The New Internet is NOT About Connecting People, It’s About Connecting THINGS


Fascinating TEDx presentation by Benson Houghland!

Benson Hougland has a passion for technology of all kinds that drives a deep desire to make his work and the world around him better. His interests include making wine, making music, and making memories with family and friends in activities like boating, camping, and traveling.

Benson is a 17-year Temecula resident, husband, and father of two elementary school boys and an adult daughter. As vice president at Opto 22, a local software developer and hardware manufacturer of products used in the industrial automation and information technology markets, he’s responsible for product evolution, marketing, training, and communications.

Think twice about how socialmedia re-wires your brain and the impact it has on how you operate.


Credit: A fantastic video written and created by Mitchell Moffit (twitter @mitchellmoffit) and Gregory Brown (twitter @whalewatchmeplz).

Further Reading–


Abu Dhabi: Robot Teachers will soon be instructing students in basic math and other subjects at a private school in Abu Dhabi.

Merryland International School in Mussafah has launched what it claims is the first robotic lab in a UAE school, with more than 30 cutting edge robots including humanoids with built-in intelligence.

Humanoid AISOY Raspberry Pi robot will teach basic addition and subtraction while Nao, the 57-cm tall Evolution Humanoid robot from France, will help special needs children.

Nao can walk, talk and even recognise emotions. The programmable robot can also be used to explore research topics in robotics, computer science, human-machine interaction and even social sciences.
Then there is the Genibo Robot Dog which falls asleep if the students are not attentive.

I have sourced out some of the best and most advanced robots including humanoids, quadrupeds, hexapods, flying robots and pet robots from all over the world, Susheela George, Founder of Merryland, told XPRESS.

“Our aim is to mould future scientists, designers, engineers and leaders,” she added.

Susheela claims the school has invested half a million dirhams to set up the robotics lab.

The school will have robotics science as a subject integrated to their Cambridge International curriculum, and delivered through physics, ICT and math classes. Students from grade three to 12 will benefit from the lab.

“The course will start in full swing next year after the teachers have completed their training from Pittsburgh University in the US,” said Susheela.

George Fernandes, Head of Department, Information Communication Technology (ICT) at the school, said the robotics lab is just one of the many things in the pipeline. “We plan to go a long way in making robotics science a subject of study for our students. Children can learn from scratch the science of assembling a robot. At an advanced level, high school students will be taught how to programme robots with built-in intelligence,” said Fernandes.

The robotic lab was formally inaugurated on August 22 by Dr. John Netting, Director General of European Business Assembly (EBA), Oxford and Dr. Martin Moore-Ede and Dr. Donna Martin from Harvard University. The Indian and Pakistani ambassadors to the UAE were also present at the function held at the school’s campus in Mussafah.

NAO: The Next Generation of Robot

NAO Next Gen: Aldebaran Robotics launches a new generation of its humanoid robot

Aldebaran Robotics, the world leader in humanoid robotics, has released its latest version of the NAO robot — NAO Next Gen. The power of NAO Next Gen, the new fully programmable humanoid robot that has the most extensive worldwide use, is opening up new perspectives and fields of application for its users.

Aisoy Robot

Aisoy1 II is the first social robot affordable for everyone. With new capabilities to awake your creative spirit.

Renewed and funny dialogs! Aisoy1 II’s behavior has evolved to a more proactive interaction. It has refined its sense of humor and tries to express it using its own words. It may be able to make you smile, or maybe your own style is a bit different from his. Anyway, please be comprehensive with Aisoy1 II, as he is taking the first steps as a comedian, its answers could surprise you!
More expressive with an evolved emotional engine! The new emotional engine is more proactive and robust. You will be able to understand the current emotional state of your Aisoy1 II much better and act accordingly. Besides, its new emotional engine provides more active behaviors and more independence and autonomy in its actions.
Multi-languages versions are now available.

Aisoy Robot Teacher- Teaching Math

Why robots?

Robots can caputre a child’s imagination like no other tool by creating a fun, physical learning process. “Kids recognise when they are learning something themselves — robots give them that,” says Larry Johnson, CEO, New Media Consortium, a US headquartered research organisation that specialises in educational technology.

Article Source:

  1. Robots to teach in Abu Dhabi school- Robots and humanoids to take over classrooms at private school

Additional information

  1. Merryland International School
  2. International Business Times- United Arab Emirates: Robots to Teach in Abu Dhabi Classrooms
  3. Alderbaran – Maker of NAO robot
  4. The Robot Center – Maker of Aisoy


Should robots replace teachers?


