Tag Archives: technology

Robocop in Dubai

In what may be the world’s first Robocop, an autonomous robot policeman has reported for duty in Dubai on public streets. This is just the start: Dubai has plans to make 25% of the city’s police force robotic by 2030.

The 1.7m high Robocop weighs approximately 100kg. An embedded touchscreen on its chest allows people to report crimes and pay fines for traffic violations. It also includes facial recognition functions to identify a person’s emotions and facial expressions, and can change its expression and greetings to help put people at ease. Facial recognition technology helps police officers identify and catch offenders. It can also broadcast live video feeds in times of emergency.

Robocop can communicate in six languages, including Arabic and English. And, lest you think Robocop isn’t friendly, it can shake hands and offer salutes. Robocop can also chat and interact with people, helping to put them at ease.

And of course, Robocop links to social media such as Twitter, just like everyone else!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss with students the role of robots in society and business. What are their ideas on how robots could be useful? Harmful?
  2. Show Robocop video: https://youtu.be/sA9OiALxdZg
  3. Show PAL Robotics Web site. It includes a series of videos of different robot products: http://pal-robotics.com/en/products/
  4. Divide students into teams and have them discuss legal and ethical considerations of Robocop.
  5. What are their recommendations?

Source: Newsweek  

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Technology Embedded in Daily Life

If consumers were asked what are the top companies embedded in their daily lives, most would quickly list the top five as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. These five companies are counted among the world’s most valuable companies, worth trillions of dollars collectively. (Apple, alone, has a market capitalization of $800 billion, plus is rolling in billions of cash.) Four of these five companies are all in the top 10 most valuable global brands, with the fifth company ranked as number 15 in the 100 list.

Think about it:  how do we shop, do research, write documents, and stay in touch with friends, family, and world events? What devices do we reach for and carry around continually? It would be difficult for today’s consumers to imagine a world without the technology from these companies. And it has all happened relatively quickly.

What do you use every day? And, can you do without it?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the role of technology and branding in today’s world.
  2. Poll students about the technologies they use the most. Tally the votes and see if their top companies matches the ones in this article.
  3. Break students into five teams: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Have each team research facts about one of the companies.
  4. Show the global brand value: http://interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2016/ranking/
  5. Have each team debrief the class as to the importance of its technology.
  6. Which company would students give up? Why?
  7. Which company would students keep the longest? Why?
  8. Finally, discuss factors that make these companies successful.

Source: New York Times

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Dreaming of Flying

The dream of a flying car is alive and well in Silicon Valley. The latest version of flying comes from a company named Kitty Hawk. It doesn’t exactly look like a car though – it looks more like a jet ski with pontoons and propellers.

The vehicle is open and can carry one person. Powered by eight battery-powered propellers, the 220-pound vehicle takes off and lands on water and a platform. The Kitty Hawk Flyer is being promoted using a membership model – enthusiasts pay $100 to gain exclusive access to the Kitty Hawk and will get a $2,000 discount towards the yet-to-be-set price. There are barriers though for the new industry, including regulations. Plus, today’s batteries cannot yet support flights of the average daily commute, and where do you land if there is a problem?

This company is far from alone in its quest to create flying vehicles though. Challengers include more than a dozen other companies, including Terrafugia, Airbus Group, Volocopter, AeroMobil, and more.

Are you ready to fly away?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  2. Show the Kitty Hawk Web site and video: https://kittyhawk.aero/
  3. For this product, break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
    1. Strengths: what is company good at?
    2. Weaknesses: what needs work?
    3. Opportunities: what is going on in marketplace?
    4. Threats: what should company be wary of?
  4. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  5. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source: New York Times, other news sources

 

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