Stanford’s Robotic Mermaid

Stanford created "Robotic Mermaid" to help with Deep Sea Exploration Missions.

Remotely Operated Vehicles and Artificial intelligent walk side by side these days. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are used to conduct undersea tasks, which are considered unsafe for humans, for many years. While, these machines are very useful to tackle projects like oil rigging repairs, vehicles that lack the refinement and agility required to handle delicate missions like monitoring the coral reefs.  The traditional boxy shape also created difficulties for the robots to penetrate the tiny areas without damaging the surrounding flora. Now it’s time for the Stanford universities to grab the appreciations for the latest creature which is the high-end version mermaid robot, named as OceanOne.

The idea behind creating this humanoid robot was conceptualized three years ago by the King Abdullah University of science and Technology (KAUST) researchers in Saudi Arabia. They believe that such robots would help monitor coral reefs and under ocean activities in the Red Sea. To elaborate and bring the vision to life the Associate professor Khaled Salama turned to his colleagues at California’s Stanford University for further help.

Professor Oussama Khatib, and the Director of Stanford’s Robotics Lab along with his team of graduate and undergraduate students were fascinated by the idea of creating an underwater robot and instantly agreed. While it took a few years to get the first prototype of OceanOne, and it was released in April 2016, is everything Salama and his team had hoped for, and more.

OceanOne was about five feet from head to tail, and it has stereoscopic eyes, which helps to allow the pilot to view deep down views into the ocean without entering the ocean. It has the fins which provide ample storage space to fit computers, batteries, and even 8 multi-directional thrusters to help and keep the robot stable in confused waters.

Unlike other traditional ROV’s; the OceanOne’s electronics are waterproofed with oil rather than covering the inside parts with a rigid case. The OceanOne is designed simply to prevent the electronics from buckling under the water pressure and enable the robot mermaid to reach depths of up to 2,000 meters without collapsing.

Smart algorithms enable the humanoid robot to avoid collisions under the water and help from the pilot, even it can use its hands to swim when it is stuck in a tight spot; when it cannot avoid a crash then the robot can alleviate the impact by stretching out its arm. Since it can also communicate with human pilots through hand-gestures, it can also be a useful diving companion when needed.

However, when the waters are very uneven, the robot can turn on the thrusters which are stored in its fin to stabilize itself. Sensors are affixed to the robot’s arms and wrists which will help enable the pilot to touch the undersea objects and determine them clearly on the weight and texture. It was very crucial to decide on the amount of force that is required to lift the object without damaging it. There were additional sensors fixed around the robotic mermaid’s body to keep track on the currents and ocean’s turbulence.

Although, the OceanOne is originally created to monitor the coral reefs, but the first mission was a tad more exciting. In April, the robotic mermaid was first sent to investigate the wreckage of King Louis XIV’s flagship, La Lune, which sank off the coast of France in 1664; but the robotic mermaid did not dissatisfy. Later with the help of Professor Khatib guidance, OceanOne made its way 100-meters beneath the surface of the Mediterranean, and it carefully picked up a preserved grapefruit-sized vase and placed it in the recovery basket.

The OceanOne, however, stood up to all the expectations and high-fived all the archaeologists and engineers who had accompanied it on this significant journey. With the achievement of the first under sea’s mission, it will be all exciting to see what coming in the future.



Homemade Musical Instruments

Some things you may have at home or might usually throw away. But you can make many interesting things with these throw away; and can recycle them to make great musical instruments that really work. After they're made, see what to do with them at bottom of page! Great Fun!!!

Drum Ideas

Things you need

  • Paper
  • Tape or glue
  • Cans - large coffee cans or any size
  • Any decorate paper
  • Crayons to color it up
  • Marker

Procedure to make a Drum

Cut a piece of paper and fit it around a Can with a plastic lid; you can use a large Coffee Can as it will work well or you can use any size of it. You can also use an empty plastic jug or wooden bowl turned upside down or metal pot. Once you fit the paper well you can decorate it using crayons & markers; or first you can make the paper look good with your designs and then fit it around the can using glue or a tape.

Bongo Drum

Cut a paper in two pieces and fit it around two cardboard oatmeal containers with lids. Now follow the same procedure to decorate the containers with a decorated paper or by making it unique with crayons and markers, and then attach the decorated paper around both containers with a tape or gum. Keep them aside to rest till the gum is all set and the containers are ready to use.

