Whether you or someone you know, I think it is safe to say we have all known someone in our lives who was or is an amateur computer programmer, coder or robotics fan. These are the ones that build their own computer from scratch for fun. Motherboards, processors and graphics cards are their language. Ever wonder how these people got their start? What item, device or experience triggered their passion for programming? Well, for any young up and comers that may have interest in computers and robots we have found a tool that should pique their interest.
Meet Ozobot, an interactive tool to help teach children the basics of coding, programming and robotics. Ozobot is a small (1 inch x 1 inch x 1 inch, .5 ounces) battery powered robot. Through its bottom sensor it is able to read lines and colors which help it determine where to go, what color to turn or what action to take. Essentially Ozobot has a color language. Draw a ‘path’ on paper or an electronic device with different colors to tell Ozobot what to do…speed up, slow down, turn and go the other way, spin and many more. It truly helps youngsters with logical thinking and deductive reasoning. You can even program it to dance to your favorite song via an app. Unveiled at CES this year, Ozobot runs $49.99 on Amazon.com. And a two-pack for $99.99 means kids could play games against each other.
If that is not enough, you can go to Ozobot.com and download STEM/STREAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math/ Science, Technology, Reading Engineering and Math) lesson plans to help kids engage and learn more. And of course there are games on the site too! Coming soon to Ozobot will be Google Blockley compatibility too. Kids will then be able to develop their own commands and upload them to Ozobot. And before you know it these Ozobot users will be programming the technologies of our lives.