Have you ever wished your teacher was a robot?
Well, thanks to a team of engineers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Learning at Harvard University, that dream could become a reality. That’s because they’ve created a 3D-printed robot called Root, designed to teach kids how to code.
The idea behind Root is simple: the easiest way to get kids to understand something as abstract as coding is to provide a means of making it relevant in the real world. One way of doing this is to get learners to program a robot; instructing it to move about, perform tasks, and interact with its environment.
Robots are a great way to bring coding to life, and give a physical presence to both simple and complex coding problems.
Here’s a video showing how it all works.
Root’s creators say they are currently in the process of developing a curriculum that will use the same Root robot in classrooms ranging from kindergarten up to high school level.
The $199 robot is currently only available on a small print run using 3D printing technology, but it is hoped that it can be mass-produced and made available to schools everywhere in the United States as early as 2017. Hopefully, it will also come to New Zealand in the near future.