Art of science meets science of art
  • Monday, December 10, 2018
  • 74°

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Art of science meets science of art

  • TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

    The Augie Augmented Reality Robot is so easy to learn that your little programmer will soon have it dashing around your house, nimbly avoiding obstacles, spinning, making sounds and doing tricks.

  • TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

    Boolean Box is a well-designed, high-quality kit that comes with everything a child would need to build a computer, and then use it to code and create other tech projects.

  • TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

    Get ready to explore the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems in a truly eye-popping way with the Virtuali-Tee.

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Anyone who loves — or even just appreciates — science will tell you there’s something beautiful about it. At the same time, those who love — or even just appreciate — art, often admire the technique and scientific precision that can go into creating a masterpiece.

This week we had a chance to experience several engaging products that blur the lines between art and science.

VIRTUALI-TEE

Curiscope

Among its many applications, augmented reality has the capacity to revolutionize education, and the Virtuali-Tee is a great example.

Just download the free iOS/Android app, have someone put on the included T-shirt (or, if you’re alone, use selfie mode), and get ready to explore the circulatory (bloodstream), respiratory (lungs), and digestive (intestines) systems in a truly eye-popping way. Each one uses 360-degree videos that make you feel like you’re stepping inside your own body.

If you’re looking for a way to spark — or deepen — an interest in human anatomy, you can’t do better than this.

For ages 6 and older. $29.95. curiscope.com

AUGIE AUGMENTED REALITY ROBOT

Pai Technologies

As far as we know, Augie is the first coding robot that comes with augmented-reality technology.

What’s especially cool about Augie is that after introducing the basics of coding (using Blockly), it then grows with your child through six distinct progression-base modes. Your little programmer will soon have Augie dashing around your house, nimbly avoiding obstacles, spinning and making sounds, all while stealthily stimulating your child’s imagination, critical thinking, logic and problem-solving skills.

The app is free, as are more than 60 coding tutorials that follow the standards set by Code.org.

For ages 5 and older. Under $95. pai.technology

BOOLEAN BOX

Boolean Girl

While we applaud any and all efforts to get girls interested in technology and engineering, there’s absolutely no reason why this product needs to be targeted only at girls.

Boolean Box is a well-designed, high-quality kit that comes with everything (keyboard, processor, wires, resistors, buttons, lights, etc.) a child of either sex would need to build a computer, and then use it to code and create other tech projects. Software, including Minecraft, is preloaded.

The only thing that’s not included is a monitor, but there’s an HDMI cable that will allow you to connect it to your TV or computer screen.

Inspiration and instructions for hundreds of projects are on the Boolean Girl website, as is admission to “Boolean University,” which has even more coding and electronics projects.

For ages 7 and older. Under $150. booleangirl.org


Armin Brott and Samantha Feuss are the authors of the popular parenting blogs mrdad.com and havesippywilltravel.com. For more reviews of toys and games, visit parentsatplay.com.


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