Monday, October 28, 2013

Play-i teaches children to program robots

A start-up  entrepreneur, Vikas Gupta has come up with a little robot that will teach your kids how to code.  Gupta, an engineer who works in Silicon Valley, worries his 2-year old daughter won’t have a suitable education in a wold run by technology.

Gupta grew up in India, and has seen the lack of development in programmers in our U.S. education system.

Gupta and other engineers with Google, Apple, and Frog Design, have formed Play-i, a programmable robot aimed at young children, to make learning how to program robots easy and fun.

The crafty engineers have launched a crowd-funding campaign aimed at raising $250,000.  If they meet their goal, the Play-i robots will be mass-produced for kids ages five and up.

The Vision

The idea behind Play-i is to teach kids how to string code together to create applications.  An iPad is needed to visually display the kid-friendly programming language.  By stringing together code commands through the iPad, kids can control movements and activities of the robot.


There are two character robots for the Play-i – Yana and Bo.  Yana, is a single robot “storyteller” that will cost $49.  Bo, “the teacher”, sits atop three other balls with wheels that will cost $149.
Yana and Bo will allow kids to manipulate lights, movement and sounds of the two robots.

Google Ventures put in $1 million to Gupta’s team of seven engineers early this year.  If you would like to help fund the project,  you can go to  You can also reserve one of the Play-i robots to be a part of the test market.
It’s a tangible way for kids to get programming at a much younger age.” says Google Ventures partner Andy Wheeler. “Hopefully, within a few years they are expanding into retail and expanding the software and hardware components … to allow the toy to grow with the child.”
Hopefully the company will reach its goal of $250,000 in the next 30 days.  Do you think this is a good way for our children to keep up with technology today?  Watch the inspirational video below!

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Valley engineers want kids to program robots – USA Today
October 28, 2013

Play-i looks to crowdfunding to teach kids to code – C|Net
October 28, 2013

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