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Join Tinker, the TJBot, in the Swift Playground

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TJBot wavingSay hello to Tinker the TJBot. Tinker was created by IBM research and is a virtual robot who lives all by himself in a small screen. However, like Pinocchio who only ever wanted to be a real boy, all Tinker wants is to be a real robot. Working with the kids in your life you can make that happen and enjoy a fun, interactive way to learn about AI and robots.

Tinker is the virtual version of the TJBot the robot we created in November 2016. TJBot is an open source way to create your own cardboard AI robo-friend powered by IBM Watson. With our API recipes, you can chat with it, teach it voice commands, or make it express emotion based on moods identified in social media.

Researcher Maryam Ashoori has said that “TJBot is an example of ‘embodied cognition’ – the idea of embedding artificial intelligence into objects in our everyday lives. While in this case, we’re putting Watson technologies into a cardboard cut-out, imagine these types of capabilities in your walls, in your furniture or in objects in your home.”

As the global community of TJBot users grew, we discovered that teachers were interested in using TJBot to teach programming in their classrooms. The challenge though was that not all students or schools had access to a laser cutter or 3D printer. No problem our inventive researchers said, and they developed the TJBot Swift Playground. The playground enables learners to program both a virtual and a physical TJBot in the Swift programming language.

In our TJBot playground, you’ll meet a virtual TJBot named Tinker. The playground offers three chapters that take you through the process of transforming Tinker into a real robot.

Chapter 1: Tinker and Rebus

In this chapter, you’ll meet Tinker the TJBot and his friend Rebus the Bee.

In this chapter you’ll meet Tinker the TJBot and his friend Rebus the Bee.

Activities: Teach Tinker how to shine, wave, understand emotions, and translate languages to perform a secret dance that transforms him into a real TJBot.

Chapter 2: Building TJBot walks you through how to obtain your very own physical TJBot, hook up its electronics, and install the software.

If you would like to build a real TJBot using our cardboard kit then this chapter is for you.

Activities: Assemble your TJBot, hook up its electronics, and install the software.

Chapter 3: TJBot Explores the World

This chapter shows you how your TJBot can realise his full potential by listening, speaking, and seeing.

This chapter shows you how your TJBot can realise his full potential by listening, speaking, and seeing.

Activities: Learn TJBot’s life story, tell him to change the colour of his LED, ask him what he is looking at, and play a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Edited by: Anne Nicholson, Brand Strategy Lead A/NZ

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