Sony Global Education Launches an Indiegogo Campaign for KOOV, a Coding and Robotics Kit for the Next Generation of Young Innovators

SAN DIEGO, CA (June 20, 2017) – Sony Electronics in conjunction with Sony Global Education announced today the launch of a limited Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for KOOV, a new coding and robotics kit for the next generation of young innovators.

The Sony Global Education team developed KOOV as a fresh approach to learning robotics and programming. KOOV is already available in Japan and China, and Sony is now looking to expand the program to the US in order to gain feedback and insight into the American market.

KOOV is a robotics and coding educational kit made up of blocks, sensors, motors, actuators, and a companion app that teaches children core concepts about design, coding and robotics. The app also features a secure social space, where children can share their designs and code with other young inventors from around the world.

The blocks can be assembled into any shape, with the final figure capable of being controlled as a robot. The kit encourages learners to „Play“ by building with 7 kinds of translucent blocks, „Code“ by controlling the assembled figure through the KOOV app, and „Create“ by embracing their creativity and imagination.

Sony Global Education believes that the teaching materials for robotics and programming will play a major role in cultivating STEM literacy and nurturing the next generation of problem solvers.

KOOV was built on the belief that STEM learning tools should be accessible to all children. Through the use of inclusive colors, shareable design and the goal of building a foundation for future STEM learning, Sony hopes to attract parents of children 8 to 14 years old, with equal emphasis on boys and girls.

Pre-orders are available for a limited time beginning June 20th via an Indiegogo, with product scheduled to ship to backers in early December. The suggested retail price is $359 for the Starter Kit and $499 for the Advanced Kit with limited quantities available at discounts of up to 40% for early backers. Interested consumers can learn more about KOOV, and place preorders at https://igg.me/at/KOOV.

 

iRobot Takes Next Step in the Connected Home with Clean Map™ Reports and Amazon Alexa Integration

Tell Roomba® vacuuming robot to clean via Amazon Alexa™, then learn more about the cleaning job in the iRobot HOME App

BEDFORD, Mass., March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in consumer home robotics, today announced updates to the iRobot HOME App that expand the value of connected Roomba vacuuming robots within the smart home. New Clean Map reports provide visual post-cleaning maps that display information about the robot’s cleaning performance, such as the dirtiest floor areas and total space cleaned, while the integration of Amazon Alexa™ voice activated control will make communicating with a Roomba vacuuming robot a breeze.

„iRobot is aggressively pursuing opportunities within the connected home to improve our customers‘ experience with our cleaning robots,“ said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. „The latest updates for the iRobot HOME App make cleaning with an iRobot Roomba vacuuming robot even more user friendly, with voice-activated commands, enhanced mapping features and useful post-cleaning reports. These are exciting next steps towards our vision of an ecosystem of home robots that work collaboratively and further enable the smart home.“

Combining adaptive navigation with visual localization, iRobot Roomba 900 Series vacuuming robots build a map of a home as they clean. Clean Map reports make these maps visible to customers in the iRobot HOME App after a cleaning job is complete, showing total area and duration a Roomba® 900 Series vacuum cleaned — for up to 30 cleaning jobs.  Leveraging Dirt Detect™ – an iRobot patented feature only found on Roomba vacuuming robots – Clean Map reports also provide users with information about where the robot encounters higher concentrations of dirt or debris, providing a more focused cleaning in those areas. With the addition of Clean Map reports, users can now have greater confidence in knowing the vacuuming is complete.

Clean Map reports can be viewed in the History tab of the iRobot HOME App. Once the map is opened, users can manipulate the map on the screen with their fingers, zooming and panning from room-to-room to see where Dirt Detect™ events occurred. The update to the iRobot HOME App also includes push notifications that will alert users on job status, including when the robot is finished cleaning.

With Amazon Alexa™, customers can start, stop and pause Roomba cleaning jobs with simple voice activated commands (e.g. „Alexa, ask Roomba to begin cleaning.“). The Alexa™ skill for Roomba vacuuming robots will be available to U.S. customers in Q2 2017 and is compatible with any connected Roomba vacuum, such as the Roomba 900 Series.

