We all know robots can be expensive, especially those marketed as toys. However, The Crafty Robot breaks away from this, available for just £5.
Not only is this super-budget gadget cheap, it’s also highly educational, teaching children how to make their own toys and turn anything into a robot.
The idea was developed by Ross Atkins, Chris Holden and Ed Murfitt in 2008, when they decided they wanted to create a toy that could teach children about developing robots, without the high costs associated with educational kits.
The Crafty Robot was born, using recycled components, with the Fizzbit circuit board at its core. The main components of the Fizzbit circuit board are 3D printed, keeping costs down to almost nothing.
The robot is charged via USB, making it cheaper still because it can be powered up using existing cables rather than the company having to ship a charger with the toy.
The outer casing of the robot can be made using a number of templates on the company’s website, then constructed from cardboard. Alternatively, more advanced users can create the shell using a 3D printer to make it last longer.
Atkins explained that the idea behind the robot is not entirely to teach children about programming though. There are other products on the market such as Robo Wunderkind, Codie and Lego’s WeDo 2 that do this perfectly. The Crafty Robot is based upon experimentation, encouraging children to change the design of their robot and engineer new features, rather than adjusting the operation of them.
“Right now there’s a lot of focus on getting kids to code so they can build the future. This is a good thing but it risks too narrow a focus. Code is only useful as part of the process of turning technology into actual things people can use and enjoy,” the company said.
“What will always remain useful is understanding how to use technology creatively. How to shape it to your needs and desires through experimentation and iteration. Inventing Crafty Robots with the Fizzbit make this process accessible, immediate, tangible and fun dramatically lowering the entry point.