These Robot Toys Will Teach Kids How To Program

Image via Play-i

If you’re aiming for your kid to grow to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, you might want to get them learning programming early. These days, computer programming is one of the most sought-after skills around. There’s an endless amount of possibilities for computer programmers, who are virtually unlimitied in the products and services they can create. They’re free to launch startups, fail or succeed, without having to figure out how to execute it, as opposed to non-techies who have a harder time doing so.

Play-i is aiming to change that by giving your toddlers a headstart with little robot toys (think minions meets the magic 8 ball) that make learning the foundations of programming simple and fun. With 23 days left, Play-i has already surpassed their goal of $250,000; they currently have $300,000.

The robots Bo and Yana can be programmed to do different things (such as basic movement and object detection), and the more children learn, the more commands and complex instructions they can give their robots, who are controlled via a mobile application with touch interface. They make unique moves depending on the programmer and can be accessorized to perform advanced functions.

The video is nicely crafted, showing the robots and children (in a variety of ages) in action. In one portion of the video, an image of a child and what a grown-up, hard-working version of themselves would look like appears, symbolizing how greatly and positively Play-i could affect the rest of their lives. Because, in the end, learning programming doesn’t necessarily mean that you’d be a programmer—the skills acquired through programming can be applied to countless fields, especially in maths and sciences. It helps children learn problem-solving through playtime, which, as the video explains, is one of the best ways children can learn.

The team behind Play-i include people from Google and Apple.

There are also some other ways kids can learn to program. Daisy The Dinosaur is a free iPad that lets children manipulate Daisy using simple programming commands. Move The Turtle is a similar program. In addition to those, programming classes for kids are more popular than ever. These include online technology classes from Youth Digital and Hackety Hack.