Monday, 24 October 2016

Root: A Robot to Teach Coding

Root is a new programmable robot for kids. Root can be used on a vertical magnetic whiteboard which is pretty neat. It can also draw with (and erase) whiteboard pens and has coloured LEDs and a piezo (tone) speaker. 
Root has a graphical programming app which allows children as young as 4 to code the robot. The app allows young kids to use icons, while older kids can progress through a block-based language to text using Python, JavaScript or Swift.

As well as being able to draw, Root can sense and react to colours as it drives over them. As well as having its own sensors Root can make use of the sensors in the mobile device being used to program it. There's also an expansion port for future extensibility which can also be used by third parties. 

Root can operate on a flat surface but it's the vertical operation that adds something a bit different. Here in the UK many whiteboards in classrooms are smart boards that you wouldn't be able to use Root on but there's often a small magnetic whiteboard and you can use Root with a portable whiteboard too. 

Check out Root on Kickstarter

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