Monday, October 28, 2013

Play-i's Bo and Yana robots teach kids programming concepts through stories (video)


Playi's new robot toys will teach kids the concepts of coding

There are efforts to promote coding to kids, but they're typically aimed at an older demographic -- few young children are ready to sit at a keyboard and start writing. Play-i hopes to foster that interest at an earlier age with its upcoming programmable robots. Both the three-wheeled Bo (right) and its stationary cousin Yana (left) teach coding concepts through the context of stories, which are easier to grasp for kids. Owners can tell Bo to give a flower to a friend, for example, or get Yana to make helicopter sounds when it's shaken. Play-i's Bluetooth-based remote control app (currently iOS-only) simplifies arm, eye, gesture and wheel commands, reducing them to icon-based sequences; effectively, kids learn about if-then code without mastering a programming language.

The company is running a crowdfunding campaign to help with its planned summer 2014 launch. Interested parents can pledge $49 for Yana, and $149 for Bo; prices should climb to a respective $69 and $199 when the robots reach the market. Tinkerers can also spend $499 to get a developer combo that includes both machines as well as early access to an API. If you're interested in giving your kids a head start in the tech world -- or just want particularly clever toys for yourself -- you'll want to check out Play-i at the source link. %Gallery-slideshow102193%

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Source: Play-i