Recently funded, London-based startup, SAM Labs, releases new kit, Curious, entering a new, immersive territory of smart playthings.

After raising $4.5m, led by Imperial Innovations in May 2016, SAM Labs announces the release of a new kit, Curious: an immersive out-of-the-box inventing experience, allowing users to build and program their own cars and games.

Empowering youngsters worldwide to get hands on with smart tech, SAM Labs makes smart construction kits of clever little blocks and a fun app that gives everyone the power of technology to build awesome inventions. With the Curious building blocks and the SAM Space app, you’ll be stretching your imagination to create projects, games, inventions and hacks in no time.

Equipped with five paper-fold car bodies, a car base, and remote control, kids can build and program their own vehicles with SAM, whilst gaining 21st century skills. A step-by-step tutorial booklet, and the informative SAM app, both filled with detailed instructions, will guide you through an array of other smart projects and hacks. The kit even encases an additional booklet with even more offers a diverse range of wireless blocks, that when paired with the app, SAM Space, provides for a fun, experiential, and open-ended learning session.

The kit also comes with its own unique new app: SAM’s Curious Cars. Available across iOS and Google Play, the app, made with Unity, encompasses the ‘connect the dots’ feel of SAM Space, with an added gaming element. Explore challenges and tasks to connect SAM blocks together by playing in both the game and in real life.

The kit will launch for $199 (£149), debuting both in stores, at John Lewis in the United Kingdom and Barnes and Nobles in the United States throughout the month of October, and online on Amazon and on the company’s own site, samlabs.com on the 1st October. CURIOUS buyers will also receive a complimentary 20% off code for their next purchases at samlabs.com.

“Curious is the future of SAM, where creativity can be unleashed through an epic immersive experience. When you think about inventing, you think Curious.” – Joachim Horn, Founder and CEO

Two Bit Circus Launches Kickstarter Campaign for New Maker Kit That Combines ART and STEM to Inspire Creativity in Young Inventors

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Two Bit Circus, an engineering entertainment company, today released a new survey report highlighting the gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)-based activities for children, revealing art as the key entry point to STEM, especially for girls.

Two Bit Circus recently surveyed an audience of more than 500 parents to understand gender differentiators in how children play and learn in relation to STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) activities. The report uncovers key insights on children’s educational interests and preferences for extracurricular activities and also shows a lack of awareness for STEM/STEAM in general. In fact, 47 percent of parents are unfamiliar with STEM/STEAM toys such as chemistry sets, microscopes, Arduinos, etc. And surprisingly both boys and girls share similar levels of interest in science and math in school, but girls are far more likely to prefer arts and crafts inside and outside of school than boys. This points to why there has been such a strong push for STEAM in order to help close the gender gap in STEM.

Additional key findings from the STEM vs. STEAM: The Gender Gap report include:

  • Parents of both male and female children equally report that their child’s favorite STEAM subject in school is either math (26%) or science (30%)
  • 41% of parents with boys say their child shows the most interest in technology/computing activities outside of school compared to only 18% of parents with girls
  • 45% of parents with girls report their child shows the most interest in art outside of school compared to only 10% of parents with boys
  • 62% of parents say that their child never participates in STEM extracurricular activities outside of school

To drive momentum for the STEAM movement and blend creativity, curiosity and critical thinking to inspire the next generation of inventors, Two Bit Circus is launching a Kickstarter campaign to support the creation of Oomiyu, a paper craft and technology kit. By allowing beginner inventors to build a fun, customized and interactive paper craft robotic owl, kids get hands-on experience with basic mechanical principles, electronics and programming that combined creates a unique STEAM experience. This maker kit is designed to bring art alive through creative innovation, combining art with STEM for a well-rounded and engaging creativity platform.

“Not only does Oomiyu foster a sense of excitement for STEAM by building creative confidence and curiosity in children, it also helps develop critical thinking skills and makes technology more appealing for creative and analytical thinkers alike,” said Two Bit Circus CEO and Co-founder, Brent Bushnell. “By creating this holistic STEAM-based kit, we hope to bring out the makers we know are hidden in every child.”

Oomiyu, a customizable platform, allows children to build, design, customize and program a paper creature to move, respond and emote to various stimuli. A companion mobile app and open source software extend the possibilities even further. Simple connectors make it easy to add new features and the included Arduino 101 packs powerful features like Bluetooth low-energy (enables easy connection to other devices and the internet) and machine learning (enables other pattern matching behaviors).

