Date:23 June 2017
KOOV makes learning to code as easy as playing with building blocks – literally.
Sony’s KOOV coding and robotics kit wants to teach the next generation of innovators about science and engineering through STEM education.
The kit includes engaging educational materials for robotics and programming. A modular system that helps creators of all ages but mostly children bring their imagination to life.
So, how does it work? The candy-coloured blocks snap together like Lego to create interactive robot monkeys, cars, or anything cool you can think of. A blueprint guides kids through the process to teach them the skill to eventually build their own unique robots.
The instructions for each project include short animations showing where pieces go and the 3D models can be rotated for a better look at how to use the motors, how to program lights and even how to properly balance their robots so they don’t topple over.
Sony developed a companion app using MIT’s drag-and-drop Scratch programming language that teaches concepts like looping. An external Arduino board controls the KOOV blocks.
To make a robot move, blink, or beep, simply insert the appropriate sensor’s wire into the corresponding input and output ports as demonstrated in the video below. The use of hard-wiring aids kids understanding of how sensors, infrared transmitters, push switches, and drive outputs like motors or lights work.
The code is as easy to assemble as the physical blocks. In the coding screen of the app, commands are represented by colourful pieces that users can push together like a puzzle as shown in the video below.
The corresponding code is printed within each virtual block so kids can see how it works and gain practical knowledge that can be applied to coding in the real world.
KOOV has managed to incorporated computational thinking and learning into a playful and fun environment for kids. Pre-orders for the advanced kit is available on Indiegogo for about R5201.04.