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Tom Coburn has released his annual Wastebook for 2011.  Love it or hate it it's an interesting read of our government at work..

Wastebook 2011

H/T to Steve Martin

My personal fave...There are dragons here...

92) Federally–funded Dragon Robots – (MA) $130,987

The National Science Foundation approved a four-year $923,000 grant for researchers to study how robots can help preschoolers learn language skills.

The new robots, which will be designed as dragons, will be able to mimic many of the responses that humans make. Nodding and eye gazes will be components of the robot interaction. These responses are essential for the robot to form a bond with the child, researchers say. Videos and computers lack such cues and are not as helpful for teaching as a responsive dragon robot might be.

A robot partner may be able to aid the development of a preschooler‘s vocabulary, which is a significant predictor of future academic success.

Children lacking regular interaction with a nurturing caregiver or other social interaction may be especially benefitted by this technology, according to the investigators.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

    by EdMass on Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 02:16:04 PM PST

  •  I want a dragon robot (0+ / 0-)

    That would be awesome.

    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 04:05:01 PM PST

  •  I have to admit (0+ / 0-)

    Im on the same team as Tom Colbert on this one.  Teaching kids language with robots.  I guess it's a lot cheaper than having to hire some damn human that needs health care and food and stuff.  Never though I'd stand shoulder to shoulder with TC, but here I am, defending America.  

    Frankly, I blame everything on Nixon.

    by J Orygun on Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 08:10:43 PM PST

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