Also included in the maker kit are off-the-shelf components like LEDs, motors and paper patterns. The new Oomiyu maker kit offers a unique balance of design elements combined with more technical aspects of personalized programming for a craft that lives beautifully with technology.

This crowd-sourced funding campaign hopes to reach its goal of $72,921 USD* within the next 30 days, or about 500 units sold. The cost of Oomiyu is $150.

For more information about Oomiyu visit the Kickstarter campaign page.

About Two Bit Circus

Two Bit Circus is a location-based entertainment company creating the future of fun. The team of artists, inventors, educators and performers builds social games and experiences that aim to inspire, engage and reinvent the way people play. For more information, visit www.twobitcircus.com or follow @TwoBitCircus.

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 – Project „Mak3rBot“

The Mak3rBot is a LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot that consists of 3D printed Parts. The design is based on Damien Kees RileyRover / Joe Menos Retailrover as this design only needs a few parts. All parts were printed on a Vellemann k8200 3D printer. Most of the parts could be found on Thingiverse, some needed to be exported from Ldraw/LeoCAD. The LEGO ActionCam Camera mount has been designed by Andy Milluzzi. The mission of this robot is to travel to Maker Faires and share the #MINDSTORMSMAGIC with the makers around the world and show them that it is possible to combine LEGO with your maker hobby and create your own parts and robots.

The pictures were taken at Legoworld Utrecht 2016. The Mak3rbot robot and pictures were made by me, Sebastian Trella. Feel free to share pictures or contact me if you need more information or help with creating your own robot.

Plobot is a colorful coding companion that takes programming beyond the computer screen

A revolutionary robot toy helps your kids learn computational thinking through physical play

An educational robotics startup is pioneering a new way of teaching computational thinking and programming through physical interactions with command cards.

How the Plobot platform works

Plobot is an Arduino-based robot learning companion designed for four to eight year-olds. It’s designed to be a child’s first encounter with coding concepts – using cards and storytelling versus syntax and computer screens.

Each command card represents a block of code, directly triggering actions for the robot through its built-in RFID scanner. Kids can make Plobot navigate a maze of obstacles, play music, light up with different colors, sense nearby objects, and much more.

Swiping the cards in sequence strings together a ‘program’ the robot follows, with the „Play“ card working as an execute function. Amplifier cards mimic loops and conditionals, changing the effects of the other cards.

A headstart in computational thinking

By breaking down each task into a sequence of steps, kids exercise problem solving and creative thinking abilities, while picking up core coding concepts such as variables, conditionals, and loops. This helps pave the way for a foundation in computational thinking, and sparks an early interest in computer science.

Plobot can take up to 50 instructions in one sequence. With card expansion packs, Plobot provides countless possible combinations that make it one of the most versatile screen-free coding platforms in the market.

In addition to command cards, Plobot works with ‘stations’, circular pads with labels like ‘school’, ‘ice cream shop, or ‘home’ which serve as goal posts during programming activities and adds a storytelling element to the lessons.

Plobot’s exterior is made of easy to clean plastic, and kids can customize Plobot using stickers, clay, and or attaching Duplo blocks on its back.

 

A Maker’s Journey

Plobot began in 2013 as Rodolfo Cossovich’s side project. Rodolfo is an Argentinian robotics engineer and inventor who teaches robotics at New York University.

“We started with the idea that children learn best through physical play,” Cossovich shares, “The challenge was fundamentally how to make the code-learning experience more interactive and engaging without getting kids in front of computer screens.”

Plobot participated in Make in LA’s hardware tech accelerator to move the project forward. The edtech startup has developed a custom curriculum around Plobot which it has pilot-tested with hundreds of kids in international schools and coding bootcamps in Shanghai, Taipei, Buenos Aires, Washington DC, and other cities over the past year.

“Computational thinking is becoming core literacy for the next generation. Plobot gives kids a headstart. Many parents have described Plobot as a physical version of Scratch. We use this physical coding approach to help kids become better thinkers through play.”

Plobot is set to launch on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter the third week of October at a retail price of $159. An introductory price of $79 (50% off retail price) will be offered to early backers.

The Kickstarter campaign can be found here.

