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Programming

Children

Google's programmable Lego-like blocks teach kids to code

With an increasingly digital future ahead of us, kids are being taught programming skills at younger and younger ages. Play is often the best way to start learning, and we've seen toys like the Code-a-Pillar and Photon robot developed to fill that role. Now, Google Research is aiming to accelerate the expansion of the field with Project Bloks, an open-source hardware platform for developers to create "tangible programming" tools for kids.Read More

Robotics

Customizable papercraft robot teaches kids coding while having fun

If you try talking to young children about the joys of programming, you may witness eyes glazing over faster than ever. But mention robots and smartphone control, and see how laser-focused their attention can be. That's the premise behind the latest tech designed to encourage learning through play. The Arduino-based Kamibot teaches kids how to code using Scratch, while offering fun customization with papercraft skins.Read More

Robotics

Robo Wunderkind is a modular robot even a five-year-old can program

Minecraft has partly replaced Lego bricks as a creative platform for young tinkerers, but while it is a fantastic avenue for training computer and block-building skills, Mojang's hit videogame also does little to improve handcrafting. Robo Wunderkind, from the German "wonder child," is a modular toy that promises to marry the old with the new by letting even the youngest hands and minds (aged five and up) build and program their own robot creations.Read More

Electronics Review

Review: Cubit programmable "make anything" electronic platform

If you’re into electronics as a hobbyist, technician, or professional engineer, you know that you can spend many hours designing circuits, sourcing components, and breadboarding or soldering a project all together before you find out if your creation actually works. Wouldn’t it make life simpler if you could just start with a basic, multi-function controller and a few plug and play peripherals to get something – anything – up and running straight away and then which you could tweak and add to as you go? The makers of a new electronic design tool thought that this would be a good idea too and have created Cubit, a make anything platform that allows drag and drop software control over snap together hardware. Join Gizmag as we try a few builds to test out it out.Read More

Robotics

Tiny Ringo teaches kids about robotics

Though you can work with your kids on all sorts of crazy electronics projects by adding numerous shields, break-out boards and attachments to existing development platforms or going wild with Lego Technic building blocks, such solutions just weren't cute enough for Kevin King and his kids Halley and Parker. Their digital pet is called Ringo and thanks to a successful crowdfunding effort, the teeny Arduino-based robotics and programming learning tool could be swarming toward backers in the coming months.Read More

Computers

BBC to give away a million micro computers to coders of tomorrow

By today's standards, early 1980s home computing was a very BASIC affair (excuse the pun). But for those who lived through it, it was an enlightening period of simple wonder and creative experimentation. In the UK, the odds are pretty good that students of code performed their programming magic using a big beige box connected to a chunky monitor known as the BBC Microcomputer. Many of those early digital tinkerers went on to careers in computing and it's this pioneering spirit that the BBC is hoping to recapture with the launch of a new education initiative named Make it Digital. At its center is a new micro computing platform called, for the moment, the Micro Bit.Read More

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