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

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.”

 

 

Src:Card The Card Game – The Robot Hacking, Computer Programming Card Game has launched on Kickstarter.

Sept, 2015 – Src:Card Games has completed their first standalone card game: Src:Card.  Src:Card is a two player (3-4 player with expansion) card game that pits players against each other as nation states.  Each nation has one super robot with the ability to conduct global warfare.  With the days of human combatants in the past, players must write code in order to defeat the all-powerful combat robots.

Each player alternately develops its robot’s defences and programs an attack against its opponent’s battle robot.  The game uses fundamental concepts from programming in order to facilitate the attack mechanisms within the game.  The dynamic nature of building robotic defences leads to a remarkably agile response from players.

Src:Card is a game of anticipation, defence and programmatic offence.  The code based mechanics of the game are challenging for beginners and become more challenging as players become more adept at using the programming blocks.  Src:Card was created by Sam Boychuk, Erwin Njembo and Jacob Grossman, each big fans of tabletop gaming and computer programming.

After exploring research topics in software engineering education, Sam Boychuk – lead developer – determined that academics where stressing the need to teach programming students a handful of basic concepts.  Two years ago Sam decided to create a Java-based visual programming language called Pipes, as a continuation of these studies.  Six months ago, the team decided that the ideas in Pipes could be better represented in a tactile standalone card game.  While incorporating cutting edge research in teaching programming, Src:Card incorporates foundational computer science lessons in an effort to entertain and educate players of the game.

While it is the primary goal of the Src:Card team to entertain, they are confident that exploring foundational topics in computer science can introduce a whole new generation of technology enthusiasts to the world of software development.  Erwin Njembo, a teacher and technology student stated “Src:Card is engaging, it is fun, it is competitive, it’s actually a game that keeps you on the edge, you have to use your brain all the time.”  Src:Card is looking forward to releasing the game on Kickstarter immediately.

Src:Card on Kickstarter

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.

MakerBloks Launches Four New Games, Including iOS App

MONTREAL, May 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Today, MakerBloks introduces four new games, including a new iOS tablet app, to empower the next generation of makers and inspire STEM education. With MakerBloks, more than 40 million children across North America can now create, build and design real electronic circuits, without any prior technical knowledge.

MakerBloks Logo / MakerBloks Launches Four New Games, Including iOS App (PRNewsFoto/MakerBloks)

MakerBloks are reactive color-coded, magnetic blocks that guide children through the basics of electronic circuits in a simple, fun and immersive way. To keep kids engaged, MakerBloks is introducing four games to pre-order on Kickstarter, including:

  • Light and Sound Intro Kit – featuring the basics to building circuits
  • Music Kit – featuring keyboard, microphone and flute games
  • Spy Kit – featuring voice changing and burglar alarm games
  • MakerBloks World – an interactive tablet game that combines the virtual and physical worlds

MakerBloks World is a state-of-the-art tablet game that combines the virtual and physical worlds. The tablet’s front camera uses unique MakerBloks visual recognition software to read and react when a child assembles the blocks correctly, all in real-time. With MakerBloks World, the child advances through an educational game that uses puzzles, rocket launchers, and imaginative settings such as candy land, water world and outer space, creating a truly immersive way to teach kids how to build and use electronic circuits.

„With over 15 years specializing in designing children’s games and toys, I understand how games should look, function and feel,“ saidFrancois Poirier, CEO and founder of MakerBloks. „I also know how important longevity is. Parents want their kids to use games and toys for as long as possible. The best part about MakerBloks is its ‚hack-ability‘ – the instructions are just the beginning. Teaching kids about science and technology is a great start, but helping them to be more resourceful, more creative and to feel empowered is what MakerBloks is really about.“

Founded in 2014, MakerBloks was inspired while Francois was shopping for a game or toy for a six year old that was fun, easy-to-use and educational. Since everything was either too complex or had no educational component, MakerBloks is designed for children starting at six years old. Each kit features:

  • Colorful blocks that magnetically connect together on all four sides
  • A guide that explains what each block’s electronic symbol means
  • A set of instructions that is optional! Follow the instructions or troubleshoot your way to success!
  • A hacking hint: every game can be assembled multiple ways – the possibilities are only limited by your imagination

MakerBloks is available for pre-order today on Kickstarter, with intro kits starting at $45 and advanced kits, including intro kit and additional blocks, begin at $85. The MakerBloks iOS tablet app will be available for download once the kits begin to ship in Fall 2015.

