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National TSA Treasurer
As the school year comes to an end, it means the national TSA conference is just around the corner. We spend our year preparing for competitions, saving our money, and making travel plans but often do not think about the little things that are necessary for success at the national conference. So I present the quick “4 Step Survival Guide” to the 2013 national TSA conference.
Following this “4 Step Survival Guide” will help to make your national TSA conference experience a success. I look forward to seeing you all very soon. Enjoy the rest of your school year.
2012-2013 National TSA Reporter
Spring has finally sprung! The dreary days of snow have passed and new beginnings are on the horizon. Outdoor activities, TSA competitions and conferences, holidays, vacations and many other activities fill the month of April.
In April, as in many months of the year, organizations designate “awareness months” for their causes. Many national organizations attempt to gain awareness and support for research, education and advocacy for causes such as heart disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, mental health and cancer through the attention that is drawn from a national awareness month. For example, this month is National Autism Awareness Month. It is celebrated around the globe in an effort to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism.
TSA members can support the worthwhile causes of the American Cancer Society. TSA has partnered with the American Cancer Society (ACS) since 2003 through the TSA/ACS Spirit of Service Awards program. One of the most effective ways TSA chapters have participated is through their local Relay for Life program, the signature ACS event that takes place in the fall and spring in local communities. TSA chapters are encouraged to participate in the upcoming Relay for Life programs which will be taking place across the country this spring. Go to www.relayforlife.org to learn more about Relay for Life, where a “Relay” is taking place in your community, and the name of your local ACS representative. This person can help you set up your team and provide tremendous support.
Staying informed of other various non-profit causes and national awareness months is as easy as spending five minutes online. Each organization provides countless ways to participate. Involvement can range from attending or organizing an event in your community to simply wearing a pin of support for the cause. I am sure you will find a cause that suits you. Every gesture, big or small, is a step towards helping others and making a difference feels good!
Keep up the good work of supporting TSA’s national service partner, the American Cancer Society (ACS) through the TSA/ACS Spirit of Service Awards Program. Your participation makes a difference!
2012-2013 National TSA Vice President
The national conference season is underway and one of the most important weeks on the TSA calendar is upon us: TSA Advisor Appreciation Week. Taking place from March 4th to March 8th, this week is devoted to celebrating the incredible advisors that ensure the success of our organization on the local level.
Consider for a moment that advisor who first recruited you to join the Technology Student Association, and what your involvement would have been like without them. Furthermore, consider how much effort your advisor puts forth to recruit members, organize the chapter, fundraise to take your team to conference, and keep your chapter together year after year. As an organization which is comprised of hundreds of local chapters across the nation, we owe much of the success of the Technology Student Association to the chapter advisors.
Take advantage of TSA Advisor Appreciation week to do just that—show your advisor how much you appreciate them! This can be done by simply offering a “thank you,” or by doing something special for your advisor to show them that your chapter appreciates everything they do. For example, you could have all of your members sign a card for your advisor, or even contribute to buy them a small gift. Or, if you want to be a bit more creative, you could bring in some homemade baked snacks. Visit http://www.tsaweb.org/advisor-appreciation for some more ideas. Whatever you decide, remember week of March 4th 2013, and enjoy TSA Advisor Appreciation Week!
2012-2013 National TSA President
The shortest month of the year, February epitomizes the sensation of something moving by too quickly. Fresh from first semester, midterms, and my winter meeting with the other five national TSA officers, I am just now appreciating how quickly this year is slipping through our fingers. Could it really have been six months ago that we were all in Nashville, campaigning and competing and creating new friendships?
It’s been a busy past several months in TSA; your national officer team has been working hard to put on a great conference, even as regional conferences and the TSA competitive season begin to get under way. And though there are about six months left in my and my fellow officers’ terms, it is, believe it or not, time to start thinking about next year’s officer team. Applications to run for office are now available, and instructions can be found at http://www.tsaweb.org/National-Officer-Candidate-Program.
