Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Kid Tech Crowdfunding Campaigns Roundup Feb March 2016


This is the February / March 2016 edition of the Tech Age Kids roundup of interesting kid tech crowdfunding campaigns. The projects featured here have launched since our last roundup and many will be available to back into March 2016. Some are ending soon so get in quick if you're interested.

This month we've also launched a Crowdfunded Kid Tech magazine on Flipboard where you can keep up to date on new campaigns in between our regular roundups and features.

We'll also be keeping you up to date about successful crowdfunded kid tech projects and sharing reviews of projects that completed.



    Toy Tech

    PixiKits


    PixiKits are tech toys that children assemble and customise themselves from kits. The initial Kickstarter kit is a bright pink bunny called Poppy. Poppy has a motor and gearbox so that she can move when assembled. The finished toy has a translucent body so that the electronics and mechanical parts are still visible when the toy is completed.

    I would have loved toys like this when I was a kid. I remember taking apart toys to find out how they worked and them never being quite the same after I'd put them back together again!

    The team have also worked on other PixiKit designs for the future. There's a sound recording bird called Coco and Inky the Chameleon with colour changing lights.

    Unfortunately PixiKits are almost out of time and a long way from their goal. Shipping and customs to the UK would make this one difficult for us to back. But we wish PixiKits all the best.

    Mu

    Mu is a neat little robot eye and infra-red control device for adding on to children's toys.

    Mu works with existing toys that have an infrared remote (which lots do) and also robots such as LEGO Mindstorms EV3 which use infrared. There's a list of supported tech toys with more being added.

    Mu's eye sensor can be used for line following and human detection.

    You attach Mu to an existing tech toy and configure it using an app. As well as the ability to send IR signals, Mu has coloured LED eyes, a speaker that can be used to play voice recordings.

    There's an option for a Mu with an internal rechargeable battery and there are also options with coloured mats.

    Mu looks like a neat gadget that really responds to how children want to play with tech toys. They want to choose how their toys behave not just trigger pre-canned behaviours.

    Robots

    It's been a healthy month for kids programmable robots again.

    Kamibot 

    Kamibot is an Arduino-compatible kids programmable robot. It has motors for moving around and a neat servo for rotating the head. Kamibot also has sensors for navigating its environment and coloured LEDs so it can light up.

    Kamibot is a small robot that kids can customize with papercraft costumes and vehicles.

    Kamibot will be programmable from Scratch which makes it really accessible to children. There will also be an app from controlling Kamibot from Android and iOS devices.

    Kamibot is rechargeable via USB cable and has Bluetooth for remote programming and control.

    Robots that you can use on a table top are really convenient and we love the head-turning servo, papercraft costumes and Scratch support.

    SumoBoy Battling Robot

    SumoBoy is a mini battling robot. It's a small version of the Sumo robots that are using in competitions.

    SumoBoy provides a way for older children, teenagers and adults to learn C and C++ programming in the popular Arduino hardware control environment.

    We love the idea of physical robots that compete based on strength of the code they are running.

    This isn't a cheap toy robot. It's an engineering battling machine and that's reflected in the price. Of course you'll actually want two of these to have a battle.

    SumoBoy is an interesting option for schools, clubs and families who are serious about robotics.

    CoDrone

    CoDrone is a programmable drone with an educational curriculum to teach coding skills. Awesome. Not for young kids obviously! But for older teens with supervision this might be just the thing. 



    Wearables

    We're always on the look out for cool tech for kid and family wearables. Especially if it's programmable and customisable. 

    HexiWear

    HexiWear is a wearable device that can be programmed. It's connected and includes sensors and has an OLED display. It looks like a great option for teenagers and for families want to create custom wearables. HexiWear can be worn as a watch or pendant or used as a home controller.


    KeKePad

    • KeKePad is an e-textiles and wearables platform that uses insulated wires instead of conductive thread. Most of the components are washable too!

    Home Tech


    iBoardBot 

    iBoardBot is a gadget that you didn't know you needed until you saw it. It's an automated whiteboard that you can use to send remote messages to your family. You can even collaborate remotely on a drawing. Perfect for travelling parents who want to connect with their kids at home. 


    Home Robots

    If you're looking for a personal assistant robot for your family then 

    • Aido is packed with features to entertain and organise the family.
    • Xibot aims to be an affordable interactive assistant and has very cute ears!

    Electronics

    • The Make It Prototyping Learning Board and electronics allows kids to interact with electronics components from Scratch4Arduino. Scratch4Arduino uses the older Scratch 1.4. We'd really like to see support for Scratch 2. 
    • The R-Kade Zero is a mini games controller board that can be paired with a Raspberry Pi zero to make a mini games console. 

    STEM

    • STEM Gems is a book full of female role models in science, technology, engineering and maths. It's really important to make it normal to see females in these roles. 

    Don't forget to follow our Crowdfunded Kid Tech magazine on Flipboard so you can get the latest news.




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