Photon – a Child Friendly Code Teaching Robot About to Join Kickstarter

BIALYSTOK, Poland, 10.05.2016 – Photon Entertainment announced a crowdfunding campaign for Photon – world’s first interactive robot that grows up with children while teaching them programming.
The campaign is launching on May 31st and will take place over the course of six weeks. Price ranges from $149 for a super early bird version to $199 for a regular one. Stretch goals include backer exclusive accessories for the robot (such as a jetpack or mouth allowing for speech visualization) as well as donations for various child related charities (cancer wards, orphanages and others).

Photon is a robot meant to educate children through a mixture of storytelling, challenges and latest technology. It comes equipped with a variety of sensors that allow it to see, hear, feel the touch, distinguish between light and dark, measure proximity and more. Programming language used by the robot is inspired by Scratch and Google Blockly, which makes it simple and digestible by even the youngest users.


The robot comes with a paired application adjusted for both smartphones and tablets. Here, children learn the story of Photon – a little robot whose flying saucer crashed on earth. By completing coding related tasks they help him gain his senses back, and rebuild his spaceship. App encourages friendly competition and cooperation thanks to the inclusion of high scores, leaderboards and daily tasks. Experience points gained by progressing allow kids to customize their robot and decide the order in which he develops, making each unit unique.
“In four years there will be a gap of over a million computing jobs and candidates available for grabbing” says Marcin Joka, the CEO of Photon Entertainment. “We want to take part in closing that gap and proving that with a proper set of tools even a six year old can successfully learn how to code, and have a huge advantage in his or her future career”. The idea for creating Photon comes from minds of Marcin Joka, Krzysztof Dziemańczuk, Michał Bogucki and Maciej Kopczyński, four students and one academic lecturer form Bialystok University of Technology, Poland. The creators have received numerous distinctions and honorable mentions for their work. One of team members took part in creating an award winning Mars Rover Hyperion 2.

Kamibot Programmable Papercraft Robot Launches on Kickstarter

Daegu, Korea – February 16, 2016 – Kamibot, the first robot that makes learning to code truly fun for kids (and kidults), will launch on Kickstarter on Tuesday, February 16.

Kamibot is a cute, programmable edtech robot, about the size of a coffee mug. It is based around Arduino, so kids can easily program it by using a drag-and-drop programming language like Scratch. The programming skills kids learn with Kamibot are easily transferrable to real-world applications.

“Unless we make programming fun, kids are never going to stick with it,” said Alvin Chae, co-founder and CEO of 3.14, the company that makes Kamibot. “That’s why we put so much effort into the fun elements of Kamibot, creating colorful papercraft skins that let kids dress up Kamibot, and included the ability to control Kamibot with a smartphone or tablet.”

Papercraft Skins

Kami (紙) is the Japanese word for paper, and is at the root of the word origami (折り紙), literally folding paper. The Kamibot team have already created about half a dozen unique papercraft skins that kids can print out, color, and fold to customize Kamibot and give it character. These include The Count, Frankenstein’s monster, a warrior robot, a tank and a missile launcher tank. The company is also working on striking licensing deals for popular cartoon characters.

Hardware

While Kamibot is undeniably fun to play with, it also packs some serious hardware. It’s brain is an Arduino compatible board, based on the open-source standard widely used by the maker community around the world. It also includes front-facing ultrasonic sensors that help it recognize and avoid obstacles and navigate through mazes or around a room. Downward-facing IR sensors allow Kamibot recognize and race along a black line on the floor. DC motors power the wheels, and a servo motor allows the heads of the papercraft characters to rotate from side-to-side. Color changing LEDs brighten up Kamibot and make it even more colorful.

Programming Kamibot

Kids can program Kamibot to follow complex courses and do complex actions, using all of its motors and sensors. One example of how to program Kamibot is a treasure hunt. Kids can set up a table-sized treasure hunt map that includes obstacles like plastic alligators and a treasure chest. Then, using Scratch, kids can program Kamibot to wind its way through the course toward the treasure chest. Several programming project plans, including the treasure hunt, are included with Kamibot. Others will be released on the company’s website in the future. Kamibot can be programmed wirelessly via Bluetooth or while plugged in via micro-USB.