For more information about MakerBloks, please visit http://makerbloks.com/en

About MakerBloks

Francois Poirier founded MakerBloks in 2014 after he realized that there are no simple ways to teach young children about electronics. Pairing beautiful design with functionality and fun, MakerBloks gives parents the tools to set their child up for successful learning in science, technology, engineering and math. Easily identified and connecting flawlessly every time, MakerBloks start with a battery, but are powered by imagination.

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/

Dynepic® to Launch Internet of Toys™ Platform & Debut Product on Kickstarter: 15 November

Dynepic® is pleased to debut the future of toys with our premier device, the DynePod™, which will launch 15 November on Kickstarter.com.  DynePods™ operate on The Internet of Toys™ (IoToys), Dynepic’s state-of-the-art open platform designed to share cloud content and connect toys, merging elements of child’s play and technology to enable children to interact with their toys in revolutionary and modern ways.

The DynePod™ is an educational, Bluetooth connected toy designed to introduce fundamental concepts of customization, socialization, programming and engineering, by allowing children to create their own interactive programs for their toys. Using a graphical If, Then programming interface, developed under contract with the National Science Foundation, children can create a multitude of unique, useful programs that involve both the digital and physical world.  DynePods™ are modular, fully customizable toys that are compatible with a multitude of self-designed and 3D printed accessories, encouraging the next generation to start innovating.  Enabled by the Internet of Toys™ platform, DynePods™ can morph and grow with the child through cloud updates, as well as connect wirelessly with other DynePods™ and a host of other future toys linked to the platform.

„DynePods™ and The Internet of Toys™ platform will enable new play patterns and encourage open-ended exploration for the future of toys, for children, makers, and toy inventors alike,“ Krissa Watry, Dynepic’s Co-Founder & CEO, comments.  „We hope you will join us by supporting DynePods™ and the Internet of Toys on Kickstarter, 15 November.“ For more information on how Dynepic is working to build the COOL aisle for toys, please visit our website www.dynepic.com or contact us at [email protected]. A Press kit is available.

Founded in 2011, Dynepic® is focused on building cool connected toys and an open architecture and cloud platform to drive child friendly content in new and innovative ways. Dynepic® is a women owned, veteran owned, small business focused on creating the Internet of Toys™.  

Enchanting v0.2.3 is out

The NXT STEP – LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Blog: Enchanting v0.2.3 is out.

Free German NXC Tutorial

Not eXactly C is a high-level programming language for the Lego Mindstorms NXT. NXC, which is short for Not eXactly C, is based on Next Byte Codes, an assembly language. NXC has a syntax like C.

There is a new version of the NXC Tutorial available at the Roberta Homepage. It is an extended german version of the tutorial original based on the work of Daniele Benedettelli.

You can download the german tutorial for free here: http://roberta-home.de/de/was-bietet-roberta/roberta-reihe/nxc-tutorial

The English original version is available here: http://bricxcc.sourceforge.net/nbc/nxcdoc/NXC_tutorial.pdf

http://roberta-home.de/sites/default/files/images/Tutorial.thumbnail.JPG

FAIR Libary is online

As we have already reported is the „Fraunhofer Autonomous Intelligent Robotics Devices“ Library now open source and available at the sourceforge project „OpenVolksBot„. In addition we can know report some more details on it.

  • The FAIRlib is now organized as several Eclipse-Project (fairAlgorithm, fairCore, fairDevices, fairGraphics, fairTestAlgorithm, fairTestCore, fairTestDevices and fairTestGraphics). This allows an easy extending and compiling the projects and minimizes the cross dependencies.
  • The dependences  are listed in the ReadMe and can be auto installed by using the script „apt-get-fair“
  • A way of easy installing is given by the script „install-fair
  • The current version is tested on the Ubuntu 9.10 (64-Bit) ,  but will also work on other OS (by side of auto solving the dependences)
  • Fair is published under the CC-by-sa-nc License .

So now we all can reuse and cooperated in a create library, instead of reinventing the „wheel“ again and again. 😉