Spy v. sPi by Dexter Industries


Dexter Industries launches a fun educational game that coaches kids to solve problems by challenging them to accomplish secret missions called Spy v. sPi. Dexter Industries, a growing U.S. educational robotics company developed Spy v. sPi, a capture-the-flag style engineering adventure that puts real purpose to basic design and programming skills. It can be played individually at home, or in teams in a classroom or a workshop. In it, every “spy” is assigned a series of missions, each requiring them to write code to control an assortment of sensors that will allow them to protect their “jewel” in different ways, or capture the “jewel” of a competing spy.

Spy v. sPi is based on the GrovePi, an easy-to-build robot kit that includes a rich collection of programmable, plug-and-play components — from sensors for things like distance, sound, light, and infrared, to buttons, buzzers and more. Thanks to the GrovePi’s combination of hardware and software, Spy v. sPi makes it easy to connect to a robot, start writing code, and get rewarding results right away.

We’ve developed Spy v. sPi’s missions with a full range of skills and experience in mind, so no prior programming or electronics experience is required. Each Spy will learn how to program the different sensors and components with step-by-step instructions, all while completing a mission. There are also missions for more advanced spies, and there’s no limit to how complex your solutions can get. Best of all, the entire program is designed by actual spies, so players will face real-life engineering challenges they’ll solve just like real spies do.
Spy v. sPi is designed for everyone — so we have two different programming languages you can use. Scratch is for beginners, and is a drag-and-drop programming language developed by MIT. Python is available for more advanced spies, and is an open source text-based programming language. The Missions are step-by-step instructions that first teach you the basics of Scratch and then help you move on to more advanced programming in Python.

Spy v. sPi Missions are activities in the form of a mission. Each spy will learn how to program the GrovePi and an assortment of sensors to accomplish different objectives, all within a story created by real spies! The Missions will come in a beautifully designed and illustrated full color printed booklet and online videos. It includes space to work on ideas and plan your solution to the challenge, as well as all the information you need to be a successful spy.

We believe the best way to learn is by doing — building something tangible to solve real world problems. Some learners thrive in a competitive environment, and for them, Spy v. sPi is perfect: you can play in teams or against an opponent. For solo learners or those that want a family game to play at home — some spies might want to equip their room with a spy device or alert them of entry by a sibling. Spy v. sPi Missions support both styles of learning and are fun for everyone! Learn more at dexterindustries.com/spy.

GadgetBox – Affordable, Open-Source Robotics for Children 9 – 15 years

The GadgetBox crowd-funding campaign runs until October 14th 2016 with a required minimum target of $50,000 US. You can help by making a contribution. More importantly, please spread the word to others who may wish to support.

GadgetBox is an educational robotics kit, which will enable children 9 – 15 years to participate in a variety of hands-on activities linked to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Pre-university STEM education has been identified as one strategic approach to preparing children for active participation in the changing technology landscape.

The requirement for GadgetBox, became evident while using commercial educational robotics kits in pre-university STEM activities such as construction, programming, and operation of a simple robot.  Price, maintenance, availability, and support requirements were cited as key reasons why successful initiatives have failed to gain widespread traction and visibility.

 

GadgetBox was created to address these issues; specifically by:

  • selecting the smallest sub-set of components that could facilitate basic activities when supplemented with items/materials readily accessible to children;
  • selecting, where possible, components readily available in local hardware stores;
  • providing guideline(s) to adapt/re-use sensor/actuator elements from local e-waste;
  • programming using a smartphone instead of a computer

Campaign funds will allow Edubots Engineering to produce a minimum of 20 kits, while concurrently testing curriculum exercises, and developing learning activities for upcoming school trials and robotics workshops in early 2017.

“We want to test GadgetBox, alongside commercial educational robotics kits in 2017. To do so, we must replicate and distribute the prototype – that takes funds.” – Cathy Radix, Robotics in Education, Edubots Engineering

GadgetBox was created using Open Source Hardware and Software to minimise development time, but also to enable children to design, build, and share designs for GadgetBox accessories.

“Because we believe that there is always room for improvement, we anticipate further modifications to GadgetBox based on feedback from users.“— Jeevan Persad, Fasove, Edubots Engineering

The improved GadgetBox designs, and online support forums, will be available to the public by early 2018.

