SHANGHAI, July 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Tech & Learning magazine has announced the 2020 winners of its annual Awards of Excellence contest. The micro:Maqueen Plus, created by DFRobot, has been named a Winner in the Hardware: Emerging Tech/eSports for the 2020 Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence.
"For over 40 years, Tech & Learning has reported on how edtech products are improving teaching and learning -- and this has never been more important than during this unprecedented time," says Tech & Learning Publisher and Content Director Christine Weiser. "For this year's contest, our judges looked for stand-out products that are helping schools navigate these challenges by solving problems and driving innovation."
"We are honored to be recognized by this longstanding and industry-leading award for the impact our technology continues to have on both teachers and students in STEM education," says Ricky Ye, CEO of DFRobot, a world leading provider in open source hardware and STEM education.
The micro:Maqueen Plus, compatible with HuksyLens AI vision sensor, is an educational programming robot designed for K-12 educators to introduce AI into their classrooms. "Making AI skills development a part of the curriculum as early as possible and looking at interactive resources which help students, and teachers, to break down complex concepts will help these technologies become more accessible. In doing so, we can prepare students with fundamental knowledge in these technical areas while giving them the broad skill set which is essential for later life." Ricky explained reasons for which the company is looking at new areas like AI in education.
The car-shaped micro:Maqueen Plus is different from other educational programming robots on the market, for it is capable of machine learning and visual recognition. It is able to continuously improve its abilities to recognise lines, colours, signs, QR code, etc. And hence, micro:Maqueen Plus gradually becomes smarter and performs better in circumstances as autopilot. This whole process provides a direct and detailed experience for students to explore ideas and outputs of AI technology.
With micro:Maqueen Plus, students can assemble a self-driving robot car by themselves. The body of Maqueen Plus contains few parts which can be assembled within minutes. And the AI-powered 'eye', HuskyLens AI vision sensor which gives the car recognition abilities, is only one click away from becoming smart—with the learning button pressed, the sensor begins observing targets in its frame and learning to recognize the target with built-in AI visual ability. This machine learning process is easy to monitor, and with training and coding, students get the chance to develop further abilities and assign more tasks for the robot, as micro:Maqueen series offer a bunch of choices for further expansions.
"The best way to learn AI is to teach AI," said Liu, product manager of micro:Maqueen Plus. "We are looking for a feasible approach to introduce AI technology to today's STEM classroom. Being a STEM-based hardware, the first thing Maqueen Plus does is to make it possible for students to build physical projects, rather than just talking about AI technology in theory. Besides, in order to make it easy to incorporate with, the robot is compatible with popular platforms like micro:bit, so teachers don't have to spend much time on further trainings of robotics or AI-related algorithms. What's more, the robot is designed as a reusable educational hardware, with a friendly price no higher than current programming educational robots on the market that have no AI-based design."