Available for Android and iOS devices, the iRobot HOME App gives users more control over their connected cleaning products, such as the Roomba 900 Series Vacuum Cleaners and Braava jet® Mopping Robot, with customized cleaning preferences, information about cleaning jobs, customized maintenance tips and direct access to customer support.

Availability

The latest update for iRobot HOME App is available for download beginning today worldwide for iOS and Android users. The Amazon Alexa skill for connected iRobot Roomba vacuums will be available to U.S. customers in Q2 2017.

Photos, videos and background can be found at: http://media.irobot.com/

Please join iRobot on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

About iRobot Corp.

iRobot designs and builds robots that empower people to do more. The company’s home robots help people find smarter ways to clean and accomplish more in their daily lives. iRobot’s portfolio of solutions feature proprietary technologies for the connected home and advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence. For more information about iRobot, please visit www.irobot.com.

For iRobot Investors

Certain statements made in this press release that are not based on historical information are forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release contains express or implied forward-looking statements relating to iRobot Corporation’s expectations concerning management’s plans, objectives and strategies. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. iRobot undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by iRobot, see the disclosure contained in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including, without limitation, our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Robo Wunderkind raises $500,000 and announces a new mobile application

Vienna, Austria, Sept. 20, 2016 — The Vienna-based hardware startup Robo Wunderkind, which develops modular programmable robots for young children, announced today a $500,000 funding round with participation from Arkley VC as lead investor, business angel Juergen Habichler, and the Austrian Federal Promotional Bank (AWS). The funding will go into the widening of their retail reach and the expansion into new markets. The plan is to build a worldwide distribution system and to give young customers from everywhere a chance to learn coding and robotics in a fun and simple way.

The startup already raised $250,000 from backers from 58 countries on Kickstarter in October 2015 and by now collaborated with more than 50 schools around the globe to bring Robo Wunderkind to the classroom. Its vision is to revolutionize the way children interact with technologies through developing educational hardware and software products.

 

Piotr Wasowski, Managing Partner of Arkley VC:

“I expect Robo Wunderkind to transform how our kids interact with technology. Even very young children will be able to learn the basic principles of programming, which are vital for their future careers and for understanding the world around them.”

 

Juergen Habichler, Business Angel:

Robo Wunderkind is the future of education. I have been looking for a long time to find a visionary team, which combines robotics with education. I strongly believe that Robo Wunderkind has the potential to become the education platform for kids, students as well as adults.

 

Today, the startup is also announcing its new application to remote control electronic devices: the Robo Play App. Its simple programming interface will allow users to easily create personalized virtual dashboards to control the robots they will build with Robo Wunderkind modules, remotely via Bluetooth or Wifi. In the next step, the team is going to make the Robo Play App compatible with other Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as cameras, lights, motion and light sensors.

 

Rustem Akishbekov, co-founder and CEO at Robo Wunderkind:

“In the beginning, we wanted to create an interface that will allow even a 5-year old to control our robotics kit. Eventually, we created a platform that will allow us to expand our target audience and reach older users. With our app, everyone will be able to control their IoT devices with the help of a very intuitive and customizable app. The way our robots prepare young kids for the digital world of the 21st century, our app will open the world of IoT devices to everyone.”

Yuri Levin, Chief Design Officer:

“With the help of our user-friendly and intuitive design, we are making interaction with IoT devices seamless and accessible for the wider audience.”

 

Robo Play App is free and will work on both Android and iOS devices. It will be compatible with all Robo Wunderkind kits, which are already available for pre-orders on their website with shipping planned for later this year.

 

About Robo Wunderkind

Robo Wunderkind was founded by Rustem Akishbekov, who brought Anna Iarotska and Yuri Levin on board in 2013. The company is based in Vienna, Austria, and maintains an office in Shenzhen, China. In the last three years, the founders have gathered a team of passionate engineers and designers dedicated to the vision of making coding and robotics accessible to everyone. Their first product is an educational robot that syncs with intuitive mobile applications to help children understand the basics of programming. Robo Wunderkind was part of the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator HAX in 2014 and Finalist of TechCrunch Disrupt SF Startup Battlefield in 2015.

LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Introduces Mobile Programming With New EV3 Programmer App For Tablets

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Today the LEGO Group announced the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 Programmer App, a new application that allows builders to create programs for MINDSTORMS robots directly from iOS and Android tablet devices. Featuring a streamlined selection of the most-used commands, the EV3 Programmer App allows for more interaction away from the desktop or laptop computer, giving users even more freedom to explore and tinker with the MINDSTORMS platform.  The EV3 Programmer App will be available in free versions for iOS and Android tablets in English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Danish, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean and Russian in late November 2015. The app is not a standalone experience, but designed for LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, the LEGO construction set that allows you to build and program robots that do what you want them to do (U.S. SRP $349).

The EV3 Programmer App consists of the 11 most popular programming blocks in the LEGO MINDSTORMS software, including action blocks, flow blocks and comment blocks. After writing and saving a program within the app, a user can progress to more advanced programming by opening it in the LEGO MINDSTORMS desktop software.  To provide additional inspiration for beginner robot makers, the app will feature building missions, videos and building instructions for five starter robots that represent a variety of building and programming experiences all while delivering the fun factor for which LEGO building is known.

„By extending MINDSTORMS robotic programming to tablets, we are embracing the ‚anywhere, anytime‘ of mobile devices to unleash even more creativity in building and programming with MINDSTORMS,“ said Filippa Malmegard, LEGO MINDSTORMS community manager. „When we untether the experience from the desktop, programming really becomes a playful extension of building, allowing users to add a new behavior or interactivity to their LEGO creations. This extra level of mobility will make the EV3 Programmer App an accessible and convenient programming starter experience for a new generation of users, while at the same time adding play value for our existing MINDSTORMS Community.“

From Play to Prototype: LEGO MINDSTORMS at World Maker Faire and Smithsonian Innovation Festival
To further inspire the next generation of innovators, the LEGO Group is showcasing the creativity and innovation of the MINDSTORMS Community at two high profile events this weekend, World Maker Faire, September 26-27, in New York, NY, and the Smithsonian Innovation Festival, September 26 – 27, in Washington, DC. At each event, MINDSTORMS makers will demonstrate inventions they’ve built using MINDSTORMS building sets as prototyping tools in addition to showcasing a variety of fun LEGO robots.

A number of recipients of LEGO Prototyping Kits from this summer’s Play to Prototyping Challenge, launched during the National Week of Making in June, will participate in World Maker Faire. LEGO MINDSTORMS Community Manager Filippa Malmegard will also moderate a panel on the topic „From Play to Prototype“ where featured builders will discuss how LEGO bricks and elements can serve as a creative prototyping platform for new concepts and inventions ranging from prosthetics to 3D printers. (Saturday, September 26, 3:45PM – 4:15 PM)

At the Smithsonian Innovation Festival in Washington, DC, Shubham Banerjee, the 14-year-old founder of Braigo Labs will demonstrate his braille printer built entirely from LEGO MINDSTORMS and share his process of invention with attendees.  Alongside Shubham, Cameron Kruse, Fulbright alumni and LEGO MINDSTORMS builder will demonstrate a prototype for his baseball mudder, a machine that can apply the same amount of mud to each new baseball, eliminating inconsistencies in the ways mud was applied to new baseballs before they were used in a game. Both Shubham and Cameron will participate in 15 minute Q&A interviews as part of the event as well.

The EV3 Programmer App for tablets will be available through the App Store and Google Play in late November 2015. For more information on LEGO MINDSTORMS and examples of robots built using LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, please visit www.LEGO.com/MINDSTORMS.

DFRobot Announces Vortex – A First of its Kind, Intelligent and Responsive Robot Toy

New York—July 9, 2015—Robotics and open source hardware provider DFRobot today announces their new interactive toy, the Vortex robot. Designed to teach, empower and entertain children in an interactive robotics environment, DFRobot today also launched its Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 for continued product development. 

Combatting the trend of over-reliance on virtual games and screen time while transforming the robotic toy, DFRobot’s Vortex allows children to combine physical and virtual play. Children can interact with their toy robot while also programming and inventing their own commands and games, all via their smartphone or tablet.

