Harvard researchers have built a $10 robot that has been designed to teach children how to write code.
The small AERobot can be connected to a computer via USB and programmed in a specially modified language called minibloqs. The language is similar to Scratch, which allows kids to learn programming by dragging and dropping pictures into a sequence. The robot has been designed with school’s tight budgets in mind, as it uses simple manufacturing techniques and materials to keep costs down. Using its vibration motors, LEDs, sensors and actuators, the bot can be programmed to move along a particular course, switch lights on and off or avoid objects and obstacles.
The robot won the top prize in the software category at the 2014 AFRON Challenge – a competition held to help researchers develop low-cost robots to be used in education.