The past ten years or so have seen a huge push towards STEM subjects in the United States to shore up the youth for a future society dominated by computer programming and robotics. But no matter how important the programming skills are, children w care about the future implications of learning them unless it’s fun to learn first.
Enter the Codeybot, another crowdfunded little robot designed to engage children in the fundamentals of coding from the creators of the Makeblock. What’s immediately noticeable is how its LED panel and extremely appealing, wedge-shaped single-wheel design serve to grasp the usually fleeting attention spans of children. To maintain it, children program Codeybot with an iPad app using the mBlocky language. (Sorry Android users.)
Using mBlocky, they can program new patterns into its LED panels, new routes for it to explore, or even dances to entertain with, later hooking itself up to Wi-Fi and playing music when play time is over. And with an optional LED laser add-on, Codeybots take a turn towards the gladiatorial and can duke it out, too — much to the glee of kids everywhere. Each Codeybot goes for $129 and comes with a docking station to charge and a free app download. The Kickstarter campaign is looking for $100,000 by May 13th, 2016 to get Codeybot out to backers by August 2016.
The Codeybot is another in a long line of instructional robot concepts designed to engage children in coding. The good thing about it is that accessories and add-ons are planned and will add variety to what it can do. This is important in not only keeping kids hooked but also challenging their newly gained programming skills. In relation, the Kamibot combines papercraft and robotics together for more longevity but isn’t as slickly design. On the other end of the spectrum, the Cubetto ditches electronics altogether, instead opting for well-made, high-quality toys in combination wth a Montessori framework to get across the same concepts — something that might appeal to parents wary of excessive screen time.