We have added a new component to our national officer candidate program this year and encourage candidates to take advantage of this new opportunity. Each candidate will now have the option to design a one-page static campaign website that will be posted on the TSA website and able to be viewed throughout the duration of the national conference. More details are provided on the TSA website at http://tsaweb.org/National-Officer-Candidate-Program
If you are interested in running for national office, I strongly recommend reading my article in the School Scene Winter Edition, which can be accessed at http://www.tsaweb.org/School-Scene-Newsletters. As is discussed in the School Scene, running for a National Office is a great opportunity, one that could be considered once-in-a-lifetime.
It has been a great six months, but I take solace in the fact that I have six more, and I am confident that next year’s leaders will be able to shoulder the mantle of being a national TSA officer. Feel free to email me with any questions, whether they regard running for office or anything else TSA related. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck in your TSA competitions!
National TSA Secretary
January is a month often remembered for not only the beginning of a new calendar year, but for a fresh new start in many aspects of life. We have had our winter break from school and activities and hopefully we are now rested, enthusiastic and ready to get back to school. A break from routine can be immensely important in finding solutions to problems you have been working on and in seeing the bigger picture. This month, why not try thinking outside of the box? You may be surprised where it may take you. Sometimes seeking a different and new route can yield more benefits.
As we continue to work on preparing our competitions, working within our chapter, getting ready for state conference, ask yourself, “How can we better ourselves and our organization as a whole?”
Let us continue the long tradition of excellence that TSA is known for in 2013. Encourage positive changes, different solutions and strive for success. 2012 was an incredible year and I have no doubt that 2013 will be any less!
National TSA Sergeant-At-Arms
Hi National TSA! December is here and that means that the curtain is closing on 2012 and this time of year can get quite hectic with Thanksgiving, winter break, and New Years all being jam- packed into a few short weeks! With that said, it can be easy to forget that there are many people out there who are not able to celebrate these holidays like they would want to. That is why, at this time of the year especially, it is a great idea to go out in your community (as an individual or as a chapter) and find ways to give back! There are many well established organizations that you can choose to help out, but whether work at your area food bank, volunteer at a nursing home, collect gifts for Toys for Tots … finding ways to serve your community will surely give you a great sense of purpose and can really help spread the word about TSA and its amazing members! If you or your chapter is interested in doing a service project, one organization you may want to consider helping is the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society (ACS) is TSA’s official service partner and your chapter can also be recognized at the national conference for your work with the ACS. The trademark event of the ACS is the Relay for Life, but if you can not find an event in your area you should definitely consider holding your own fundraiser/service project! For instance, in my TSA chapter we have decided to create an event called “Hoops for Hope”. This is a 3 on 3-basketball tournament and all the proceeds will be donated to the ACS. The tournament is set up just like any other regular basketball tournament would be, except each team only has three members instead of five to hopefully generate a greater number of teams. We decided to make the event so that students could pay $5 to be admitted into the tournament and to hold it during the school day. We are also planning on selling concessions as another way to raise money. I attend a relatively small school (350 students), but we are expecting to bring in almost $1500 based on the feedback we’ve gotten from our student body thus far! This is just one example of how to help those in need. I encourage you to go back to your TSA chapters and come up with some ideas of your own! No matter what you decide to do, as long as you are helping others in your community I promise you, the experience will be worthwhile (Community service has a way of not only helping those in need, but also pulling a group of people closer together). If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com and I look forward to seeing everyone in Orlando this summer at the 2013 national TSA conference!
National TSA Treasurer
There are many ways the beautiful fall season can inspire your chapter fundraising plans. By engaging in seasonal fundraising, your chapter can take advantage of fun themes to begin generating funds in no time! National TSA presents three ideas to fundraise during the fall season.
