Computers with Attitude Additional Information

Recommended Web sites:

Sohn, Emily. 2004. What video games can teach us. Science News for Kids (Jan. 21).

Available at

______. 2003. A classroom of the mind. Science News for Kids (Oct. 22). Available


You can learn more about Winslow Burleson and his research on affective computers at (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Additional information about the affective computing group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can be found at (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Books recommended by SearchIt!Science:

How To Build Your Own Prize-Winning Robot — Ed Sobey

Published by Enslow Publishers, 2002.

Can you design and build your own robot? Sure you can—and this practical book will show you how! (It will help if you have tools and materials such as servos, wheels, wire cutters, circuit boards, a computer, and a voltmeter.) The first chapter offers a general introduction to robots and gives you instructions on how to build a motorized model car or boat. Electric motors are explained in the second chapter, which teaches you about selecting motors and voltage. Modifying servo motors, attaching wheels, selecting your robot platform, providing electrical power, and controlling your robot’s motion are discussed in the subsequent chapters. The final two chapters offer suggestions about how to make your robot do more through electronics and how to apply your robot-building skills to science fairs and robot contests.

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Power Words

computer An electronic device that processes information based on a set of rules that are stored in the device.

sensor A device that produces an electric signal in response to something in its environment. The signal is sent to another device or to a machine. A sensor in a printer detects that the paper tray is empty and sends a signal for the printer to indicate that the tray is out of paper.

Sensors are similar to your body’s sense organs. Both sense organs and sensors react to a physical stimulus, like motion, sound, light, or heat. Sensors inform machines and computers in the same way that your sense organs inform your brain of the surrounding environment—by sending impulses of electricity.

software The computer programs that control the way a computer works. The programs that allow people to write documents on a computer or play video games are software.

Copyright © 2002, 2003 Houghton-Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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