Here at Next Thing Education we use a range of different robots with the kids to show them how advanced the technology around us is becoming. When you think about it, robots and virtual assistants are becoming a more and more common occurrence that we don’t even take much notice of anymore. The majority of homes will now have a device such as an Amazon Alexa or a Google Nest which can be interacted with to make life a little bit simpler, as well as other appliances being more “independent” so to speak such as robotic hoovers or lawn mowers. Robots are only going to become a more integral part of our lives, so why not give your kids the opportunity to get ahead and learn more about them!
One of our most popular robots that we use at our camps is the Dash. This robot is fully interactive and canbe programmed using an application on our iPads to customise its functionality and what is can do! Dash responds to your voice, can navigate around objects, dances and sings! It is a great robot that we use to introduce the basics of coding and programming so your kids can have a fun and interactive hands on experience with real life robots.
Sphero BB-8 Droid
The Sphero BB-8 Droid is another popular robot that we use – especially with those kids that love Starwars! BB-8 is an app-enabled Droid whose movements and personality are as authentic as they are advanced. Based on your child’s interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and perk up when you give voice commands. Watch your Droid explore autonomously, guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings. This robot demonstrates a different method of movement as it uses magnets as opposed to wheels or legs, a truly unique way of demonstrating to kids how robots can be versatile and unique in their own way.
Cozmo is often considered our cutest robot due to its small size and its 128 x 64 resolution facial display allowing it to show its emotions. However, despite its size this robot is highly advanced and uses over 300 parts to interact and be highly entertaining for whoever is using and controlling it. Depending on your child’s coding ability, there are a range of different ios apps that can be used to programme and code the Cozmo with endless possibilities to how your child interacts with it!
Our mBot robots are another fun and interactive robot we use at our camps that use ios applications to customise their functionality and advance your childs coding ability! Based on STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the mBot is a great education tool to unleash your childs imagination and advance their programming skills in a fun and interactive way. Coding has become a new modern day language to express ideas, inspiring originality, while helping develop logical thinking. The block-based programming software that mBot uses is made up of colourful and modularized drag-and-drop graphical elements making programming simple yet informative.
The Robotic Arm robot that we use is a classic style robot that always draws in the kids attention! With an industrial external design but advanced programming software, the Robotic Arm is a great way to show kids how robots are currently being used across the globe and are becoming a more integrated part of life as we know it. The Robotic Arm is USB controlled and uses software installed on our laptops that allow the kids to be able to program commands that can control all aspects of the robotic arm including the base rotation, gripper, wrist motion and elbow motion.
Alistair Bush – 12/08/2020