FLATE-ISTEC Partnership Facilitates Interactive NAO Humanoid Robot Training

FLATE has partnered with a number of international organizations, like ISTEC (Ibero-American
Science & Technology Education Consortium) to work on projects to promote innovations in Advanced Technological Education, partner on education and training workshops, and support student and faculty exchange. Most recently FLATE partnered with ISTEC to offer a NAO workshop. The workshop was help in December 2014 at the University of South Florida (USF). ISTEC’s mission is to foster sustainable socio-economic development in Ibero-America by carrying out various programs including one focused on advancing the state of higher education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).  

The workshop was attended by FLATE staff, secondary and postsecondary educators from the
University of South Florida and Greco Middle School, a graduate student from USF, and three professors from the University of Technology de Loja-Particular in Equador, and facilitated by a technical instructor from Aldebaran Robotics. ‘The NAO training sponsored by ISTEC was phenomenal’ said Desh Bagley, FLATE’s outreach manager. During the training, Holly Morris, Alderbaran instructor provided the most recent upgrades for both our robot and the software. The training also provided professional development on the use of the Choregraphe software to program the NAO robot to speak, walk, and interact with its environment.

In addition to learning how to use Choregraphe, Morris also provided training on using Python and the Python libraries. The professional development included training on the use of NAO’s feedback sensors and gave examples of activities that teachers could use to help students better understand state machines, motors and controls, and Boolean logic programming. ‘Thank you for the opportunity to expand my knowledge in order to provide professional development to educators in Florida and STEM outreach to students in middle and high school’ Bagley said.

For more information about ISTEC visit http://www.istec.org. For information on future and/or upcoming NAO-based training for students/educators visit www.fl-ate.org, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org.