A new toy concept has been designed that looks to teach children how to code through building physical robots that move, light up and make noises.
Start-up company Algobrix has launched on Kickstarter, and aims to teach kids aged five to 13 how to write code through building Lego models.
Amir Asor, the company’s CEO, says the new toy will go some way in teaching children basic science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills.
“Kids find it difficult to sit next to a computer and learn how to program,” he says. “The first problem is language related, and the second is that they don’t enjoy the experience.”
“We believe in hands-on learning,” he says. “Children are interested in the tangible experience of being able to program a sequence with their own hands so we decided to give them code in the form of building blocks they could play with.”
He adds: “Algobrix changes a stereotypically boring, confined experience to a playful, intuitive and fun learning experience.”
The Algobrix kit includes instructions, Lego building blocks, and coding blocks. Children build robots either using design templates provided or “from their imagination”, says Asor, then put together coding blocks in various sequences to make the robots perform different functions.
The kit also includes activity cards, which suggest different animated sequences for the robots. The coding blocks replicate aspects of computer coding, including parameters, loops and functions.
There are kits with different levels of difficulty, and Algobrix plans to create more complex kits in the future which will include added features such as LED lights and audio players.
“Every new invention involves some level of creativity,” Asor says. “We would love to help children combine creativity with coding and STEM basics, and share their masterpieces as a collective result of both.”
Algobrix has achieved its Kickstarter fundraising target of $53,000 (£40,600), and will be available to buy in stores worldwide from April 2018 onwards, according to the founders.
Kits are priced $125-$1,700 (£96-£1,300), but are available at a 40% discount for those who donate to the Kickstarter.