Vortex has the following standout features:

  • Ready for Action—The Vortex robot and apps are fully functional right out of the box. Simply pair the robot with each child’s personal phone or tablet (compatible with both iOS and Android) via Bluetooth, and it’s ready to run. Children maneuver the Vortex by simply tapping their device’s screen to initiate commands
  • Infinite Programming Possibilities—Vortex presents infinite possibilities to create and play new games. It’s compatible with highly customizable open source hardware platform, Arduino, as well as with programming language Scratch. The Vortex robot can navigate obstacles, detect lines and report back by using infrared, grey scale and sound speakers. Easy to use, Vortex makes a child’s introduction to programming fully accessible and understandable and will be a great teaching resource for classrooms, making complex programming and coding easier for children to understand and practice
  • Customizable Games—Children have endless opportunities to create their own games and can also play the pre-programmed, free games including: Bumping Fight, Virtual Golf, Driving and Robot Soccer. Each game allows children to compete against their friends, parents or the robot AI. All games are designed to be both intuitive and customizable, as the child creates their own play experience

“We’re transforming the household into part robotics lab, part playground,” said Ricky Ye, CEO, DFRobot. “We fully believe in the philosophy of learning through play. With our robot, which offers an immersive programming experience, children can learn to code while having genuine fun. Our mission is to bridge the gap between toys and education–particularly STEM education–as technology-driven skills are more important than ever.”

Vortex’s pre-programmed games are designed to be fun and intuitive. Bumping Fight serves as a pushing match between two players to force others from the arena, while Virtual Golf allows children to direct the robot towards a target, while controlling the power of their shots. In addition, Driving allows children to use their device as a remote control to drive their Vortex forward, backwards, right or left around a track, and with Robot Soccer, children can play a match with anywhere from 2-22 players.

DFRobot’s Vortex is suggested for children ages six and up. By supporting the Kickstarter campaign, backers can pre-order the Vortex robot two-pack for $119 with their contributions. Robots will ship to consumers in fall, 2015.

About DFRobot

 DFRobot is a robotics and open source hardware provider that is dedicated to creating innovative, user-friendly products that foster a strong community of learning. DFRobot collaborates with multiple tech giants including Intel and Microsoft and has a product catalog boasting over 1,000 components and widgets including sensors, robotic platforms, communication modules and 3D printers. DFRobot is one of the early evangelists of the Maker Movement and strongly supports greater access to the maker culture.

DFRobot’s new product, Vortex is an intelligent and responsive robot that will enable children to learn, play and program. Vortex will bring together robotics with digital games through fun and interactive apps that allow children to explore, program their own games and solve problems.

DFRobot is headquartered in Shanghai, China. For more information visit www.dfrobot.com.

Meet Codie

Codie is a robotic toy and a custom-built graphic coding language. Codie is an educational tool which fits into the playing style of the children and augments their experience — blurring the line between learning and play. While playing with Codie, the children become familiar with logical thinking that all technology is based on while gaining invaluable problem solving skills along the way. Codie provides educates on algorithmic thinking without the constraints of traditional educational tools.

The Codie app makes it fun for children to learn algorithmic thinking. We organized complex robotic code into colorful blocks children can arrange and connect with arrows showing the direction of execution. While having fun, they learn the basics of coding, using real programming patterns, including: if-else structures, loops, varia-bles and subroutines.

The Codie robot is an affordable and fun toy that pairs with the intuitive app. This sturdy robot is stuffed with equipment and sensors that make it responsive and fun. Codie will provide entertainment for the whole family for many hours to come. Codie comes fully assembled, just take it out of the box, pair it with your smartphone via wireless Bluetooth connection and play. The body of the Codie robot is carved out of high-quality wood and every single unit is hand-crafted.

Technology needs to be part of every child’s education and schools have realized that they need to expose children to technology at an early age. Constraints in our educational system result in the inability to pay attention to every child’s own unique needs. At Codie, we want to inspire these young bright minds to be interested in learning about technology while having fun at the same time. Codie is not just a toy, but rather a creative tool. It’s a companion that augments other games. Playing with Codie is a high-quality learning experience, and it allows your child to understand coding in a fun and interactive way. Children get empowered by the knowledge they get with Codie and the whole process feels natural and seamless. Codie grows with your child. It provides more sophisticated programs as your child surpasses the basics. While playing with Cody your child will become familiar with the logic of computer coding — providing a foundation of understanding they will draw from for the rest of their lives.

more information here: http://www.getcodie.com/

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