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Auburn U. tests robotic dogs on dangerous construction sites

Auburn University is using a robotic dog, Mac, to explore the role of autonomous robots in construction and building science, an industry that assistant professor Eric Wetzel says is under-recognized for using cutting-edge technology. Wetzel told EdScoop that after the robot’s arrival to the Alabama university in March, researchers quickly started using it on job sites. The four-legged robot, controlled by a handheld device, can scan the inside of a building with lasers to create a 3D model, as well as take panoramic photos. That data is uploaded to the control device or stored on the robot in a memory card. Emily Bamforth has the details.

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U. of Michigan data science researchers tackle urban broadband

A data science research unit within the University of Michigan is working with the City of Detroit to study where and why residents lack access to broadband or devices. The university’s Michigan Institute for Data Science, or MIDAS, announced earlier this month a yearlong, public-private research partnership with the City of Detroit and Microsoft, which will provide funding for the research. More than a third of households in Detroit in 2019 lacked a broadband internet subscription, according to census data, meaning that city officials have to know where to prioritize their “intervention” efforts, said Jing Liu, the managing director at MIDAS. Ryan Johnston has more on StateScoop.

Intel expands AI education program

Intel announced earlier this month plans to expand an artificial intelligence education program to community colleges in 11 states that’s designed to accelerate associate degree and certificate programs in the high-demand technology. The software company announced it’s adding 17 community colleges to the program in 2021 and plans to add more than 50 additional colleges next year. Intel executive Carlos Contreras told EdScoop though some community colleges are already developing courses for AI basics, Intel can assist through training instructors and offering pre-designed content on coding and industry use cases. Emily has it.

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