Kubo Robot Uses Puzzle Pieces to Teach Kids to Code

Kubo is an educational robot that accelerates learning in coding, mathematics, language, and music through its TagTile programming language, which helps pre-school and primary school children explore and understand new concepts in a screen-free environment.

Kubo, a new educational robot that wants to teach kids about coding, has launched an Indiegogo campaign. Kubo, which was unveiled at CES 2017, can be pre-ordered by early backers starting at $170. Kubo will start shipping to backers in June 2017, and at press time had already raised $11,405 (38%) of its $30,000 goal.

Kubo, which is designed for kids as young as three, wants to make programming “as simple as completing a jigsaw puzzle.” To do so, the company created the TagTile programming language that teaches programming concepts in a screen-free environment.

The TagTile programming language consists of puzzle pieces that offer different directions for Kubo to follow. Users connect the puzzle pieces any way they want, and Kubo then drives along the tiles to read the directions. Kubo then acts out that sequence when it’s placed on the “play” tile. Watch the video below to see the process play out. Kids won’t be able to build Boston Dynamics ATLAS robot after playing with Kubo, but they will be introduced to programming concepts like loops, functions, routines, subroutines, and more.

“Our goal is to make kids creators, not consumers. For most children using computers and tablets, the devices are black boxes, working by some kind of magic,” says Tommy Otzen, CEO and co-founder of Kubo Robot. “And because many parents and teachers aren’t engineers, they don’t have the technical knowledge to teach their children how these devices work. KUBO makes it simple for anyone to teach the next generation the universal language of technology, code.”

There are expansion packs available that use the TagTile programming language to teach kids about math, spelling, music and more. The language package comes with an app for iOS and Android that connects to Kubo.

The only assembly Kubo requires is to connect the robot’s head to its body and lay out the tiles. Kubo’s battery life offers about four hours of continuous play, and it takes about an hour to fully recharge. The company doesn’t recommend playing with Kubo outdoors as rain and water can damage the robot.

The company says that learning technological concepts at a young age “can help narrow gender gaps in STEM fields that appear in high school. Doing so better prepares all children for a future in which an estimated 47 percent of jobs will be automated by the time they graduate college.”

Kubo Robot Specs

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe: scrowe@ehpub.com  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.


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