With the intention of sparking a lifelong passion for technology, Robo Wunderkind is an award-winning, customizable toy robot for children ages five and up. This groundbreaking TechEd marvel is changing the way children learn about technology. How so? It’s pretty much like Legos on steroids. Except these Legos are smart, programmable, and can be transformed into a robot that is controlled by a smartphone.
The end result: an introduction to both coding and visual programming that encourages a child’s creativity. Just imagine the face of a five-year-old after seeing her robot come to life to give its first LED screen wink – the very emotion that she programmed into a tablet. Oh, and by the way, children can easily add Legos to their robot. It comes with the Lego extension.
With 15 different sensors and motors, kids can program their robots to drive around while avoiding obstacles, solve mazes, stream videos, report the weather, etc. Designed to creatively introduce children to the digital world, the three available robot kits (starter, advanced, pro) all come with different modules and are customizable learning adventures. Concerned about whether or not this is too difficult for your child? Co-founder and CEO Rustem Akishbekov, when asked the same question said, “We created a programming language that is very easy to understand for children. They don’t need to write codes, they just need to drag and drop blocks.” There are three easy steps making the robot work using the starter kit version:
Step 1: Snapping blocks together (like Legos) related to their function. The red is the proximity sensor, blue is the motor, and orange is the main controller.
Step 2: Launch the app on either a smartphone or tablet. From there, a child can select actions via corresponding symbols and drop them into a sequence. This is all color coded and seamless.
Step 3: Let your child’s creativity run wild. Connecting to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, the robot can now be controlled. If parents need to guide their child a bit in the right direction, there is a booklet available with possible actions. Voila.
The Advanced and Pro modules are action-packed. From programming your robot to show emotions in response to certain behaviors to the “room guardian” – a feature that enables live streaming when someone walks into a room, there are endless ways for a child to control his or her creation. This solves a major issue with playing at ages five and up: boredom. The progression through each level offers a fully customizable robot and at the same time, keeps a child engaged by working through more challenging coding. If you want to go the next level, you can move onto coding the robot with Scratch, a programmable language designed for kids.
Robo Wunderkind set out to make an educational toy that “sparks a lifelong passion for technology.” The company has already surpassed its Kickstarter goal, reaching $246K from backers coming from 58 countries. At the forefront of their engineering was creating a robot that was both safe and fun. With the electronics safely stored into each block with a smart connection system, kids are able to build technology with their hands and see their results instantly.
Robo Wonderkind’s programmable bricks are a great introduction to technology without being too overwhelming. The starter kit comes with 3 wheels, 8 connectors, 4 Lego adapters, charging cable, and a project book. The modules in the starter package limits the robot’s actions to things like creating your own flashlight, program a custom alarm clock, the obstacle avoider, react to claps and other noises, etc. If the child loves the experience, the upgraded kits allow for greater exploration. For example, the Pro modules introduce the “Freeze Game” where its user gets to dance with their robot to music until it randomly stops. The robot then scans the room to ensure no movement. If there is a sound made or any movement detected, the robot makes a sound and the player loses. The child is able to build the game and more importantly, take part in the fun. Did I mention Legos?
To summarize, Robo Wunderkind created an EdTech toy that introduces children to technology and at the same time, encourages creativity. A child is able to control his or her creation and because of it, there’s a big upside when it comes to self-expression. The process of building and programming a robot extends to so many gadgets in the tech world, whether that be setting up our laptops or downloading an app to our smartphones. For children, this is a great introduction to the digital world in a fun, engaging manner.