Let’s Get Festive! A fall festival is a great way to usher in the upcoming holidays. Seasonal food, games and face painting are all fun ways to put the fun in fall fundraising! Charge a reasonable fee for general admission and then sell tickets that can be used to purchase food and participate in other activities within the festival. Remember the more creative you are, the better response you will have.
Pass the Ham Please! Organize a sale of holiday favorites like ham and turkey. Food sales are usually effective fundraisers, especially close to the holidays. Help busy families by providing them a way to purchase their holiday meal at a low cost without having to shop the busy stores. Local grocery stores are usually willing to help out because they make a profit, and generate good will and store promotion. And if selling holiday meals are not your thing, try something different! You can never go wrong with selling cookie dough, candy, donuts, or even jewelry! Just remember to make sure you are selling enough to make a profit. Get everyone involved!
Just Dance! Organize a school or community dance, disco, or banquet. Students could pay to come and hang out with their friends on a Friday night to dance and socialize. Make sure to provide good music and a great theme. A Thanksgiving dance would be a good idea for this time of year. Selling small snacks is another way to earn a little extra change for your chapter.
Share these fall fundraising ideas with your chapter advisor and school principal. They can give you the rules for fundraising and the support you need for a successful event.
National TSA Reporter
School is back in session, the leaves are beginning to turn, and the air holds a slight chill. Autumn has made its entrance. Most people associate this season with fall holidays. However, when I think of fall, the first thing that comes to mind is music - really good music and lots of it!
In southwest Virginia/northeast Tennessee we are known for a few things: NASCAR and music. To celebrate our musical “roots,” a festival called Rhythm and Roots is held annually in Bristol, VA. The primary location for the festival is State Street which joins Virginia and Tennessee. Half of the bands perform in Virginia while the other half perform in Tennessee. Three days, sixteen stages, a tent for dancing, hundreds of vendors, over fifty bands ranging from folk to alternative music and 45,000 music enthusiasts make for a wonderful fall festival experience.
As a six year Rhythm and Roots veteran, I have listened to my share of bands. Some of my personal favorites include the Avett Brothers, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dr. Dog, City and Colour, and Jessica Lea Mayfield. While each of these bands varies in style and fan base, they all accomplish the unifying goal of remembering and reviving the rich culture of the area. Whether it is a fun filled music festival or a trip to your local history museum, I encourage everyone to take advantage of the resources around you to explore and reconnect with your local heritage.
National TSA Vice President
As we all settle back into the school year, I hope that everyone is able to reflect that his or her summer was well spent. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed my summer break, even though it seemed unusually hot and incredibly brief.
This past summer, I was afforded some incredible and life-changing experiences which I will remember fondly for the rest of my life. These include meeting many of you in Late June at the national TSA conference, and my opportunity to participate in the national officer candidate campaign process in Nashville. Then, upon my return home, I left for a once-in-a-lifetime trip through Italy from Milan to Rome.
I had never visited Europe, and the experience was nothing like I could have ever imagined. I was joined by my Latin classmates, as the trip was associated with our school’s Latin Club. After arriving in Milan’s airport in the morning and a series of long flights, we spent the first night outside of Venice.
The next day was spent in Venice itself, which was the most remarkable city I have ever seen. Venice was undoubtedly my favorite stop of the trip and I encourage all of you to take advantage of any opportunities you may have in your life to witness the beauty of this city.
The next day we continued to Florence, the heart of the Renaissance. Our subsequent stops included Assisi, Pisa, the island of Capri, and Rome. We visited some unique sites including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a beach on the Mediterranean and the Sistine Chapel.
Overall, the ten days I spent on the trip were some of the most memorable of my life.
Whatever you experienced this summer, I hope it helped to prepare you for success in the coming school year. I cannot wait to see everyone during next year’s summer break at the national TSA conference in Orlando, Florida, June 28th –July 2nd.
