The essentials of preschool have been fairly simple for many years. Reading a picture book here and writing your name there. A new robotics startup from Denmark wants to add coding to that list of essential skills with its little robot, KUBO.
KUBO is an educational robot for preschool children, listed for ages 3 to 10. One of the best features of the robot might be its simplicity. Assembly is a one-step process – just attach the head to the body. The battery life satisfies typical playtime, with 4 hours on a full charge. KUBO recharges in just 1 hour. Composed of a plastic frame (approximately 4 inches tall), 2 wheels, LEDs, and sensors, the robot appears to be difficult to break — perfect for a children’s toy.
However, the simplicity extends beyond KUBO’s aesthetics; the robot’s programming language is one of a kind. The startup boasts that “if children can complete a jigsaw puzzle, they can now learn to code.” Using the “TagTile” language, kids can set up a series of tiles connected like a puzzle to program KUBO. As the robot travels over the tiles, it is ‘programmed’ to remember certain commands based on the tiles placed. By replacing programming with physical tiles, the startup hopes that this will make programming more manageable for youth. As the KUBO team expressed, the physical tiles don’t seem strange to the children in the same way that numbers on a screen would.
While the primary goal of the robot appears to be teaching kids code, KUBO is an outlet for other rudimentary skills. The two-wheeled robot can be used to teach communication and spelling with alphabet tiles.
KUBO is going for $169 on Indiegogo with either the coding or language package. The team expects to ship KUBO to backers in June 2017.
Source: KUBO Robot