Making friends with your new assistant – Alexa

Some of you may have already met her or her friend Siri, they perform a similar function, they are good listeners and really want to help you with your problems. I am of course talking about Amazon’s AI tool which has started to be embedded in a number of devices – including Amazon’s own Echo device.

Here’s how it works:

1. You wake up Alexa – Amazon echo is listening for you to say Alexa – other devices need to have a button
2. You talk and the device records
3. The recording is forwarded to the Amazon AI
4. The AI decodes what you have said and determines an answer
5. The response is played back to you.

Well the good news is there’s a public API for developers and a some Python code out there to allow us to connect to it. There’s a small amount of wiring but not much! Try it out…

https://github.com/sammachin/AlexaPi

And when you have connected to it, now you can connect it back to you (eg using IFTTT)…

Register for the National Scratch Competition 2017!

In operation since 2010, the National Scratch Competition has established itself among both teachers and students as a leading platform and showcase for Ireland’s aspiring digital creators.

Entry is open to individual students and groups of all ages.

How to enter:

1. Register your details now on scratch.ics.ie. Please note that you will need to re-register for this year if you have not already done so.

2. Design & create your project at www.scratch.mit.edu. This can be a game, animation, story, simulation or music project.

3. Once your project is complete, upload your project URL and student details to enter the competition at scratch.ics.ie. (Please note when entering your project a direct URL link must be entered to be judged)

4. Entries can only be accepted if they are accessible via the Scratch website atwww.scratch.mit.edu. Offline projects must also be uploaded to this website also.

Dates to Remember:
Register your interest: Now!

Submit your entries by: 17th February 2017
National Finals: Wednesday 26th of April 2017 in University Limerick

Categories of entry are as follows:

  • Junior infants to 1st Class
  • 2nd Class to 4th Class
  • 5th Class to 6th Class
  • 1st Year to 3rd Year
  • 4th Year to 6th Year
  • CoderDojo (Junior infants to 1st Class)
  • CoderDojo (2nd Class to 4th Class)
  • CoderDojo (5th Class to 6th Class)
  • CoderDojo Junior Cycle (1st Year to 3rd Year)
  • CoderDojo Senior Cycle (4th Year to 6th Year)
  • **New – Special Needs Category – run on a pilot basis this year

For more information visit scratch.ics.ie or if you have any queries please contactscratch@ics.ie

Sunday Halloween Dojo

Yes we are open again this Halloween weekend! There will be a competition to create the scariest Halloween project as well as a few Halloween treats to keep us going through the session!. See you there….and don’t forget the clocks go back on Saturday!

 

EU Dojo Brussels – call for Ninjas and Mentors

The EU Dojo is taking place again this year on the 17th October in the European Parliament in Brussels to celebrate EU Code Week. At the event MEP’s will be taught their first lines of code by CoderDojo youth attendees!

Would you like to attend the event in Brussels and teach the MEP’s a thing or two about coding?

We are specifically looking for young people who are eager to Mentor or who already Mentor at their Dojo. This is a great opportunity for Ninjas to showcase the skills and creativity present in their Dojos to a very important audience of MEPs. We want the Ninjas, Champions and Mentors who attend EU Dojo to show MEPs just how cool coding is and how much fun you have doing it!

If you want to attend talk to one of the Mentors!

CoderDojo Dun Laoghaire Autumn term is here….

We are proposing to restart the Sunday sessions on the 11th of September and the Wednesday sessions on the 14th of September. If you have not attended before please register your interest using the waitlist form on the right (or bottom if viewing on a mobile device) of this page.

Each term we release a limited number of tickets for the available places shortly before the start of the term. Everyone on the waitlist is sent a link to register, places do go quickly.

We are constantly trying to expand the number of places available, which is largely limited to the number of available Mentors.

Note: You can also check with other Dojo’s listed on the www.coderdojo.com website if you are unable to get a slot with us.

 

Coolest Projects Awards 2014

Coolest Projects Award 2014 – What an event, over 250 projects with entries coming from as far as Poland and Romania, as well as a similar event being hosted on the same day in Silicon Valley! Bill Liao gave a fantastic opening speech encouraging all Coderdojo Ninja’s to get out there and form their own Dojo’s! Well done DCU!

Excitement builds as the event is about to be officially opened...
Excitement builds as the event is about to be officially opened…

After the opening it was full steam ahead with the judging with entrants having worked hard with their Projects including Scratch games, Websites, HTML5 games, Arduino projects and much more.

More of the Scratch room
More of the Scratch room
Part of the Scratch room at Coolest Projects
Part of the Scratch room at Coolest Projects

Here’s some projects we were blown away by….

Jake O'Toole of CoderDojo DCU with his app "Tech Made Easy" made with HTML, CSS & Javascript
Jake O’Toole of CoderDojo DCU with his app “Tech Made Easy” made with HTML, CSS & Javascript
Kathleen Marie Maughan of Deansrath whose Scratch project on Anti Bullying was inspired by her own experiences; Bill Liao was quoted in the Irish Independent as being "as particularly touched and humbled by Kathleen Maughan who was "intent on assisting others who suffer what she has suffered from".
Kathleen Marie Maughan of Deansrath whose Scratch project on Anti Bullying was inspired by her own experiences; Bill Liao was quoted in the Irish Independent as being “as particularly touched and humbled by Kathleen Maughan who was “intent on assisting others who suffer what she has suffered from”.
Con Broderick of EMC Cork with his Scratch game Secret Defender
Con Broderick of EMC Cork with his Scratch game Secret Defender
Michael Lough of Athlone CoderDojo with his Monopoly game made in Scratch
Michael Lough of Athlone CoderDojo with his Monopoly game made in Scratch
Helen Aherne of CoderDojo Thurles with her Polling app, made in AppInventor
Helen Aherne of CoderDojo Thurles with her Polling app, made in AppInventor
Caitlin Donnelly of CoderDojo Thurles with her multiple GAA match tracker, built in AppInventor, which tracks 3 matches and sends results to Twitter
Caitlin Donnelly of CoderDojo Thurles with her multiple GAA match tracker, built in AppInventor, which tracks 3 matches and sends results to Twitter

Here’s Kinsale Dojo whose project consisted of an app to enable you to unlock and lock your door using wifi and the Cloud!

Kinsale Dojo with their cloud enabled app to unlock/lock doors
Kinsale Dojo with their cloud enabled app to unlock/lock doors

Here’s a Ninja’s (all the way from Poland) who built a Website on a raspberry Pi to display a video feed from a Car mounted Camera – and the Raspberry Pi was on the Car too!.

Model Car with onboard computer, web site and video feed!
Model Car with onboard computer, web site and video feed!

 

And how about playing Minecraft with Occulus 3D glasses and motion sensing with the Xbox motion sensor

Minecraft with 3D glasses and Xbox motion sensors
Minecraft with 3D glasses and Xbox motion sensors

And I saw some cool new robotics kits from www.mechatrons.com – we will have to start saving for these!

WP_20140607_011

The top prizes were awarded to an e-car charger locator app, a wild western game, and Camera selfies, a website which allows you to share selfies at large events.

http://www.businessandleadership.com/leadership/item/46286-coderdojo-announces-winners/

http://www.coolestprojects.org

and some Video’s are now available on Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQBFqko3_sHU1f3UBEYuyK7MfP4aAHgWo