2012-2013 National TSA President
Hello National TSA! My name is Dhruv Pillai, and I am excited to be serving as your National President for the 2012-2013 school year. I am a Senior at Harriton High School in Pennsylvania, where I enjoy both Chemistry and running cross country. This will be my 6th and final year as a participant in TSA, but I hope to be able to give back as an alumnus one day. I have participated in events like Prepared Presentation and Extemporaneous Speech, but I also enjoy Biotechnology Design. This year, I have the pleasure of working with the National Officer Team, and we will work so that you have a great TSA experience. If you would like to contact me at any point throughout the year, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you all enjoyed the 2012 national TSA conference this past June. I certainly did, and I look forward to seeing you all at the 2013 National Conference in Orlando, Florida, June 28th through July 2nd. I wish you the best of luck as school starts again, and thank you for your participation in TSA!
National TSA Vice President
Would it not be great to charge your cell phone without taking it out of your jacket pocket? Designers at Colorado State University (CSU) are developing solar-powered clothes from natural fibers that can charge a number of devices, including phones, tablets and GPS units.
Professor Eulanda Sanders and associate professor Ajoy Sarkar in CSU's Department of Design and Merchandising, as well as four of their students, are making prototypes for solar-charging apparel that can be worn while biking, snowboarding, skiing or hiking.Clothing with solar panels has been developed before, but the fabric was made of petroleum-based materials rather than natural fibers.
Sanders and Sarkar are working to produce clothes from cotton and linen that are safe and strong enough to handle the elements. According to the university, the group was able to modify natural materials to make them more durable. From there, they incorporated flexible solar panels within the apparel.
Their goal is to ultimately make solar clothing that is not only comfortable but also highly functional and easy to clean.
The Technology Student Association does not support or endorse these products
National TSA Reporter
I recently came across an article in Technology Review that introduces a new gadget that can be installed in the steering wheel of a car as a possible replacement for the GPS system currently used in motor vehicles.
We are all familiar with the robotic voice that constantly repeats information such as “turn in x number of miles", or "redirecting traffic”. How about the times you are required to take your eyes off the road to look at a visual image of your route while listening and trying to comprehend directions? Personally, I remember a time when my GPS system repeatedly commanded me to "make a U-turn when possible” when I couldn’t make a U-turn until miles down the road causing a huge driving distraction for me.
These scenarios are examples of what may cause distractions for a driver, cause you to miss a turn or get into an accident.
The good news is AT&T Labs has created a system that allows you to receive needed information yet keep you focused on driving. They have created a steering wheel that vibrates to alert a driver to routing directions. For example, to turn right the vibration pattern would be clockwise and to turn left it would be counterclockwise, and so on. The vibration method allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
Studies at Carnegie Mellon University recorded how beneficial this new gadget will be for drivers; in fact, testing has shown that the distraction rate for drivers decreased 3 percent around the average age of 25 years and 4 percent for drivers above 65 years of age. Furthermore, another study revealed that drivers had less turning errors.
It's quite interesting to see how technology keeps developing to help us live better lives. Whether you one day have this new gadget in your car of not, it is very important that you are always attentive when driving a car or other vehicle. Be a cautious driver and remember to buckle up and don't text and drive.
You can read more about this article at http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/39947/?ref=rss.
The Technology Student Association does not support or endorse this AT&T product
National TSA President
I have had the pleasure of owning my HP Pavilion dm4 for over a year now. Since then, it has run Windows 7. I have had no qualms with the operating software; it runs quickly, flawlessly and troubleshoots effectively. However, the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview that was released on February 29th grabbed my attention. Microsoft has worked to completely redesign Windows to work more effectively with tablets, fighting Apple’s growing control of the tablet market with their iPads and personal computer market with Macbooks.
