Monday, 26 June 2017

Cozmo is a cool interactive robotic toy from Anki, now there's Cozmo Code Lab that means kids can program Cozmo. Yay! I mean we love robotic toys that can do cool stuff (which Cozmo can) but we like toys that kids can program themselves even more.

We've been using both Amazon Alexa  (Echo and Dot) and Google Home since each came out. This comparison focuses on families with children using a voice assistant.

As a family we're deep into both the Amazon and Google infrastructures, and yes, we love our tech, so it made sense for us to give both devices a try and we've been using them side by side since Google Home was available (we've had Alexa since it came out in the UK.)

Friday, 23 June 2017

In the last few years loads of awesome beginner microprocessor boards have appeared on the market. There are loads of choices for getting kids started with programming hardware and physical computing. We love this stuff! It enables kids to learn useful tech skills and also useful design skills as they make gadgets that make sense to them.

Beginner microcontroller or microprocessor boards can be used to create custom wearables and electronic gadgets. The often include inputs, outputs and sensors on the board or make it really easy to plug them in. This removes a lot of the complexity of soldering or working with a tangle of wires on a breadboard. The focus is much more on what you can do with the device.

We've tried lots of these boards now so it's time for a roundup so you can pick the best board for your child or their next project.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The micro:bit mini computer has launched in the US and Canada! Fantastic. We're in the UK and have been using the micro:bit a lot but we know the majority of our readers are actually in the US.

Kickstarter Gold is an initiative to invite the platform's most innovative and creative campaigners back to showcase their work with exclusive awards. Some cool kid tech campaigns have made the cut including 3Doodler, Timbuktu with "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" and Cubetto.

The campaign runs until the 31 July with over 50 projects launching over the coming weeks.

Cubetto launched two new playsets - Polar Expedition and Swarmy Swamp - with the Kickstarter Gold campaign.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 One is a programmable AI robot. We don't write about all the home assistant / companion robots as there are so many! But One is a bit different. It's designed as a platform for developers, makers and kids to experiment with to design the next generation of AI companions. That's our kind of robot.

We've been following the development of the Sony KOOV coding and robotics kit for kids. Now they've launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to make the product available in the US.