Launching on Kickstarter

Throughout 2015, Kamibot was tested in Korean classrooms and earned high marks both from students aged 10 to 17, and their teachers. Now Kamibot is ready to launch on Kickstarter on Tuesday, February 16 at 7:00 a.m. EST. Super earlybird prices start at $79 plus shipping. Pre-orders close after 30 days and Kamibot will ship to backers in June. For more information, visit Kickstarter and search for Kamibot.

Meet OhBot, a “human” robot for children

A London inventor has created an educational robot that kids can use to boss around their parents.

Mat Walker, and his business partner Dan Warner, have together developed OhBot, a talking robot head that can be programmed to follow simple instructions. The educational robot was created in the top room of Walker’s house in Hornsey, north London. And now the invention is set to be sold worldwide.
Primary school kids as young as seven can teach Ohbot to tell their parents to “Go and tidy your room”, “To eat up your broccoli” or to “switch the telly off at once!”

Mat Walker, a roboticist, said: “Ohbot is a brilliant way to teach kids the skill of coding – what parents used to call ‘computer programming’. Most children find programming Ohbot really easy to pick up. They’re much better at this sort of thing than their parents.

“Ohbot can do so many things. It can talk, move its head, smile and frown. You can program its eyes to follow you around the room.

“Ohbot is great for children of all ages from about six. It appeals as much to girls as to boys.

“But what kids like the most is the way it talks. You tell it what to say and its lips synchronise automatically with the words you’ve given it. I’ve seen so many children make Ohbot tell their parents to behave!”

Co-creator Dan Warner added: “Kids love accessorising Ohbot. You can make some hair out of pipecleaners, stick a hat on it, give it a pair of cool sunglasses.”

Ohbot is different from previous educational robots because it’s in “human” form, rather than “turtle shaped” like the vast majority of robots that have been in schools since the 1960s.
Walker says: “Turtles are fine. But why shouldn’t children create and invent using a robot that looks just like them?”

Unlike most of those old-fashioned robots, Ohbot can talk, display emotions, act, react and solve real world problems.

It can be programmed to teach spellings or maths, ask questions and record the answers, even lead a cookery demonstration! You simply plug Ohbot into a PC computer and it’s ready to be programmed. Until now, Walker and Warner, from Stroud in Gloucestershire, have been taking their invention around schools.

But this month (17 Oct) they have released it on sale directly to families.
Anyone wanting to buy one simply logs on to the kickstarter website www.tinyurl.com/ohbot2  and pledges either £149 for a ready-made Ohbot or £99 for one in kit form – and as soon as 100 pledges have been made, the production line will start producing the robots, ready to be delivered in time for Christmas.

Walker says: “Ohbot has been a tiny cottage industry so far but it’s ready to move into the mainstream.

“We’ve taken Ohbot into lots of schools and they love it. But now we’re ready to offer Ohbot directly to parents and grandparents at home.”

 

 

BumbleBeeBot – for Teaching Robotics and Programming to Kids

OpenElectrons have started a Kickstarter Campaign for an Arduino based robot called BumbleBeeBot to teach programming and robotics to young kids.
OpenElectrons is the affiliate of mindsensors.com, which makes sensors and controllers for LEGO Mindstorms.

BumbleBeeBot is a low cost kit with progressively complex programming environments.
For the younger audience, the bot uses Scratch like graphical programming environment.
Scratch is already widely adopted in schools and makes programming easy for children.
Growing students can then transition to miniBloq which is graphical programming interfacing to Arduino.
At advance level, students can directly program in Arduino IDE using C/C++.

The BumbleBeeBot has gone through pilot programs in schools and afterschool robotics classes in
Richmond, Virginia, and now they’re seeking funding for production.

#BumblebeeBot for Teaching #Robotics and #Programming to Kids:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1842571016/bumblebeebot-for-teaching-robotics-and-programming