I went into the Windows 8 experience with few expectations. However, upon booting, I was pleasantly surprised. Windows 8 boots much faster than Windows 7 did, at least on my laptop. The log-in process worked the same way, and initially, I encountered the same “desktop” that I had in Windows 7. The biggest changes, however, came in the Start menu. Instead of the typical bar at the left-hand side of the screen, the new Start menu encompasses the whole screens. It is composed of a variety of different tiles with apps such as Music, Mail, Video, etc. These applications are all uniform in look and function well. I personally love the Weather application – it provides all the right information, with detailed reports if the user should demand it. The new Start menu also features Xbox 360 links, a new feature. After linking my Xbox with my laptop, I determined that while these applications were interesting, they had little actual functionality. To begin, your Xbox must be turned on in order for the applications to work – completely negating the point. If my Xbox is on, I do not need my laptop to access Xbox features. Also, you can view your past history with games, but cannot actually play any of them. It’s interesting, certainly, but useless. However, there are many potential uses of this application; developers are currently working to integrate the Xbox and Windows platform more thoroughly, so that games can be enjoyed across systems.
There are definitely some new features of Windows that I appreciate. They have finally decided to incorporate a full-fledged anti-virus software right from the get-go. The update of Windows Defender, which combined features from Microsoft Security Essentials, functions to block viruses and trojans in addition to malware and spyware; it has the same level of functionality as MSE. I have used MSE for years without any problems at all, so having Windows Defender available should lessen the number of viruses. I also love the shortcuts that Microsoft has incorporated into Windows. With the ‘easy switch’ bar accessible on the left of the screen and settings on the right, the screen seems much less cluttered while actually integrated more functionality.
I believe the new Windows 8 operating system is definitely better than Windows 7. I see some quirks that should be adjusted (which is obvious, since the software is still in the beta stages), but all-in-all, it is a great piece of software that I can see meeting real success in the future when it is made commercially available.
National TSA Treasurer
A hidden Google logo, blacked-out Wikipedia pages, and nation-wide protests. With these recent internet-based events, you are probably aware of the controversial SOPA and PIPA legislation. These can be difficult to truly understand and if you’re like me, you might be wondering what exactly all the hubbub is about. This blog is a multi-faceted entry to help understand some questions about a major topic in today’s technological frontier.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) are two pieces of legislation suggested in theU.S. House of Representatives and Senate, respectively. Their overall goal is to restrict online copyright-infringement, piracy, and counterfeit markets. These bills target “rogue sites” (often on foreign servers not affected by current copyright legislation) and not only remove unauthorized content from these domains, but censor the entire site itself. The legislation would allow the U.S. government to compel U.S.-based companies (such as Internet service providers and online advertisers) to cease connection with those unauthorized sites.
It is important to remember that the government does not want to censor media as a whole or create an intellectually-confined society. Rather, these pieces of legislation intend to protect American information and property, and prevent the piracy of copyrighted work and ideas. For this reason, groups like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and CBS Corporation support the SOPA and PIPA legislation. They argue that American innovation and content-creating jobs are threatened by
internet piracy and foreign websites which profit off stolen content. In this sense, the new legislation would protect jobs, stimulate growth in the content-creating sector, and help prevent piracy of internet-based ideas and content.
However, many groups diametrically oppose SOPA and PIPA. Notable opponents include Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, and even Facebook, many of whom protested these bills on January 18th with blackouts, banners, and petitions. While these sites certainly don’t support piracy or copyright infringement, they oppose the restrictions and legal responsibilities suggested by the legislation; for example, while Facebook is aware of the problems caused by “rogue foreign sites that pirate intellectual property of sell counterfeit goods,” they fear the “collateral damage these overreaching bills would cause to the Internet”. While sites aren’t necessarily responsible for the content on their domains, the legislation may pose legal threats towards the companies due to even a single page of unauthorized content. Most of these companies don’t have the assets to afford lawyers to face these concerns on a potentially large scale. While in favor of some restrictions, many feel that the proposed legislation isn’t ideal. Still, other groups are simply opposed to any government censorship of the internet.
