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Education & Career

Kids learn at earlier age about programming

The NYU professor Rodolfo Cossovich tell us that he saw this being a really serious problem and decided to design a solution for it. A new approach to this is physical coding, where the robot or machine can understand orders and get programmed without the need of a screen. This revolutionary robot toy helps your kids learn computational thinking through storytelling and physical play.
While having fun, children can learn computational thinking
While having fun, children can learn computational thinking
PR-Inside.com: 2016-10-25 07:52:45
Children learn at earlier ages computational thinking

An educational robotics startup is pioneering a new way of teaching computational thinking and programming through physical interactions with command cards.

Recent studies suggest that the earlier children learn how to think about problems in logical steps. Using these skills lead them to cope better with frustration, promote their creativity and enhance their concentration and focus.

These abilities are also referred as computational thinking, where the way that problems are analyzed is directly linked with how a computer is capable of understanding a problem. The big new is that as early we get that skill in life the more successful and better prepared we will be.


There are different approaches that uses screens. But these bring an additional concern both from doctors and parents about the negative side effects of the introduction of digital products at an early age.

The NYU professor Rodolfo Cossovich tell us that he saw this being a really serious problem and decided to design a solution for it. A new approach to this is physical coding, where the robot or machine can understand orders and get programmed without the need of a screen. This revolutionary robot toy helps your kids learn computational thinking through storytelling and physical play.

How Plobot works

Plobot is a colorful coding companion that takes programming beyond the computer screen

Plobot comes in four different colors - fire red, magma orange, electric blue, and forest green - and aims to appeal to young learners as a first step to programming

Plobot is an Arduino-based robot learning companion designed for four to eight year-olds. It’s designed to be a child’s first encounter with coding concepts - using cards and storytelling versus syntax and computer screens.

Each command card represents a block of code, directly triggering actions for the robot through its built-in RFID scanner. Kids can make Plobot navigate a maze of obstacles, play music, light up with different colors, sense nearby objects, and much more.

Swiping the cards in sequence strings together a ‘program’ the robot follows, with the "Play" card working as an execute function. Amplifier cards mimic loops and conditionals, changing the effects of the other cards.

A headstart in computational thinking

By breaking down each task into a sequence of steps, kids exercise problem solving and creative thinking abilities, while picking up core coding concepts such as variables, conditionals, and loops. This helps pave the way for a foundation in computational thinking, and sparks an early interest in computer science.

Plobot can take up to 50 instructions in one sequence. With card expansion packs, Plobot provides countless possible combinations that make it one of the most versatile screen-free coding platforms in the market.

In addition to command cards, Plobot works with ‘stations’, circular pads with labels like ‘school’, ‘ice cream shop, or ‘home’ which serve as goal posts during programming activities and adds a storytelling element to the lessons.

Plobot’s exterior is made of easy to clean plastic, and kids can customize Plobot using stickers, clay, and or attaching Duplo blocks on its back.

A Maker’s Journey

Plobot began in 2013 as Rodolfo Cossovich’s side project. Rodolfo is an Argentinian robotics engineer and inventor who teaches robotics at New York University.

“We started with the idea that children learn best through physical play,” Cossovich shares, “The challenge was fundamentally how to make the code-learning experience more interactive and engaging without getting kids in front of computer screens.”

Plobot participated in Make in LA’s hardware tech accelerator to move the project forward. The edtech startup has developed a custom curriculum around Plobot which it has pilot-tested with hundreds of kids in international schools and coding bootcamps in Shanghai, Taipei, Buenos Aires, Washington DC, and other cities over the past year.

Right now Plobot is being crowdfunded at Kickstarter ( ks.plobot.com) at a starting price point of $79 with free shipping in US and some places of Asia. It seems that the journey of a maker never ends, but it’s certainly exciting to see all this creative force working to improve the way we learn and play.

“Computational thinking is becoming core literacy for the next generation. Plobot gives kids a headstart. Many parents have described Plobot as a physical version of Scratch. We use this physical coding approach to help kids become better thinkers through play.”

Plobot is set to launch on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter the third week of October at a retail price of $159. An introductory price of $79 (50% off retail price) will be offered to early backers.

Press contacts:

Scott Si

scott@plobot.com

Rodolfo Cossovich

rudi@plobot.com

Watch the trailer video here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev_lMdZvLjo

Further reading:

ase.tufts.edu/DevTech/publications/computersandeducation.pdf

www.technologyreview.com/s/427064/how-young-is-too-young-to-lear ..

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/behind-online-behavior/201604/is-wh ..

www.theguardian.com/news/2015/dec/03/should-kids-learn-code

Press Information
Plobot
10006 NW


51 TERR

RODOLFO COSSOVICH
CEO
2137853891
email
plobot.com


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