UK-based robotics firm SAM Labs has launched not one, but three coding robots, designed to get kids coding. The Alpha, Team and Classroom kits range from £129 for one, individual kit (£43 per pupil), £379 for the classroom project kit (£38 per pupil), up to £999 for the top-of-the-range version (£33 per pupil), allowing multiple pupils to create their own robots at the same time.
The kits SAM Labs has designed are cheap and robust – two essential elements when considering their target market. The so-called STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) kits come with the robots themselves, that children build and code, and all the learning materials teachers need to educate.
These resources include lesson plans, helping children learn how to create their own robots in bite-sized modules and the software to build the apps that control the creations. Because SAM Labs understands that coding is a pretty new concept to both pupils and teachers, it aims to help teachers learn too, ensuring they have the expertise to turn their class into little coders. This is achieved by offering extensive support to them outside of the resources provided in the kits.
The modular SAM Labs robotic blocks are all bluetooth-enabled, which is how they communicate with each other and the controller. The software is compatible with Mac, iOS, Android and Windows, so apps can be developed and the robots controlled across all devices.
All modules can be set up with the push of a button and the simple drag and drop UI makes it easy to connect blocks together and get coding.
The kits are all compatible with other materials a school’s likely to already have, such as Lego blocks, meaning the limits for creation are endless.