Chinese robot manufacturer UBTECH has developed a robot to help children learn STEM skills using a DIY building kit.
The company received $820 million in a Series C funding round last year and this has enabled the company to create its robot – a far cry from the Storm Trooper robot it developed a few years ago.
The JIMU Robot BuilderBots Series: Overdrive Kit is made up of 410 pieces and it can be turned into a range of different robots, including a bulldozer and a dustbin truck (DozerBot or DirtBot), with a pair of motors and sensors that are used to power them. Each part clicks together to make them really easy to build, with its DC motors, ultrasonic sensor and RGB light all clotting into place.
It’s also compatible with LEGO Technic pieces, meaning you can easily extend its functionality and turn the robots into something completely new if you wish.
The kit is supported with an Android or iOS app that helps children build the robots step-by-step. It uses 360-degree imaging to show the children how to put the robots together and code it using Google’s Blockly coding language.
After the robot has been created, the app acts as a remote control, allowing the kids to control how it works, triggering actions and taking part in learning activities.
UBTECH will sell the JIMU robot at some high street retailers including Target and Amazon, but it will also sell the $120 packages to schools and other educational establishments to help them teach coding parts of the curriculum.