Now, set the containers side by side and tie them together using two long pieces of string or yarn. You need to tie one piece of string around the upper section of the container and the other around the lower section; then place a dab of glue under the string in multiple spots to make it hold in place. Now your Bongo drums are ready to play, Play your bongos by tapping on the tops with your fingertips.

Base Drum

This is going to be a very easy task, you just need to turn a cooking pan over and beat on the bottom of it with a wooden spoon.

Belt Drum

Collect a round box, such as a potato chip or an oatmeal box container. Now carefully make two small slits, about 2 inches apart just near the top of the box; and thread the box onto a child's belt or a shortened adult belt. And that way your belt drum is ready.

Once you are ready with your drums, it’s time for you to make drum sticks. Let’s look at simple ideas on how to make drum sticks.

Drum Stick Ideas

The best thing is to use your hands to tap on the drums, or a wooden spoon, a metal spoon, rubber spatula, whisk or a basting brush.

Take two unsharpened pencils with erasers and make drumsticks; or attach an empty thread spool on one end of the pencils and wrap a thick rubber band around one end of each pencil. Now it’s your turn to experiment with the variety of sounds and tones you can make.

Taping Ideas

Gather your friends while doing this activity and make all your friends tap together two wooden dowels. You can also put metal thimbles on each finger and tap them together. Or you can also use two metal or wooden spoons, two walnut shells, or two metal pot lids to tap.

Things to Scrape

Pancake flipper, metal grater, metal sifter or two pieces of sandpaper.

Things to Ring

Keys or set of metal measuring spoons, small set of wind chimes.

Things to Shake

Take a container of toothpicks, a container of nails or tacks or an envelope of flower seeds.



How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag

It’s a dessert that everyone wants to have anytime and can be a science project! It’s way cool fun for kids. Love ice cream? Do u want to make homemade ice cream that is delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Then come let us learn how you can make ice cream in a reseal able plastic bag with ingredients already in your kitchen. Avoid expensive, unnecessary equipments and follow these simple steps to make your own ice cream in minutes any time you have a craving.

Making of Ice Cream in a Bag

This no-cook recipe for vanilla ice cream makes about eight cup servings.

  • 2- 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream                           
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 bag crushed ice
  • 4 cups coarse salt

Get Started

For each kid you will need; 2 pint-size Zip-loc bag, a 1 gallon size Zip-loc freezer bag; and a hand towel or gloves to keep fingers from freezing.

Take a pitcher or a large measuring cup; stir the whipping cream, half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla extract until sugar has dissolved.

Now pour about 1/2 cup of mixture into a pint-size Zip-loc bag and seal carefully, avoid as much air as you can by squeezing out extra air.  Put the first sealed bag into a second pint-size Zip-loc bag, and seal it carefully.

Once you seal both the bags keep them aside and fill each gallon-size Zip-loc bag with about halfway with ice and add 1/2 cup coarse salt. After adding the saly you can place one sealed small bag into this large bag and seal it. You have to always make sure that there is no air in any bag before you seal it. Do not forget t wear mittens or thick gloves, while wrapping the bags in a towel to protect hands against the extreme cold.

Shake it!

Add little fun to your ice making; now it’s time to shake and massage the sealed bag for about 6 minutes until mixture thickens into ice cream. Once you start noticing that the mixture is getting thicker by simply feeling through the bag. In nine to ten minutes max, you should have delicious ice-cream. But, it will take a longer time if you are mixing a large batch.

You can add more salt and ice to the outer bag if you don’t see your ice cream hasn’t formed in 10 minutes of continuous motion.

Carefully remove the outer Zip-loc bag, so you don’t get any of the salty ice on your ice cream.

OK, so now your arms might be aching, but that just means you’ve got a great workout and really earned the delicious ice cream you’re about to eat!

Safety Tips

While making your favorite ice cream your hands be freeze as this process creates temperatures well below normal freezing; so be cautious and protect your hands with thick gloves or a towel while shaking the mixture into ice cream.

Beyond Vanilla

You can customize your ice cream by adding crushed cookies, syrups, bit of fruits, colorful candies, and many more. Try the same process by adding different flavors.

Enjoy ice cream making!!!!


National Arbor Day!