In today’s world of technology, the internet is an asset to research, communication, expression, and business. The decision of the U.S. Senate regarding PIPA might lend a preview of the internet world we may see in the next few years. While these bills have sparked plenty of conversation and protest, they will hopefully reflect the evolving international internet-environment, and I look forward to seeing how they might (or might not) affect me and my favorite websites in the future.
National TSA Sergeant-At-Arms
This month's featured technology is a slick new nanotechnology from Ross Technology called NeverWet. It’s a silicon-based spray-on coating that repels water and heavy oils. It repels them so well, in fact, that you may have to watch the video twice:http://youtu.be/7is6r6zXFDc
In the video, the speaker tries to drip water on products covered with NeverWet, but the water quickly shoots off of the surface, leaving it completely dry. He also tries to pour chocolate syrup on a white shoe treated with the product, only to have it roll and slide off cleanly.
Hydrophobic coatings are common in biology and industrial chemistry, but this coating is so repellant it is classified as superhydrophobic. Originally developed to stop corrosion on steel products, it was quickly found that the NeverWet technology could revolutionize all kinds of products. From ovens to plungers to white boards, NeverWet has the potential to keep all kinds of products clean, dry, and free of ice, bacteria, and all kinds of messes.
NeverWet products will be available to consumers in early 2012. For more on NeverWet, visit: http://www.neverwet.com/
National TSA Secretary
New technology appears every day. The latest app from Apple is bound to make holiday shopping this season a little easier. Apple’s new “Spot-The-Shopper” app is an in-store locator is intended to provide the ultimate in customer service.
Designed to be used by retail businesses, this in-store locator app allows store personnel to locate a shopper as soon as they enter the store and bring to the shopper their pre ordered product selections. This is accomplished through an electronic illustration of the shopping floor and the customer’s location highlighted in red that appears on the employees hand held device. So, when the shopper arrives in the store the store personnel are able to quickly find the customer, bring their selections to them and thus deliver the ultimate in customer service.
Technology continues to make work, school, shopping and life easier for all of us.
To read an article about this new technology go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/27/spot-the-shopper_n_1115235.html?ref=technology
National TSA Vice President
Many of us look to nature to find inspiration. Nature is what inspired Aidan Dwyer, 13, to discover a major breakthrough in solar panel design.
On a hiking trip to the Catskill Mountains, this 7th-grader from New York noticed a pattern among tree branches (as naturalist Charles Bonnet did in 1754) that represented the fibonacci sequence of numbers. Aidan suspected it had something to do with photosynthesis.
In an innovative experiment, Aidan duplicated the design of an oak tree comparing its sunlight-capturing abilities to a traditional rooftop solar panel array. First he determined the ratios representing the spiral pattern of the leaves and branches on an oak tree using a cylindrical double-protractor tool of his own design. Then using a computer program he copied the pattern and built an oak tree-shaped solar array out of PVC pipe. He next built a flat-panel array mounted at 45 degrees, like a typical home rooftop array, and attached data loggers to each model to monitor voltage.
He determined the tree’s fibonacci pattern allowed some solar panels to continue to collect sunlight while in the shade and likewise prevented tree branches from shading other branches.
Now Aidan is studying other tree species and improving his PVC model to determine how it could be used to make more efficient solar arrays. He’s applied for a patent, too. Aidan’s design won him a 2011 Young Naturalist Award from the American Museum of Natural History, not to mention the admiration of anyone who has tried to get a young person to appreciate nature. Students like Aidan demonstrate that technology innovation will change the world just as TSA does.
You can learn more about this article at http://inhabitat.com/sunpower-new-super-efficient-solar-panels
National TSA Reporter
Hello there! First off, I would like to advise you to read each officer’s blog. There are some interesting and informative topics being discussed.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has researched a new technology that when applied to the skin will be physically interactive with the electronic world.