Crowd-funding Campaign: https://igg.me/at/gadget-box/x

LEGO® Education Brings Science to Life for Elementary Students with WeDo 2.0

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS:
• LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 is a hands-on, elementary science solution that develops science practices in the classroom through a robot-based learning system.
• Correlated to standards-based projects, the solution engages and motivates students to solve real-world science problems by working with engineering, technology and coding through the LEGO® brick, classroom-friendly software and 40+ hours of hands-on projects.
• LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 strengthens students’ understanding and develops competencies across key science topics including physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences and engineering.

CES – LAS VEGAS – NEWS RELEASE – January 5, 2016 – Today, LEGO® Education announced LEGO Education WeDo 2.0, a hands-on science solution designed for elementary classrooms using a robot-based learning system. The unique solution combines the LEGO® brick, classroom-friendly software and engaging, standards-based projects to teach elementary students essential science practices and skills. With WeDo 2.0, students explore, create and share their scientific discoveries as they build, program and modify projects. Through a series of collaborative challenges, they deeply engage with science, engineering, technology, and coding, sparking a love for experimentation and investigation. Teachers receive support through training, curriculum and built-in assessment. The result – a resource that builds students’ confidence to ask questions, define problems, and design their own solutions by putting scientific discovery in their hands.

Featuring curriculum that contains 40+ hours of lessons and activities built on key science standards for 2nd-4th grades, WeDo 2.0 enables students to engage with the science practices and engineering habits of mind by testing multiple designs through eight guided and eight open-ended projects. For example, in the “Drop and Rescue” project, students are challenged to design a device to reduce the impacts on humans, animals and the environment after an area has been damaged by a weather-related hazard. Students can prototype solutions to a challenge where there is no single right answer helping teach creativity and problem-solving skills. This also enables educators to tailor lessons to meet all students’ needs, no matter their abilities.

“Teachers know that science and technology skills are crucial for today’s elementary school students, but providing engaging projects that mean something in the real world is a challenge,” said Jeffrey Marlow, a Geobiologist at Harvard University and founder of The Mars Academy education and development program. “WeDo 2.0 offers projects that let students discover the surface of Mars with a model rover, or explore the Amazon rainforest through frog metamorphosis. These science lessons do more than just teach students facts to memorize – they represent an immersive experience that instills a deeper understanding of the scientific method and evidence-based reasoning. Not only are these skills central to science- and technology-based fields but providing a platform for our students to spark that one idea that could change the world is something they can build on for the rest of their lives.”

The wireless platform includes a Bluetooth low-energy Smarthub element; an electronic based building brick that is part of the LEGO Power Functions (LPF); a new technology platform for LEGO Education; one motor; one tilt and one motion sensor. The WeDo 2.0 Core software is an essential and easy-to-use component that is colorful, age-appropriate and has a drag-n-drop interface that is graphical in nature. It also contains a documentation tool that enables students to document their problem solving process and provides an assessment opportunity for teachers.

LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 is available today on iPad, Android, PC, and Macs. Chrome Book support will be available in the second half of 2016. A Scratch interface for WeDo 2.0 (both web-based and stand-alone) will be available for Macs in February 2016 and for PC/Windows in June 2016. For information on how to implement LEGO WeDo 2.0 in your school, or how to transition to WeDo 2.0 from WeDo, visit www.LEGOeducation.us/WeDo

About LEGO® Education:
LEGO® Education offers playful learning experiences and teaching solutions based on the LEGO® system of bricks, curriculum-relevant material, and physical and digital resources to preschool, elementary, middle school, and after school. In partnership with educators for more than 35 years, we support teaching in an inspiring, engaging, and effective way. Our educational solutions, which range from humanities to science, enable every student to succeed by encouraging them to become active, collaborative learners, build skills for future challenges, and establish a positive mind-set toward learning.

Mit dem neuen LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 wird Sachunterricht in der Grundschule lebendig

Heute wird auf der Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in den USA eine weltweite Innovation vorgestellt:

LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0, ein kabelloses, roboterbasiertes Lernsystem, mit dem schon Grundschüler projektorientierte Problemlösung und Grundzüge des Programmierens erlernen.


