US-based robots innovator Wonder Workshop has just closed a funding round, raising the company $41 million to help develop and commercialise its brightly coloured robots to help kids get coding on their mobile phone.
The Series C seed funding round was backed by Tencent Holdings, SoftBank Korea, TAL Education Group, MindWorks Ventures, Madrona Venture Group and VTRON Group.
Although there are countless products to help kids understand coding available on the market, Wonder Workshop wants to make coding a natural process for younger generations, using mobile phones rather than computers to code. The company’s founder Vikas Gupta said the company’s main mission is to educate children so they don’t get stuck in “instructional silos,” instead encouraging them to collaborate on innovation.
Techcrunch explained the company are currently being used in 12,000 schools by pupils aged between 8 and 10. However, Wonder Workshop now wants to expand the target market, creating products for teens and pre-teens too, who may want to push their coding a little further. Its latest innovation, Cue, is targeted at those aged 11 and up, with embedded sensros to collect a vast amount of data that can be used in programming.
The Cue robot was launched alongside the Dot creativity kit for younger coders in September.
Cue is an update to the original Dash robot and comes with a host of new features, including a more subtle look compared to the brash Dash and an AI engine that means people can interact with thee robots as if they have a personality of their own. This month, Cue’s companion app will also support Apple’s Swift programming language, opening it up to a ew breed of wannabe developers.
The Dot creativity kit is a simpler alternative, with a bright green robot using a single sensor. It’s aimed more at learning through fun and comes with three downloadable apps – Wonder, Blockly and Go – that make coding more like a game.