CANNYBOTS, the Robotic Toy That Teaches Programming

October 8, 2015

12:30 pm

A brand new programmable robo-toy building kit called Cannybots has found astonishing success on Kickstarter. The project has amassed just over $122,000 of support, far surpassing their original goal of $40,000.

The Cannybot is a wheeled toy that arrives in a multi-part construction kit. The instructions are fully illustrated and in color. All the tools necessary are included, and it is capable of being easily assembled at home. This unique approach allows children to gain hands-on experience in robot design and construction.

Cannybots

 

The Cannybot can be controlled and programmed by tablets or smart phones via the Cannybots App and is capable of speeds up to 4ft/sec with the basic motor. This new toy comes at a time when the call for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education has reached an all-time high. The benefits of STEM are well-documented, and the Cannybots creators believe their toy will engage children and encourage this kind of learning.

“Programming is an essential skill today but it is not easy to get kids started. We are allowing kids to do this in a fun, interactive and rewarding way,” Anish Mampetta, CEO of Cannybots says.

The line has expanded since its inception in 2014 and Cannybots is now available to children and parents outside the classroom. Puzzles, challenging mazes, competitive racing, and many other customizable activities are possible within the included application.

Cannybots

 

“It can be used to teach Maths (geometry, trigonometry), various concepts in Physics and even Geography by creating a map that Cannybot can navigate. A teacher from Germany wants to use it to teach Chemistry by adding special chemical sensor attachments to the brain board. To explore the full potential in education, we want to work with partners who can develop educational apps for Cannybots.”

The Cannybot uses a series of optical sensors to detect lines of black tape or follow printed official tracks. The company also offers large format vinyl tracks that are up to six feet long. Five variations are currently available with more planned.

Additional exterior shells for the toy can be designed using the included designing software from AutoDesk, and then 3D printed at home or school.

Cannybots

 

This level of personalization allows kids to make the toy their own and encourages taking Cannybots apart to understand how it works.

Adam Cohen-Rose, who heads up the Code Club at Fleetville Junior School in St Albans, Hertfordshire, is enthusiastic about the possibilities.

“Cannybots is a really great way to get the children to pick up programming, because it’s physical. It’s there, it’s something they can relate to. They can see it running around the track. When the children are programming a Cannybot and they can see it move, it really has a big impact and they can see an immediate connection. It grabs them with the fact that they can control something and themselves make it move around, make it do what they want, when they want. “

Read more about Cannybot and monitor their Kickstarter journey here.

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David Kirby is an Editor at The Outerhaven and McCauley’s Columns. In his free time he enjoys painting, gaming, and traveling with his wonderful partner Sarah.

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