Anfassen, ausprobieren, umsetzen – das neue Lernkonzept WeDo 2.0 ermöglicht eine immense Vielfalt bei der Gestaltung eines lebendigen, handlungs- und forschungsorientierten Sachunterrichts in der Grundschule. Unter Einsatz der vielseitigen LEGO Bauelemente, der Software und der Unterrichtsmaterialien arbeiten Lehrerinnen und Lehrer mit ihrer Klasse an wissenschaftlichen Projekten mit lebensechtem Anwendungsbezug und schaffen so ein solides Grundverständnis für alltägliche Phänomene. Schülerinnen und Schüler erlernen durch das Anfassen und Ausprobieren technische, physikalische und biologische Grundlagen sowie die elementare Logik des Programmierens. Sie werden animiert, Probleme zu erkennen und kreative Lösungsansätze zu entwickeln. Die Kompetenzbeschreibungen basieren auf dem aktuellen Perspektivrahmen Sachunterricht. Die Unterrichtsmaterialien von WeDo 2.0 behandeln zentrale Themen des Sachunterrichts und orientieren sich an den aktuellen Lehrplänen der Jahrgangsstufen 2 bis 4 und sind ebenfalls für LehrplanPLUS geeignet.

Im Rahmen der verschiedenen Projekte beschäftigen sich Schülerinnen und Schüler intensiv mit Problemen und Fragen der Wissenschaft, Konstruktion, Technologie und Programmierung und entwickeln dabei Freude am Experimentieren und Untersuchen. Lehrkräfte werden durch Fortbildungen, Unterrichtsmaterialien und integrierte Leistungsbewertungen unterstützt. So ergibt sich ein Unterrichtsmittel, welches Schülerinnen und Schülern dabei hilft, kritisch zu denken und problemlösungsorientiert zu agieren sowie im Kontext zu handeln und zu urteilen. Nebenbei werden die Kommunikation und die Präsentationsfähigkeit gestärkt und die Entwicklung eigener Lernstrategien wird angestoßen. Neben dem Erkenntnisgewinn stehen auch Partner- und Gruppenarbeit im Fokus.

Die dazu gehörenden Unterrichtsmaterialien behandeln wesentliche Themen des Sachunterrichts und orientieren sich am aktuellen Lehrplan der 2. bis 4. Jahrgangsstufe mit 17 Projekten und Stoff für mehr als 40 Unterrichtseinheiten. Schülerinnen und Schüler beschäftigen sich mit wissenschaftlichen Verfahren und technischen Denkweisen, indem sie verschiedene Herangehensweisen und Entwürfe testen. Im „Transport“-Projekt sollen sie beispielsweise ein Gerät entwerfen, das die Auswirkungen eines heftigen Unwetters für Menschen, Tiere und Umwelt einer betroffenen Gegend abmildert. Schülerinnen und Schüler können Lösungen für eigene sowie vorgegebene Fragestellungen entwerfen. Dabei gewinnen sie einerseits Einblicke in die Vielschichtigkeit von Problemen und Systemen, andererseits erkennen sie, dass es bei Problemen unterschiedliche Lösungswege und -verfahren oder auch Antworten geben kann. Das unterstützt die Entwicklung ihrer Kreativität und die Fähigkeit, schwierige Probleme und Aufgabenstellungen eigenständig zu lösen. Zudem können Lehrkräfte mit Hilfe des Materials ihren Unterricht differenzieren und an die unterschiedlichen Lernvoraussetzungen ihrer Schülerinnen und Schüler anpassen.

„Aus unserer Erfahrung suchen Grundschullehrkräfte Lernmaterial, das eine zeitgemäße naturwissenschaftlich-technische Bildung ermöglicht, das auf die Lehrplaninhalte abgestimmt ist und im Unterricht funktioniert. WeDo 2.0 erfüllt diese Voraussetzungen. Obendrein vermittelt es Kindern auf spielerische Weise die Grundzüge des Programmierens und entfacht dabei eine enorme Motivation für das Lernen, Forschen und Entdecken“, kommentiert Prof. Dr. Daniela Schmeinck von der Universität Köln.