Hello, my lovely friends! How are you guys doing? April has been great, isn't it? And hey! Did you guys fool each other on April Fools' Day? Did you? WOW! That's awesome. I'm sure you people had super fun.  The spring/summer season is in its full swing, and the weather outside looks absolutely lovely, isn’t it? So, amidst all this, what about doing your bit for the environment? Rings a bell in your head? Well, well, well… We’re talking about Arbor Day! Yeah! Now, sweets, all those of you who are going to celebrate it this year raise your hands, please? Come on, don’t feel hesitant; we hope that by the end of this article, we’ll be able to convince you entirely to gear up and make this Arbor Day super memorable! 

Alright, so we’re in the ‘encouragement’ mode, and we’ll go all out to make sure that you tick this day in your ‘favourite days’ list. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s begin with the scratch! Arbor Day is an important day celebrated worldwide for its great environmental significance. Every year, millions of people across several parts of the world go out, get their hands dirty and plant trees in their neighborhood. It’s all about going close to nature and helping in building a greener, healthier and safer tomorrow by planting saplings. 


Undoubtedly, trees are the most phenomenal supporters of my existence on my planet because they provide us with everything -- Food (in the form of fruits & vegetables) and water (by maintaining water balance and aiding in evaporation of water leading to rains in many cases). They also provide shelter (to man, animals, and other smaller plants), fresh air (oxygen included by their natural process of photosynthesis) and housing (by offering timber for building houses and wood for furniture, firewood, etc.). 

Plants are just an excellent source of our everyday need in the best possible way. Additionally, trees provide vital protection for the Earth’s topsoil from erosion, oxygen, and homes for wildlife. They also are a renewable resource that provides a variety of materials for building, fuel and office supplies.

Trees beautify our environment, provide shade on a sunny day and improve our quality of life. So, now that you know the amazing benefits of trees, why don’t you plan and act on planting them? It doesn’t take much of your time for sure.   National Arbor Day celebrates all these things and aims for American generations to come to enjoy all the benefits trees have to offer. And moreover, Arbor Day is a public holiday in various countries, especially in America! 

Now, let’s go back in time and know what exactly led to the celebration of this day; after all, we ought to find out the reasons to ‘how’ and ‘why’ of things at every level.  Always remember that it’s okay to appear ignorant and stupid while asking questions, but it’s terribly not okay to be ignorant about something for a long time! So, enlightened by this thought, let’s get to the root of the Arbor Day.


History of Arbor Day

Arbor Day was not traditionally celebrated on the last Friday of April; in fact, it was not even set a particular date for a long time post its initiation back in the year 1854. Want to know the complete story? Here we roll! Long back in the year 1854 when J Sterling Morton moved from Detroit to Nebraska, he and his mates observed that the place lacked the blessing of Mother Nature. In other words, they noticed that there were hardly any trees or plants in the surroundings. Also, due to scanty vegetation in the area, there was no provision of windbreaks to stabilize the soil and to give shade from the Sun. Morton planted many trees around his home and encouraged others to do the same.

planting of saplings on Arbor Day

Finally, on the 4th of January, 1872, Morton proposed a holiday to plant trees on April 10 that year. It was known as "Arbor Day" and prizes were awarded to the counties and individuals who planted the maximum number of trees on the day. About one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. In 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday and was moved to April 22, which was Morton's birthday. In 1989, the official state holiday was moved to the last Friday in April. All states in the US now have an official Arbor Day; usually at a time of year that has the best weather conditions for planting trees.

This was the story behind the celebration of Arbor Day – A day that prompted people to take to contributing their bit to nature. There are hordes of things you can do to make a difference in the world and the environment, and you don’t need to be an adult to do that! Kids, you’re a great power in your own right, and you can certainly do a lot to improve the condition of this planet.



Okay, we’ll make things easier for you and not give you the trouble of pondering over things on your own. Look, we are so considerate about you! Below is a list of a few activities you can do as a mark to commemorate the Arbor Day in your own simple yet effective way:

•    Study the ecosystem of one particular tree.

•    Write an Arbor Day poem or rap and perform it for the school.

•    Correlate the history of the United States or your community to one tree's growth rings.

•    Learn to identify trees in your community. Students can use a tree key or create their own. Take a nature walk and practice this new skill.

•    Study the structure of a tree, how it functions, and what benefits a tree provides.

•    Make bark rubbings and have the students’ trade rubbings to see if they can identify each other's tree.

