Robo Wunderkind took to the TechCrunch Disrupt stage launching its Kickstarter project as a kind of Lego ™ for the 21st Century. This robots that can socially interact with children giving children`s traditional building blocks that extra edge.
Minecraft has swept through children`s bedrooms around the world and captivated their attention for hours on end, many adults have been wondering what is the attraction? Minecraft`s elementary building blocks allow for children to see their step by step logical process appearing right before them.
Often at a very young age, at 8 months to three years you can see children being fascinated by and figuring out blocks. Picking them up, building towers, fitting them together and knocking them down again. The appeal is in handling and gaining kinesthetic mastery of the blocks in their personal environment that is not controlled by adults. Their step by step reasoning takes immediate shape and form and they gain mastery of these tools.
Games and toys that are able to take it from there, to build upon what children already know and have learn, whilst then taking it to the next level are increasingly valuable.
Robo Wunderkind extends the tactile and kinesthetic experience to a more sophisticated level. Simple building blocks can be snapped together with sensors and cameras inside the that are able to respond to the children`s programming through an intuitive app. The programmable robot is able to respond to different requests such as clapping or to play music when someone picks it up. It can hide or go towards sources of light. Furthermore it can go through mazes or be programmed to set off on a treasure hunt.
The variety of different functions that Robo Wunderkind offers for children to program, like Minecraft, takes the simple idea of creating from blocks and adds variety and diversity to the activities and tasks that the children can do to. It is this kind of primitive creation,that has been with us since prehistoric times combined with complicated social interactions with the human responsive robots.
Robo Wunderkind can also operate in groups of robots which has potentially groundbreaking possibilities for curriculum development in schools with children wanting to fully understand early learning concepts of mathematics and physics through coding and kinesthetic activity with the robots.
Mario Garcia, a Roboticist, researcher and graduate of TUM Munich said that “One of the most important problems to solve with robotics is the communication between each other. If one fails, the others should be prepared to cope with it and not fall into the same mistake. Self-learning”.
If there are groups of children working with a set of robots that are responding and reacting to a variety of different commands, there is the potential to build robotic communities. By the children being able to see how the robots mirror the children`s reactions, then there is a possibility for robots to become social partners. This is perhaps becoming necessary as more children are left to their own devices with adults being occupied with their own adult lives and supporting the family outside of their children`s space. These social robots could provide children with that social interaction and level of creative complexity that takes them away from passive or mindless activities to a realm where they can not only master their own creations, but also be able to logically and fully understand Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics: STEAM, through integrated learning.
As there are increasing demands on parents to be all there and everything for their children, perhaps social robots can support parents in teaching their children the social interaction they are so much longing for, but parents and adults are not always there to give. There is no substitute but there is support with social robots of the future. Perhaps Robo Wunderkind can lead the way taking our primitive need to understand and create in the simplest forms to a more complex level giving children (and adults) a fresh perspective on the social interactions around us.
About Robo Technologies, Inc.
Robo Wunderkind is a programmable robotics kit for kids of all ages.
Rustem Akishbekov founded Robo Technologies, Inc and brought Anna Iarotska and Yuri Levin on board in 2013
The Robo Wunderkind website can be found HERE; you can also find them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Jessica White is a freelance EdTech consultant. Having studied Anthropology and Media she is interested in human interactive technology.
LEGO is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this project.
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