Jedes der neuen WeDo 2.0 Sets besteht aus einem LEGO Education Baukasten mit 280 Teilen und Software für iPad, Android, PC und Mac. Die Software wird direkt mit dem Bausatz geliefert und beinhaltet bereits ein Einführungsprojekt. Dieses erklärt Schritt für Schritt die Hard- und Software und zeigt anschaulich deren Einsatz im Unterricht. Die Software mit grafischem Drag&Drop-Interface stellt eine einfache und intuitive Programmierumgebung zur Verfügung, mit der Schüler ab 7 Jahren ihre LEGO Modelle zum Leben erwecken. Sie beinhaltet auch ein Dokumentationswerkzeug, mit dem Schülerinnen und Schüler ihren Problemlösungsprozess erfassen können, und das Lehrkräften eine Möglichkeit zur Leistungsbeurteilung gibt.

Die neue kabellose Plattform beinhaltet zudem ein Bluetooth-Niedrigenergie-Smarthub-Element – einen elektronischen Baustein, der Teil der LEGO Education-Technologieplattform LEGO Power Functions (LPF) ist, einen Motor, einen Neigungs- sowie einen Bewegungssensor.

Eine Scratch-Schnittstelle für WeDo 2.0 (sowohl webbasiert als auch stand alone) für Macs wird im Februar 2016 und für Windows ab Juni 2016 verfügbar sein. Chromebooks werden ab der zweiten Hälfte 2016 unterstützt. Informationen, wie Lehrer LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 in der Schule einsetzen können, finden Sie unter www.LEGOeducation.de.

LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 wird zur unverbindlichen Preisempfehlung von 154,69 € in den nächsten Tagen auf www.LEGOeducation.de/shop erhältlich sein. Die umfassenden LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 Unterrichtsmaterialien kosten 297,49 €. Ein Klassensatz für 24 Schüler kostet beispielsweise 2.106,29 € brutto.

In Deutschland wird das innovative System in Form eines lebendigen Klassenzimmers erstmals von 16.02.2015 bis 20.02.2015 auf der didacta in Köln am Stand C39 in Halle 6 präsentiert!

 

Über LEGO® Education

Seit über 30 Jahren arbeitet LEGO® Education mit Lehrern und Bildungsspezialisten zusammen, um Lernkonzepte und Unterrichtsmaterialien zu entwickeln, die den Schulstoff lebendig werden lassen und Freude am Lernen vermitteln. Das Angebot von LEGO® Education unterstützt Lehrkräfte im kompetenzorientierten Unterricht in Geistes- und Naturwissenschaften, Technik, Informatik und Mathematik und fördert bei jungen Lernenden das Erlangen von Team-, Kommunikations- und Problemlösungsfähigkeiten. Diese sollen Kinder letztlich dazu befähigen, den sich wandelnden Anforderungen ihrer Lebenswelt gewachsen zu sein und aktiv ihre eigene Zukunft zu gestalten. LEGO® Education hat seinen Sitz in Billund, Dänemark und Büros auf der ganzen Welt. Mehr als 200 Mitarbeiter teilen die Vision, alle Schülerinnen und Schüler für lebenslanges Lernen zu begeistern. Mehr unter www.LEGOeducation.de

PHIRO: A LEGO® compatible robot for all kids. Learn to Code in 5 ways.

Cambridge, MA, November 2nd, 2015- Robotics Education Startup Robotix USA, LLC, lead by two sisters, Deepti Suchindran and Aditi Prasad, with a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow, announced today it is raising funds via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to develop coding toys for kids, that makes learning to code fun and easy. The company set out to raise funds on Kickstarter to produce the first batch of their innovative robots, Phiro, that is going to change the educational robotics market. (Phiro on Kickstarter is selected as a Kickstarter ‘Staff Pick’. Link to Kickstarter http://kck.st/1SjqW7H)

Robotix has many years of experience teaching coding and robotics to several K-12 schools. They have evaluated educational robots from all over the world and found gaps. The robots are usually expensive, use proprietary programming languages and are not so fun for kids. Robotix has created Phiro, an affordable robotics & coding toy that helps kids learn to code and develop computational thinking skills. Kids can learn to code in 5 ways, either without a computer or with open-source programming languages that millions of kids use and love. Phiro is a LEGO® compatible robotics toy that kids can play, code & innovate with to develop 21st century skills.

“In today’s technology-driven and rapidly changing world, being computational thinkers to solve problems is an essential skill for children to learn. Computational thinking is a critical 21st century skill that is relevant to all fields from economics, sports, medicine, law, and engineering. Research shows that one of the most effective ways for kids, as young as 4, to learn computational thinking is through coding and robotics”- said Deepti Suchindran, PhD, CEO, Robotix USA.