The big monitors and electrodes you may see in hospitals can irritate the new, fragile skin of premature babies. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign led a research team that has developed a small electronic device to assist medical care for premature babies and special need patients. When placed on the skin of the human body this electronic device picks up the nerve signals in that specific area. For example, it will pick up heartbeats when placed on the chest, skeletal muscle activity on the leg, brain waves on the forehead, etc.
This device has also caught the attention of security experts. Once this device is finalized and released, two individuals will be able to communicate with each other without uttering a word because the device, when placed on the throat, can recognize words through muscles activities.
Nanotechnology engineer, Michael McAlpine of Princeton University, stated, “This is a huge breakthrough. This goes beyond Dick Tracy calling someone with a cell phone on the wrist. It’s having the wrist itself house the device so it’s always with you.”
You can learn more at:
National TSA President
National TSA, it’s good to see you again! From all of the officers, I’m excited for another year! This year’s national TSA officer blog will be structured a little differently than in the past. Rather than talking about fundraising or TSA-related activities, each national officer will be discussing a scientific breakthrough or recent technology. My blog appears below. We hope that you enjoy our insights and opinions!
Robotics – the word still seems like science fiction to the majority of us. After all, we don’t have artificial humanoids helping us out with chores. However, in the academic and research fields, robotics is a growing field, attracting engineering students from many disciplines to try and mimic the human mind and body in behavior and thought.
My recent trip to the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP laboratory shed some interesting perspectives on the field of robotics. Being realistic, I was expecting not humanoid machines, but an arm or other appendage encased in wires and metal. However, I was surprised to discover tiny human-like robots, approximately two feet high, which looked just like one of the toys my little sister likes to play with. I soon found that these robots were not playthings, but serious business. They had been designed especially for the RoboCup 2011, a worldwide competition in which colleges and universities created robots and then had them compete in soccer. The University of Pennsylvania and Virginia Tech combined forces to create the world-championship team, taking home the cup by defeating a Japanese college – a consolation for the US women’s soccer team’s recent loss to Japan. You can see the video of the robots in action here: http://www.youtube.com/profile?feature=iv&user=BotSportTV&annotation_id=annotation_110679.
These robots had a high level of artificial intelligence and were totally automated. They were able to fall, pick themselves up, locate the ball, remember their position, kick, block, and many other things. They were even able to logically reason, knowing that if they could not see the ball for a second, it must no longer be there. In order to spot the ball, the robots had to be preconditioned to recognize colors and had to be told which color the ball and the field were. That way, if they saw a red spot (the ball) on a green background (the field), they went there. Walking was extremely difficult for the robots; they had to constantly adjust their center of gravity from one foot to the other, no easy feat (feet? Oh, puns!). The GRASP laboratory engineers explained that walking was the real reason robots were not commonplace – they need strong hardware and software to properly execute.
After seeing such technology in action, it seemsas though our science fiction fantasies of having robot servants may come true. It won’t come easily or cheaply (these robots cost thousands of dollars in parts alone), and certainly won’t be a substitute for human work, but who knows? Tomorrow, robots like these could be on any store shelf.
Welcome to another year of TSA!! My name is Chip Bollendonk, your National Treasurer; I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the first 2011-2012 National TSA Officer Blog!
Your National TSA Officers, elected at the past national TSA conference in Dallas, TX, are thrilled to serve you this year:
Pratyusha Gupta - President
Austin Vest - Vice President
Ashlee Shryock - Secretary
Chip Bollendonk - Treasurer
Marie Sabillo - Reporter
Jason Dreyzehner - Sergeant-at-Arms
Right now you're reading our National TSA Officer Blog - here you can expect news, information and previews of upcoming events. This supplements The School Scene, which is our association’s online newsletter (released in the fall, winter, and spring). The articles in The School Scene will range in topics and provide more in-depth information about the happenings of TSA, all in one place! And of course the website, tsaweb.org, is always an excellent place for getting information.
On behalf of all of the National TSA Officers, welcome to the first TSA blog and another excellent year of the Technology Student Association!