Everywhere I turn I see babies, toddlers and young children with tablets/ipads and smartphones.

The glow of the brightly colored illuminated device is attractive and alluring for people of ANY age.

But, at what age is it appropriate?

Consider the following product from Fisher Price and the differing perspectives.
Share your thoughts in the comments section at the end.

The Newborn to Toddler APPtivity Seat

On the other side

Natali Morris in Mashable responds


As a technology reporter and mommy blogger, you’d think the Fisher-Price Apptivity Seat for newborns — an infant seat with a holder for an iPad — would be something I appreciate. But I do not. Nor, it seems, do a number of advocacy groups that want it pulled off the market because they think iPads and babies are a dangerous combination.

Fisher-Price insists its seat is a sign of the times and age appropriate. I have done enough homework on early childhood development to tell you that not only is this seat a symptom of lazy parenting, it is guaranteed to make your baby more stupid.

It Takes Effort

Those of us who are parents know that raising children takes much more effort than we had originally planned, and this just doesn’t sit well with some people. Does the Fisher-Price Apptivity Seat promote laziness? I’m not sold on that. The kind of parent that overuses baby seats and hardly holds or interacts with their children may find that the Apptivity Seat supports their lifestyle. But if it wasn’t available, they’d just use the TV.

What’s more, research suggests it might be detrimental to a child’s development.

The Wrong Stimulation

Tablets give off blue light, which has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns. This isn’t ideal for newborns, who are supposed to sleep every 90 minutes, according to pediatrician Marc Weissbluth, author of Healthy Sleep Patterns, Happy Child. Naps promote healthy growth, so why would you want to disrupt them?

In Your Brain On Childhood, developmental psychologist Gabrielle Principe outlines the way that an infant’s brain develops. Screen time can actually delay that growth. She says babies learn through eye contact and interaction with the world. In fact, humans are the only primates with the whites of our eyes showing, Principe explains, which means we teach with our eyes. When we say the word “apple,” our babies know what we mean because they follow our pupils to that object.

When babies look at a screen, they’re not following their parents’ eyes and movements; instead, they are staring at something that does not interact with them. Sure, apps may try to engage babies, but they don’t have eyes or limbs. Babies can neither make eye contact with, nor imitate an avatar — no matter how cute. Most developers of children’s apps know this; that’s why most apps are written for children over 2, who are far too big for the Apptivity Seat.

Screen the Screen

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time before babies are at least 2 years old. I admit that I did not abide by this rule, but I also avoided handing my children a tablet just to shut them up. I played carefully selected apps with them. I used the tablet as an interactive book — not as a babysitter. I made and still make efforts to limit screen time.

There will come a day when we have to tear electronics out of our kids’ hands. We will beg them to talk to us, look at us, interact with us. I am painfully aware of this. So why place them in front of screens almost from the moment they emerge from the womb?

In Brain Rules For Baby, brain scientist John Medina says there are two statistically significant ways to boost a child’s intellect: Talk to your baby, and nurse for up to a year. Not everyone can do those things, but do you want a tablet in your way while you try?

If you’re a lazy parent, you’ll come up with plenty of excuses to defend Fisher-Price’s $80 Apptivity Seat. But if you’ve done your homework, and read the research on early childhood and brain development, you’ll steer clear of it.

Follow Natali Morris on Twitter @NataliMorris

“Fisher-Price’s Apptivity Seat Is Bad for Babies” was a Trending Topic on Twitter this past December


Read the Reviews in Amazon

There are many passionate reviews of the product on Amazon. Click the image to read.



From the American Academy of Pediatrics

aapMedia is everywhere. TV, Internet, computer and video games all vie for our children’s attention. Information on this page can help parents understand the impact media has in our children’s lives, while offering tips on managing time spent with various media. The AAP has recommendations for parents and pediatricians.

Today’s children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices. To help kids make wise media choices, parents should monitor their media diet. Parents can make use of established ratings systems for shows, movies and games to avoid inappropriate content, such as violence, explicit sexual content or glorified tobacco and alcohol use.

Studies have shown that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. In addition, the Internet and cell phones can provide platforms for illicit and risky behaviors.

By limiting screen time and offering educational media and non-electronic formats such as books, newspapers and board games, and watching television with their children, parents can help guide their children’s media experience. Putting questionable content into context and teaching kids about advertising contributes to their media literacy.

The AAP recommends that parents establish “screen-free” zones at home by making sure there are no televisions, computers or video games in children’s bedrooms, and by turning off the TV during dinner. Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. It is important for kids to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play.

Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.


Baby Brain Rules

 What do YOU Think?