Vortex: Interactive Coding Education Robot for Kids
If we want Bitcoin and other technologies to improve our everyday lives and succeed in overcoming new hurdles in the future, educational efforts will need to start teaching kids to code at young ages. And even though some schools around the world are offering these classes already, the focus on coding at a young age will need to become larger and larger. Maybe Vortex can be of assistance to achieve that goal.
Teaching children how to code at a young age may sound like a drastic measure, but it could offer many benefits. Not only will children learn how the world works in a playful manner through hands-on practice, but they will also be stimulated to embrace technology at a very young age. And what better way to present coding to children than by using an interactive robot?
DFRobot, a company known for its line of robotic devices aimed at the educational market, recently unveiled its first interactive and programmable robot called Vortex. While Vortex is aimed at children of ages six and up, they will be able to control the robot through a mobile application, which is available on both iOS and Android.
Rather than controlling Vortex’s movements with clunky on-screen joysticks, children can tap the application’s screen to guide the robot in the preferred direction. Every tap on the screen is interpreted as a pre-configured command, which will be transferred to Vortex via Bluetooth. Additionally, Vortex comes with four pre-installed games, all of which can be customized by the children to create their own unique experience.
DFRobot’s CEO Ricky Ye explained to Bitcoin.com that the company’s goal was to come up with an interactive way to teach kids the inner workings of robotics. Due to the company’s vast experience in building educational robot kits since 2006, the most popular elements of previous products have been combined into one streamlined experience.
Powering up the Vortex takes four AA batteries and the Vortexbot mobile app. DFRobot also wants to stimulate team play, as some of the built-in games require an additional robot toy to play. It is important to note that other games can be played independently, or against the robot AI.
Programming the Robot With the WhenDo App
Playing some of the pre-programmed games is all fine and dandy, but Vortex really shines when children start to explore its coding options. By installing the WhenDo mobile application on a tablet or smartphone, access to a variety of tutorials is unlocked. Programming games is easy and intuitive to do, all the while children are effectively learning the basics of coding.
As you would come to expect from learn-to-code programs in this day and age, WhenDo offers a drag-and-drop interface to make the learning curve less steep. That being said, mastering this application without the help of a parent will prove to be quite the challenge for six-year-olds.
Kickstarter Campaign Is Live
So far, everything about Vortex sounds like a great tool and platform to learn children how to code at an early age. However, it will take a lot of time, effort and money in order to mass-produce these little robots, which is why DFRobot is running a Kickstarter campaign right now. With a crowdfunding campaign goal of GBP35,000 – of which GBP13,000+ has already been pledged – there are 33 days left to hit the target.
Because the mobile applications for Vortex have already been developed and are available for download, it looks like DFRobot will do everything in their power to bring Vortex to market. If the crowdfunding campaign gets funded, orders will start shipping out by the end of October 2015.
Kid Developers are the Future of Blockchain Technology
Teaching children how to code at an early age will offer tremendous benefits to all aspects of life. And blockchain technology is one area that will greatly benefit the influx of new coders, as they try to tackle current problems. Our children are our future, and it is in our best interest to get them acquainted with technology as early as possible.
Blockchain technology is being integrated into various aspects of our daily lives, ranging from monetary services to contracts and transfer of ownership. As we discover more of the blockchain’s potential, additional jobs will be created which need to be filled by a new generation of developers. Vortex could be a powerful tool to put young children on their path to becoming the next leading edge developer.
Will you be buying a Vortex for your children? If so, let us know why in the comments below!
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Jean-Pierre Buntinx is a freelance Bitcoin writer and Bitcoin journalist for various digital currency news outlets around the world, Jean-Pierre also has a keen interest in Fintech and technology, and he is always open to new challenges.