These colorful robots are not only fun to play with—they can teach kids computer programming skills. That’s what Play-i, a Silicon Valley startup founded by engineers from Google, Apple, and Symantec, says about its robots, unveiled this week as part of a crowdsourcing campaign.
The idea of using robots to teach kids programming, math concepts, and problem solving is not new. In fact, it’s been more than 40 years since MIT educator Seymour Papert demonstrated the possibilities of hands-on learning with his Logo programming language and mobile machines known as “turtle robots.”
Over the years, numerous robotic toys and kits designed for kids came to market—most famously the LEGO Mindstorms set (trivia: it was named after Papert’s influential book “Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas”). But most of these products present a steep learning curve for kids (and parents!), and few are adequate for very young children. [Read More]
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