We know people love robots, but seeing thousands of eager spectators filling the Fairplex’s grandstand, cheering for a bunch of machines when they succeeded, lamenting when they fell or failed, and celebrating their human creators, gave us a new perspective on how much people love robots and seem to connect with them. As DARPA program manager and DRC organizer Dr. Gill Pratt beautifully put it:
“Why would anyone sit in the sun and heat, watching a machine take up to an hour to go through eight simple tasks that you could do in 5 minutes? The new discovery we made here is that there’s some incredible untapped affinity between people and robots that we saw for the first time today. Ordinary people, not roboticists, felt this identity, sympathy, empathy for the robot. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. . . . When the robot succeeded, they felt they succeeded. . . . I see potential for robots to connect with people and create a society where people actually feel better. Some people will say ‘That’s creepy, it’s a machine,’ except it’s a fact of life, we saw it today, people connecting with machines.”
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.