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K-12 Technology
Coding with Droids
http://www.codewithroot.com/

Aug 01, 2016 2016-08-01

STEM • STEAM • STREAM

Droid That Drives and Draws

Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed Root, a miniature robot that drives and draws on classroom whiteboards to encourage social learning and freeform creativity. Robot, environment, and students all react to one another, stimulating students to come up with diverse solutions and challenges together. Chock full of electronics—magnets, accelerometer, gyroscope, wheel encoders, multicolor LEDs—the pint-sized droid moves with ease, recognizing and responding to colors, light sources, and the physical world. Square, the accompanying programming platform, lets students work at three levels: simple graphical blocks, sophisticated interconnections, and full text coding. Root is designed to fit into every classroom based on the tech ecosystem already available—wireless Internet, shared tablets, and magnetic whiteboards. The Root Robot website displays videos of some activities that Root can perform. The robot will be available in early 2017 for $199 (price is subject to change). In the meantime, educators who sign up to the institute’s mailing list will get updates on the project’s progress and will be given the option to beta test both Root and Square.

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Computer Science/Coding/Programming STEM • STEAM • STREAM Educational Technology

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