Cubetto is a robot toy powered by an Arduino that uses a wooden block programming interface to teach kids how to code, and it’s available to buy right now.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $1 596 457 (~R21 million) in March of this year, the final version is now available to order.
The Cubetto platform is based on a wheeled robot that receives instructions from a kind of peg board. Instructions telling the robot where to go are inserted into the peg board in the form of small blocks, and hitting a button will start the sequence.
It’s a deviously simple method of teaching the concepts of programming and the fact that it’s wrapped up in wooden toy form makes it all the more appealing.
The suggested package you can buy to get yourself one will cost you $225 (R3 034) and then you’ll need to pay shipping on top of that. There’s a decent list of supported countries with South Africa being one of them. Shipping will cost you $45 (R606).
In that package you’re getting the Cubetto robot, a programming peg board, 16 programming blocks, a map and a story book. The maps are playmats which contain grids making movement easier to understand and the story books, as far as we can tell, give some fanciful meaning to why the little robot is being programmed.
The tech inside consists of the microcontroller used in the Arduino Zero powered by 6 AA batteries. The robot talks to the programming board over Bluetooth and it will apparently be good for four to six hours of play.
We really want to get our hands on one of these kits and see what kids think of it. We hope a South African company takes creators Primo Toys up on their offer of becoming a distributor so we can see them on local shelves.