be extended with LEGO® and your own 3D-prints. Fable Spin has 4 available connectors, 2 rotating connectors, 360-degree rotation, 3 colour sensors, 3 ambient light sensors, 3 distance sensors, 3 gesture detection sensors and 2-meter long IR communication.

The @ShapeRobotics Fable Spin has strong magnetic joints, can easily be clicked together and has no wires or cables, so it is fast to get ready and clear up, leaving more time for teaching Click To Tweet

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented IOT shape robotics bett 2019 fable spin robot

From small children to geeks

The Fable System assists learning at all levels, from the comprehension of technology in primary and secondary school, through to the teaching of more advanced mathematics and informatics in vocational training programmes in industry and construction. After just 18 months in the market, the Fable System is used by more than 200 schools and educational institutions in more than 20 countries.

“We were thrilled when Fable arrived, and we found it easy to get started. It is really well made and easy to put together. We also loved the blocky editor and found it easy to navigate round. It complimented the other work on blockly we had been doing.” Said Karen Fleming, Keble Prep School, UK. “We set it up and got a few pupils to try it out. They got Fable to monitor movement, then wave and smile. The best thing though was the discussion between the pupils. The problem solving and thinking skills were a joy to witness.”

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented IOT shape robotics bett 2019 fable spin robot

Pupils can easily programme the Fable Spin to move, play football, tidy up, dance, wrestle, monitor rooms, be social or transport items from A to B Click To Tweet

Pupils can easily programme the Fable Spin to move, play football, tidy up, dance, wrestle, monitor rooms, be social or transport items from A to B. Fable Spin has wheels and a number of integrated sensors that allow it to avoid obstacles, perform search and rescue missions and navigate by lines. The Fable System invites anyone from the age of three through to grown-ups to get to grips with the programming languages Blockly or Python.

“Due to its ease of use and applicability, Fable can be used to teach everyone – from inexperienced children to robot scientists. Its resemblance with professional robots also means that it can be used at vocational training programmes for training programming, automation, computer vision, CAD design and artificial intelligence. Fable covers the entire spectrum and is designed for 21st century learning,” explains Moises Pacheco, CTO and co-founder.

Shape Robotics’ system is already widely deployed in Danish schools, helping to sustain the country’s position as one of the most advanced nations for robotics and automation. It is hoped that widespread adoption in the UK help it shake off its undesirable status as the least automated G7 country and the only one with a robot density below the worldwide average.

@ShapeRobotics system is already widely deployed in Danish schools, helping to sustain the country’s position as one of the most advanced nations for robotics and automation Click To Tweet The Fable System invites anyone from the age of three through to grown-ups to get to grips with the programming languages Blockly or Python Click To Tweet

This innovative system enables teachers and pupils to be innovative and creative by solving real-world problems. It is composed of three types of modules: function modules, build modules and extension modules. The build modules can be purchased or 3D-printed in various formats so that they can be integrated with both simple and complex robots.

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented IOT shape robotics bett 2019 fable spin robot

The extension modules make it possible to combine Fable with other systems such as a smartphone running Skype, a robot hand, a 3D-printed robot head or a laser pointer.

Combining function, build and extension modules gives pupils untold possibilities to create different types of robots, a key feature which is in great demand in the industry right now Click To Tweet

Combining function, build and extension modules gives pupils untold possibilities to create different types of robots that are able to walk, drive, see, throw, use laser or ‘pick and place’, i.e. to pick things up and place them correctly, which is in great demand in the industry right now. The system can be used for various subjects other than comprehension of technology and informatics such as innovation. More information available here.

Tom Atkinson is a Digital Producer & Photographer at R3Digital and Reviews & Dep. Editor at Tech Trends. Connect on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @R3Digital