There’s been a lot of chatter about introducing kids between the ages of 5-15 years old to programming/coding, helping them better develop a logical thinking. Unfortunately current syllabuses in schools in this case are similar to legacy code, and is keeping them from doing really innovative things.
Avishkaar Box, a Delhi-based startup is looking to tackle this problem with the use of robots that help kids aged above 5 years learn coding in a gamified way. Their two robots, Robby and Bonny, can be programmed using a visual environment on smartphones and even desktops.
With a large number of parents with children aged between 5-15 years being products of the IT age, they’re fully aware of the new ways of communicating and learning. While looking for ways to provide their kids with newer experiences, they want them to be technologically adept for the future.
Tarun Bhalla, a serial entrepreneur and father himself, came up with the idea of Robby and Bonny in order to introduce programing and logical thinking to children at a very young age, albeit in a playful manner.
The robots feature complete indigenous development and manufacturing, and are also modular in nature, letting kids combine them with Lego and other kits to build crazy contraptions. In the future, buying more advanced software and hardware modules could become possible, further enhancing their appeal and making sure kids don’t grow out of it.
Different age groups will have access to different software interfaces, which for 6-year olds could be as simple as talking to the robot and having it respond, or simple drag and drop programming. But as a child gets older and more familiar, the level of complexity can increase, even allowing them to write programs using mainstream languages.
Bhalla’s vision for Robby and Bonny is to kick off a personal robotics movement, starting off with robots for children. The talkback feature which will be introduced sometime in the future will help kids shoot out questions and have them answered, helping teach various things apart from honing their programming skills.
Personal robotics however will mean developing an AI that’s smart enough to respond to a user’s queries, which is no small feat. The team at Avishkaar Box is still looking for a direction to take based on the market feedback – whether people are ready for personal bots or are just looking at them as a way to teach their kids coding and tinkering.
For now the company is looking to open up a few APIs and publish their hardware format, allowing more developers to get in on the ‘robots for kids’ revolution.