STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend: June 3

Between school, homework, practice and spending time with loved ones, it’s easy to miss out on the latest in science, technology, engineering, art and math. But don’t worry, Thinkery’s got you covered. Here are some of our favorite STEAM discoveries from the previous week. It’s fuel for your weekend.
STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Shimon
Photo credit: Georgia Institute of Technology.

At the intersection of artificial intelligence and art, you’ll find Shimon, a four-armed, marimba-playing robot. Combining computational modeling of music perception, interaction and improvisation, Shimon is able to jam alongside human musicians. And he’s great!

Spotted at Moogfest—a music, art and technology festival—Shimon wasn’t the only musical robot in Georgia Institute of Technology’s session. Drummer Jason Barnes performed a rousing percussion number with help from a prosthetic robot. Attached to his biceps, the prosthesis picks up signals from Jason’s upper arm muscles to dictate its movements. Take a look!

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Milky Way
Photo credit: Jim Richardson, National Geographic Creative.

How much does the Milky Way weigh?

Well, according to researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, the Milky Way contains the same amount of mass as 700 billion suns. Whoa!

Andante by MIT’s Tangible Media Group explores music and motion with adorable animated characters. The characters casually stroll, leap and lumber across a piano keyboard, “playing” the physical keys with each and every step. Andante—a digitally-controlled player piano designed to create engaging music learning experiences—was created with novice pianists in mind.

We wouldn’t mind taking a few lessons from Andante. What about you?

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Julie Alice Chappell
Photo credit: Julie Alice Chappell.

Portsmouth, UK-based artist Julie Alice Chappell breathes new life into discarded circuit boards, computer parts and video game systems. From the salvaged parts, she creates beautiful bug sculptures. Her upcycled creations are completely unique—from butterflies to dragonflies to cockroaches, each one-of-a-kind piece is exquisitely crafted.

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