“With Phiro children get to see the practical application of programmes they have created instantaneously”- said Dr. Wolfgang Slany, Professor of Computer Science & Head of the Institute for Software Technology, Graz University of Technology, Austria.

With Phiro, kids can play music, make a movie, create games, flash lights, detect faces and much more. Coding and playing with Phiro empowers and inspires kids to be creators and innovators of tomorrow.  Robotix has created two robots: Phiro Unplugged & Phiro Pro. Both robots come fully assembled and are ready to learn from & play with, right out of the box.

Phiro Unplugged for kids ages 4 to 8. Kids can learn to code & program the robot without a computer! Phiro Unplugged is a great robotic tool to learn Sequential programming and Binary Coding.

Phiro Pro for young people ages 9 to 18. Kids can program Phiro Pro with a computer, tablet or smartphone connected wirelessly via Bluetooth to Scratch 2.0 (MIT, USA), Snap4Arduino (UC Berkeley/Citilab, Spain), Pocket Code mobile apps (Graz University of Technology, Austria). Learners can connect to a community on-line enabling collaboration, sharing & learning. Phiro Pro also has all the capabilities of Phiro Unplugged.

“In one package Phiro does what a whole lot of other systems do individually so it really helps to bring all those together … and make it more cost effective for the classroom”- said Daniel Riles, Technology Integration Specialist, Brookwood School, Boston, USA.

Robotix has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to manufacture the robots for the global market, which will be ready for Kickstarter supporters in the 2nd quarter of 2016 with special Kickstarter launch prices at $99 (Phiro Unplugged) and $149 (Phiro Pro) during the campaign. Crowdfunding and detailed features of Phiro Unplugged and Phiro Pro can be found here:  www.robotixedu.com and on our Twitter at twitter.com/RobotixLS and Facebook at facebook.com/robotixedu

Personal Intelligent Robots with Android Phone and LEGO

ELFi Robotics startup by Google Science Fair finalist Mark Drobnych is now on Kickstarter

 

28 of October 2015 – New startup ELFi Robotics based in Ukraine announced today that it is raising funds via  rewards crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to finish the development of their revolutionary Android apps for robotic applications. The company set out to raise £33,000 on KickStarter to finish development of innovative software platform for DIY smart robots built with wide-accessible construction sets of Lego, Tetrix, Arduino and Raspberry Pi .

ELFi Robotics offers a Minimal Viable Product – Robotic Platform for learning and building intelligent robots. This platform comprises of: Brain App for Android (iOS soon), Robots, Platform Tools, RoboMarket, Training program.

ELFi Brain App is a robotic brain which can be installed on Android device and connected to LEGO EV3, Arduino or Raspberry Pi controllers. So any LEGO Robot can receive its missed brain from now on!

ELFi Educational Program covers both hardware and software aspects required to understand basics of robotics. Both aspects start from very simple patterns and don’t assume any previous experience in robotics. ELFi Robotics WorkBook and Building Instructions Book by Mark allow a quick start for any beginner.

The powerful concept of RoboMarket and “Robotics for programmers”  book allows third-party developers to write applications for ELFi Robots and even sell them.

According to Mark Drobnych, 15 years old CEO of ELFi robotics: “Our main target is to provide robots to everybody. Nowadays, real robots are really expensive and rare. I think it’s time to enter  the new era of technologies. Build your own robot, with own design, and own set of functions! Our Brain app and platform are flexible enough to support new robotics ventures.”

The story begun two years ago when 13-years old Mark Drobnych worked on his personal scientific research: School Presentation of  Microscope. The results of this work were presented at the Final of Google Science Fair 2014 in Mountain View, California. As functions of microscope started being more complex Mark had an idea to create an universal Robotic Brain on top of Android operating system. This Brain had to create human-friendly spoken interface not only for his Presentation of Microscope but for ANY ROBOTIC BODY built with Lego, Arduino, Tetrix or Raspberry Pi parts. It was ELFi birth.

To enforce his progress on software part Mark involved his dad, Oleksiy Drobnych, PhD, into the project as an experienced software engineer.

In the UK Mark is represented by Androcommerce Ltd., registered in England family firm focusing on mobile e-commerce offering.