Google and Apple Alumni Create Coding Robot for Kids

To solve the issue of people not wanting to get into the tech industry, Google and Apple alumni have teamed up to make robots that teach children how to code.

play-i Robot image

One of the biggest issues that the tech industry is facing at the moment isn’t necessarily a lack of ideas, it’s actually a lack of people to make those ideas a reality. Many of the people in the technology industry already are driven by one of two things, one of those is obviously money, as people will pay good salaries for talented coders and engineers, while the other is that people have a genuine interest in the industry and want to make it better. However, that interest is often there from a young age and so to encourage more children to get into coding, a team of Google and Apple alumni have invented adorable robots that teaches them how to code.

Founding play-i with Saurabh Gupta, a former engineer at Apple and Mikal Greaves, formerly of Frog Design, former head of consumer payments at Google, Vikas Gupta, quit his job at the search giant after having his first child and questioning what he could do to make technology more appealing to young kids. Raising $793,000 in a crowdfunding project, play-i are hoping to bring the solution to reality in the form of coding robots Bo and Yana. Looking like toys (in an image you can see above), the former, Bo, allows children to program a xylophone, giving the user a musical benefit as well as an educational one. Bo can also be programmed to dance (it sits on three wheels) and even produce a flower. Yana, a spherical robot, on the other hand, can be coded to do things such a roar like a lion when shaken.

Gupta says of the robots that “Kids can start weaving these characters into stories and learning about sequences. On page one you can say, if I throw you, you’re a lion, but if I shake you, you’re a train. Suddenly what they’re doing is programming sequences and conditions and branches, but in the context of a story and characters.” making the benefits of Bo and Yana fun, rather than seeming like homework. The programming is recorded in the languages of Blockly, Scratch Java and Python, which can be studied in more depth by older kids, making play-i’s project educational and entertaining for children of all ages.

We’ll keep you posted once we know more.

Source: Wired

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