Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Bigshot Build Your Own Camera Kit for Kids

Now this is a very cool kids camera! The Bigshot Camera comes as a kit that kids can build. There's lots of supporting educational material so kids can actually learn about the technology inside the camera rather than just assembling the pieces.

The resulting camera really works. It has a 3MP camera so it should take photos that are good enough to keep kids happy. It has a USB cable to connect to a PC. The camera has a rechargeable battery which is a very nice feature. And even better it has a hand-crank dynamo for times when the battery has run out and kids want to keep taking photos.

The creator of the camera is Professor Shree Nayar and he hopes to inspire kids around the world to take an interest in science and engineering. He plans to use some of the money raised by selling the Bigshot camera kits to make them available to underprivileged children. The Bigshot camera has been around for some time in prototype and limited availability form. From August 2013 it's now available to buy (just in the US at the moment.)

I'm very impressed with this idea. There's definitely progress being made towards getting today's kids to understand what's inside all the gadgets they use on a daily basis rather than being passive consumers. Recently we've also seen the Spider Tank Mark 6 toy robot building kit.

The Bigshot camera has supporting educational material which covers a wide range of science and electronics concepts that can be practically experienced with the camera kit. These include power generation, optics, LCD display and image processing.

Once build the camera is fully functioning allowing kids to get creative and also continue to learn about science. The camera has a lens wheel so kids can try out different effects including taking wide angle panoramic pictures and even stereo 3D images  (you get glasses for viewing these images in the kit.)

The kit is recommended for kids from age 8+. It has been designed with safety in mind but does come with a series of warnings for safe use.

Kids cameras normally take great pains to completely hide their internals to keep them safe from children. The Bigshot takes the opposite approach for older kids and makes the internals very visible and hands on.  The camera is such an everyday object for kids today, I'd love to see this kit routinely used in primary and elementary schools. And it's a great gift to get kids interested in the technology they use.

Source: BBC News

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