• Meet Sammy. This cute little sandwich is actually a robot that teaches coding principles and skills to children 4-8 years old. You don’t need a tablet, smartphone, or computer to program this robot; programs are created by simply laying down a sequence of physical code cards. As the robot drives over the code cards, an OID optical scanner on the bottom of the robot reads the code cards one by one and loads the program. Next, place the robot on a grid made of map cards, and the robot runs the program. You can program the robot to move in different directions, activate its output gear, light up its LED, play sounds, and respond to different function cards. The integrated output gear makes it possible to build simple robotic creations with arms or other moving parts that respond according to the program’s instructions.This robot kit also teaches physical engineering and problem solving skills through a series of building and coding lessons. The 30 lessons are aligned with standards for computer science education developed by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE). The lessons progress in complexity through the illustrated manual, allowing the kit to be appropriate for a child as young as four years with help from an adult and as old as eight years. The lessons cover these six key areas in coding: sequencing, loops, events, conditionals, functions, and variables.In addition to Sammy, there are five other stories, each with a series of model-building and coding challenges and lessons related to it: a mouse moves through a maze to find cheese; a penguin wanders around a zoo; a football player moves a ball into the goal; a fire truck puts out a fire; and a factory robot performs tasks in a factory scene. A full-colour illustrated manual guides users through the coding lessons and the assembly of the different models.
  • Programmable Robots Robotics is a vast, thrilling, and sometimes overwhelming interdisciplinary field involving physics, engineering, and computer science. This kit gives kids a simple, fun, and customisable introduction to robotics that lets them build eight motorised machines controlled by programs and an ultrasound sensor. Kids code the programs using an easy, visual programming app on a tablet or smartphone, which connects to the robot models via a wireless Bluetooth connection.The ultrasonic sensor works on the same principle as sonar. It sends out sound waves, which bounce off objects. The sensor interprets the echoes returning to it, and from this detects objects in the path of the sensor. Using the app interface, you can program the robots you build to behave based on the feedback coming from the ultrasound sensor.Build a humanoid robot that walks forward on two legs and pivots to avoid obstacles in its path. An awesome stag beetle model moves backwards or forwards in response to an obstacle, and opens and closes its pincers. Construct a funny crocodile model that wags its tail if no object is in sight, but then opens its giant jaws when an object approaches. Using an additional smartphone and tablet, you can even hack together a cute little spy-bot that roams around and streams video back to the tablet screen. A cool dualrotor drone model rotates its rotor blades 90 degrees. You can also assemble other fun robots including a robo-dog and robo-dino. After you have learned how the technology works, you can build and program your own robots using the kit’s 194 building pieces.A full-colour, 64-page step-by-step illustrated manual helps kids assemble all of the models and teaches them about robotics in the real world. The visual programming language allows you to command the robots’ motors to move at different times, different power levels, in different directions, and in response to the data from the sensor. Requires a tablet or smartphone running iOS (iPhone 4S or later, iPad 3 or later, iPod 5 or later) or Android (Android 4.3 or later on a device with Bluetooth 4.0 support).