A new Kickstarter campaign is funding mBot, a teaching robot for kids.
The mBot Kickstarter was launched with a goal of $20,000, and has as of today more than doubled that goal. The creators, Makeblock, are a Chinese startup focused on open source gadgets and learning platforms. According to the company, mBot "can help kids get hands-on experience on mechanics, electronics, control system and computer science." According to the makers of mBot, an issue exists in the industry of getting robotics to an accessible position for children. "All robots on the market seem to be expensive, hard to assemble, trouble to wire and complex to program. Our goal is to create an affordable, easy-to-use and open source robot for per kid: ONE ROBOT PER KID."
Mbot is an example of a growing trend in the programming industry to teach the fundamentals earlier and earlier in anticipation of fluency in these languages becoming a more important part of our lives in the future. Late last year, the BBC released a program called Technobabble, which enabled children to program simple games in an open source environment. By providing the fundamentals of coding and computer science earlier in life, the hope is that more individuals will grow with a fluency in programming and computer systems as we increasingly rely on these industries moving forward. One of mBot's biggest selling points is the price itself, with each educational device currently at $49.
Photo: © Creative Commons - Flickr: Mitch Altman