The Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC), a nonprofit organization located in Westminster, Maryland is pleased to announce its partnership with Duckietown to introduce Carroll County students to robotics and AI technology.
Created by a 2016 graduating class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the robotics learning platform “Duckietown” is an accessible, open source environment that introduces the concepts of autonomy in a small-scale environment.
Students use Python, Linux, and ROS to operate small “Duckiebots” (model self-driving cars), to complete challenges and run through real world scenarios. Today, Duckietown’s Massive Online Open Course, “Self-driving cars with Duckietown,” has served thousands of students worldwide, and the platform is used for teaching and professional training in 196 universities and 134 companies in 63 countries
“I’m extremely pleased to see MAGIC Inc. use Duckietown’s technological platform to support the local community. Nurturing young talents by exposing them to the science and technology of robot autonomy is key for preparing them to successfully join the workforce of the future,” says Jacopo Tani, Duckietown Co-Founder and CEO.
MAGIC first began utilizing the Duckietown platform in Spring of 2022. A small team of two high school interns from Winters Mill High School dove into the platform and were able to get MAGIC’s first Duckiebot running autonomously with little to no background knowledge in robotics. 5 students have since completed similar internships with MAGIC.
“We’re seeing that students with very minimal computer science education can jump right into Duckietown and excel,” says Graham Dodge, Executive Director of MAGIC. “And we’ve had industry professionals and local employers look at what we’re teaching and say that what our interns are learning and building with Duckietown is more advanced–and more industry relevant–than most of the undergraduate students they’ve seen.”
MAGIC was awarded funding from the Knorr-Bremse Global Care program in July of 2022 to launch an Autonomous Robotics Innovation Center (ARIC) in the heart of Downtown Westminster.
Their goal for ARIC is to use the Duckietown platform to give Westminster students industry-relevant skills and hands-on experience that will prepare them for careers or further learning in robotics and engineering.
MAGIC celebrated final renovations to the space in April of this year, welcoming over 120 Maryland residents into the facility to preview the different programs ARIC will offer, including Python certification, Arduino, and electric vehicle (EV) workshops for middle school, high school, and undergraduate students.
ARIC will begin hosting workshops, weekend cyber clubs, after school programs, and field trips for Carroll County Public School students this fall.
The Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization headquartered in Westminster, MD. MAGIC’s mission is to build a tech ecosystem that creates and nurtures talent, entrepreneurship, and tech businesses, elevating the Westminster gigabit community to lead the Mid-Atlantic region. For additional information about MAGIC, visit https://www.magicinc.org/
About Duckietown, Inc.:
Originating at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Duckietown is a platform for delivering cutting-edge robotics and AI learning experiences tailored to all skill levels. Duckietown offers teaching resources to instructors, hands-on activities to learners, an accessible research platform to professionals, and a state-of-the-art ecosystem for workforce up and reskilling. Learn more at https://www.duckietown.org/