•    Study the importance of trees in different cultures.

•    Collect leaves, brush tempera paint on them and make leaf prints.

•    Tree shapes often aid in tree identification. Have students pretend to be a particular type of tree—weeping willow, redwood, etc.

•    Write an Arbor Day poem or rap and perform it for the school.

•    Ask each to student write a description of a tree found on the school grounds. Then see if other students can find it using the report.

•    Have students write letters to community tree planters, thanking them for their efforts.

•    Learn about spices and other foods and learn about the trees that produce them.

•    Play ‘Who Wants to be a Trillionaire?’ or Tree-vial Pursuit and see which class or group of students can answer the most tree-related questions.

•    Plant trees on the school grounds and learn how to maintain them.

•    Participate in a community Arbor Day celebration.

•    Put on a play about Arbor Day. You can either have the students write their own play or perform Trees: A Joy Forever


Thus, this was the entire story behind the initiation, evolution, and commemoration of this very special day that celebrated the beauty, glory and significance of nature, especially plants & trees in all its exuberance, yet with a touch of unparalleled simplicity. We encourage you all to go out and enjoy nature by planting trees and samplings, and in turn, plant a beautiful tomorrow for you and your future generations! Happy Arbor Day!!!


National Women's History Month

Hello, you lovely people out there! It's been so long since we last connected, yeah? Been almost a month, right? Apologies, sweets! This time, we'll make up for it big-time and with this article, we'll kick-start it in a grand manner. By the way, did you miss us? Please say yes, because we really did, and so we promise to get you the most exciting anecdotes and blogs on the upcoming events.

Here's how we get started: Well, do you know what's special about this month? Yeah.... It's March and yes, it contains 31 days, what else? Come on, put on your thinking hats and come up with a promising answer. Uh... Did we hear you saying Women's Day? Oh, fab! Exactly, we recently celebrated the International Women's Day and that's the highlight of this month. But did you know what the real significance of this entire month is? Okay, let us tell you. March is all so important because it marks the National Women's History Month! This season is dedicated to celebrating and appreciating the most courageous, powerful and thoroughly badass (we love this word, you see) women of the world.

Women Power

The National Women's History Month is celebrated in several parts of the world; however, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia happen to be the front-runners in celebrating this awesome month-long occasion. 

Women have always been incredible at what they do, and it’s about these celebrations that give us a chance to felicitate their greatness at a considerable measure.

Women's History

As you guys know, we go all out to keep up with our ritual to make you erudite about every other thing. Here as well, we shall dive deep into the subject so that you know everything from its roots. The National Women’s History Month traces its initiation from the first International Women’s Day celebration way back in 1911. 

During that era, women’s history, women’s rights were completely alien topics and no one really knew about it. This continued till the late 1970’s until in 1978 the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration. That was perhaps the starting of a new chapter in acknowledging women and their significance in the society.
 Again in the year 1979, a fifteen-day conference about women's history was held at Sarah Lawrence College from July 13 until July 29, chaired by historian Gerda Lerner. It was co-sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College, the Women's Action Alliance, and the Smithsonian Institution. When its participants learned about the success of the Sonoma County's Women's History Week celebration, they decided to initiate similar celebrations within their own organizations, communities, and school districts. They also agreed to support an effort to secure a National Women's History Week. And that, my little friends, brought us to the great National Women’s History Month. 

Phenomenal Women

In 1980, the then President of the United States of America issued a proclamation that tremendously encouraged the celebration of Women’s History Week. He said,

“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.
As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, “Women’s History is Women’s Right.” – It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.”

I ask my fellow Americans to recognize this heritage with appropriate activities during National Women’s History Week, March 2-8, 1980.
I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality – – Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul.

Understanding the true history of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people.
This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that “Equality of Rights under the Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Celebrating Women

National Women’s History Month honors the extraordinary contributions of women to the history of this great country, America. It observes the exemplary things women did that made our nation the way it is today. We’re sure you’ve looked up to phenomenal women like Maya Angelou, Hillary Clinton, Elle DeGeneres, Mala Yousufzai, Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher, and Oprah Winfrey, who’ve changed the way the world looks at women today. And not just them,  it’s time you acknowledge your own mothers, sisters, aunts, grannies and all the other exceptional women in your life who make life all the more pleasing and delightful for you. This month is all about commemorating their greatness and showering them with the love, gratitude and honor they deserve!

