Innovation Session February 2018

Once a month, the entire NYC Surgo Group team meets over breakfast wraps and coffee to discuss the latest trends in technology, innovation, digital marketing and more.

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The February 2018 Innovation topic was STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM Education is intended to expose students to advanced concepts, encouraging them to develop a passion for technology, engineering, and anything within the realm of those industries.

This year, the Innovations Sessions will be conducted a little differently. Now, with the introduction of teams instead of individual presenters, physical technologies will be a focus for these sessions.

This month, the presenting team purchased, trialed and showcased two separate technologies to the group. The first technology was Ozobot. Ozobot is a toy robot that is intended to help teach the basics of programming. Its main function is to follow patterns on surfaces. The Ozobot was launched in 2014 by Nadar Hamda, who wanted to create a tiny robot with a big purpose. The latest version of Ozobot is called Evo and is now a finalist for the 2018 Edison Awards.

Ozobot works by the user drawing a 5mm black line, and Ozo will follow that line. Using color-codes, students can draw different patterns that Ozo will read using a sensor and perform any action the code represents. These are basic principles for coding we use every day on our computers, phones, and other necessary devices.

The presenting team showcased the Ozobot to the group with a live demo, while discussing the pros and cons of the product from an education perspective. The group responded positively to the tiny robot, acknowledging the importance of these types of technologies in our children’s lives, as well as the growth of developing industry professionals.

STEM education not only focuses on software, with hardware engineers becoming a growing commodity, products also focus on the building of robots and other machinery. The group showcased the Tenergy Odev Tomo, which is a transformable, programmable robot that includes an ultrasonic sensor, a tracking sensor, and the main control box.

The team built Tomo themselves, taking roughly an hour to put him together with nuts, bolts and a screwdriver in hand. They described the process as slightly challenging yet rewarding once the task was complete. Displaying Tomo’s features and abilities in the session, the group were impressed that this kind of robot is available to the public, especially for the reasonable market price of $99.

Overall the group discussed various pros and cons of STEM education, albeit there were very few cons, most of the group responding positively to the concept. Some shared stories of younger relatives that already use STEM products and that they’re seeing positive results. Surgo will be keeping an eye on this industry, after all, it is helping to shape the future of technology.