DFRobot, a robotics company focused on education applications, has debuted ‘Vortex’, a toy aimed to teach kids how to program. And my very first thought was I wish I had this as a kid.
Vortex is designed as a toy, but it can be used in conjunction with smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth (Vortexbot app). Kids will be able to program the cute robot to perform a multitude of commands and the built-in sensors keep it moving. It also comes preloaded with a few games: Bumping Fight; Virtual Golf, Driving, and Robot Soccer, all designed to be fun and intuitive to play. Some of the games would require a second Vortex, which would be great for bigger families, while other games can challenge the child against it’s AI.
With four AA batteries, Vortex can be played with right out of the box. To inspire those young engineering minds, parents can download the WhenDo app which offers tutorials that will make it easy for kids to practice programming basics while customizing their games. Vortex is also open-source and compatible with Arduino and Scratch.
Check out more fun images and the project video after the break…
DFRobot is gaining funds through their Kickstarter campaign in hopes to meet the minimum order requirements and obtain the customized parts to get Vortex manufactured. For early backers, just $69 will land you a Vortex robot, the golf set, and some stickers.
P.S. I love that DFRobot’s Kickstarter shows girls and boys learning to use Vortex. STEM for everyone!
(via Tech Crunch)