Strong Women!

So stand up and get going. Stand up for the women in your life, stand up for every woman you know who’ve been instrumental in shaping you the way you are. It’s important that you grow up to be fine citizens who’d be an asset to the great country – The United States of America! 
We’d like to close this article with a few beautiful lines on womanhood by the great American poetess, human rights activist and feminist, Maya Angelou:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.”


Read Across America Day

Hey, you lovely people! February has indeed been a great month with festivities and celebrations galore. Well, as always, we plan things way in advance, and so we’d like to introduce you to a festival that commemorates the act of being learned and erudite. In fact, if you think deeply, this festival preaches essentially what we like you to do. Guesses? Yay! You guys have mastered the act of being well-informed – I am indeed talking about the Read Across America Day! 

Read Across America Day is a gala event that calls for people to all groups, especially young sweet kids, like you, to come together and participate in Marathon reading. Every year on the 2nd of March - Dr. Seuss' birthday - National Education Association conducts the Read Across America Day to encourage children to read and come out as learned and educated individuals. 

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss

Getting to the root of this Day, we will dive into finding relevant facts that make this event so memorable and gratifying at the same point in time. Historically, the Read Across America Day is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of the beloved Children’s books author Dr. Seuss. He was extraordinarily popular for penning down some of the most well-known books for young readers. In fact, his writings were so famous that by the time of his death in 1991, he had sold over 600 million copies, some of which were being translated into more than 20 languages! Now, that’s huge, isn’t it?

Let us know a little more about this legendary author to understand the reason to his high stature. Dr. Seuss is the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who was an alumni of Dartmouth College, Oxford University. Starting off his career as a cartoonist and illustrator, Dr. Seuss went on to become a full-time author specializing in Children’s literature. 

Now here is an interesting piece of information about him: Seuss is more so a German name and has a peculiar pronunciation. Unlike most people who had various other ways of calling out his name, he reiterated that his name rhymes with the word ‘voice.’ Therefore, Seuss was pronounced as ‘Zoice.’

Dr Seuss

What makes him so unique; you may ask, and why is he still lauded even after he was born over a century ago. Well, we have an answer for that, a very valid answer, in fact: Dr. Seuss changed the landscape of children's books with his controlled-vocabulary tales (read: simple language) of antic cats (The Cat in the Hat), colorful meals (Green Eggs and Ham), and dozens of other zany or crazy insane tales that took inspiration from austere and non-ornamental facets of our life. One thing we can certainly derive from Dr. Seuss's works - plain and banal things were given their due, and he reiterated the importance of staying happy and finding happiness with the mundaneness of life.

When Dr. Seuss set out to write The Cat in the Hat, he wanted to write a story that used simple, mostly monosyllabic words that readers could readily comprehend. His use of the patterned, rhyming text has become the foundation for many controlled-vocabulary texts for young readers. 

This was the story of a man who received a lot many posthumous (time to get your dictionaries, sweets) recognitions including the renaming of the University of California, San Diego's University Library Building Geisel Library in honor of Geisel and Audrey (his wife) for the generous contributions that they made to the library and their devotion to improving literacy. Later in the next few years, the Read Across America Day was celebrated in his memory so as to celebrate his outstanding contribution to young children's writings. 

We all know that our country has a rich lineage of some amazing authors, writers, novelists and poets who have left us a goldmine of literary treasure. We think that this Day gives us an opportunity to leave all things behind and instead, give way to hone our reading skills, which is something that will earn us good all through our lives. And the best part – you don’t require to read only those hefty encyclopedias or texts books, you can read just about anything and still help yourself inculcate this habit. 

A knowledgeable person is a gem of their country and with a great heritage like ours, it's only mandatory that we instill good values in our offspring to grow up into healthy, knowledgeable youth who will go ahead and add many more feathers to a nation as great as America.

We, at Best Brains, are driven by an aim to raise lovely kids like you into great beings. Hence, we totally promote and encourage activities for the Read Across America Day because it significantly meets up to our endeavors in making you smarter, sharper, more prosperous and righteous humans. 
So kids, get up and get going, here's your chance to become a model to your friends as you pick up a book epitomizing the essence of good reading and learning! 

Here's wishing and encouraging you all to become a part of this noble deed and be the great future that America deserves!