Announced Robot toy maker Sphero has created a robot car toy designed to teach young children the basics of programming.
It’s called Sphero indi, and kids can program it using simple colored squares that fall on the ground, or a mobile app as kids develop their programming skills.
And Sphero indi uses a color sensor on the underside of the pickup to check which square it is driving over, with a green square telling it to speed up, a pink square telling it to turn left, a purple square telling it to stop and celebrating, etc.
To teach children how to create instructions to get the robot to move from one place to another, the game comes with cards that include patterns with missing square pieces, so the child has to know the colored square that helps the car reach its target.
And the Sphero indi robot can follow the instructions of the boxes without any kind of phone or computer connection.
And if kids are ready for more control, the Sphero Edu Jr app allows them to use a block-based language to customize vehicle behavior via simple drag-and-drop programming blocks that can be linked together to create more complex movements and behaviors.
It also increases the challenge for children with puzzles that get more difficult to solve as the child progresses, and he begins to master the concepts of software and robots that are presented.
The game helps enhance children’s problem-solving skills, teaches patterns and concepts such as cause and effect, and reinforces basic kindergarten curricula, such as color.
MIT’s Scratch programming language provides students with a playground to discover how computers use logic, with many exercises that involve solving puzzles and mazes using code.
The robot will not be available until September, but it can be pre-ordered in one of two groups:
- $ 125 Educational Robot Student Kit, Includes 1 Robot, 20 Colorful Silicone Squares, 15 Programming Challenge Cards, and Protective Case.
- The $ 1200 Educational Robot Class Pack, designed for schools, includes eight of everything (160 silicone squares) plus a larger bag that can ship all the robots together.
It is noteworthy that robotic toys for educational purposes are nothing new, as the Cozmo robot, previously made by Anki, used the Scratch-based programming language to get children to control the little robot.
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