## Primo - Teaching programming logic to children age 4 to 7

by primo.io

Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 22.

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Primo is a playful physical programming interface that teaches children programming logic without the need for literacy

As Seen on

Primo is a play-set that uses shapes, colours and spacial awareness to teach programming logic through a tactile, warm and magical learning experience. Primo makes an incredibly important, but otherwise uninteresting topic to children, enjoyable and fun.

# The Play Set

Primo is a play set composed by 3 main items that combined create the Primo play experience.

1 • Cubetto a friendly robot.

2 • The board, a physical programming interface

3 • The code, a set of instruction blocks (Forward, Left, Right and Function)

# How does primo work?

The goal of the game is to guide Cubetto to his destination, represented by a house, a big cube, or any other object of your choice.

The robot executes in sequence the instructions placed in the board. By playing with Primo, children experiment with the queue of instructions.

There's not a single solution or path to follow, it's also interesting to see how different children come up with different solutions.

# The Queue

The queue is what children are basically playing with. By creating a "queue" of instructions, children become gradually more familiar with this very important concept that represents the logical foundations of real programming.

# Mastering the "Function block"

The green "function" block calls the last line of commands in the board every time it is encountered. This feature is by all means a sub-routine of the board. Once learned, it gives much more creativity in the problem solving process. There's also a way to hack the function line with an infinite loop!

By setting longer paths for the little robot to complete, children are required to use logical thinking to create longer sequences of instruction to complete the challenge.

# Why we created Primo

We insist on entertaining our children with tablets and smartphones, but we forget that children learn more effectively through physical play. We wanted Primo to teach children the basic logic of this incredibly important topic with a magical and tactile play experience.

No screens, no visible technology. Essentially re-imagining and improving the approach to this topic in schools and at home.

# Why you should care

We are working on a tool that empowers children to become creators, and not just consumers within the digitalised world we live in.

Programming is an incredible tool that empowers people, it changes the perspective on problem solving and logic in general. Not to mention real-world applications: our lives are basically ruled by software, from airports to hospitals, music, communication, everything is now digital.

Mastering logic from an early stage of learning creates the right mind set to assimilate more notion-related content. This is not only our point of view, governments around the world started to heavily support educational coding programmes in the last years.

Skills are mastered gradually. Mountains are climbed one step at a time. Think of Primo as the very first step in a child's programming education. Primo provides the very basic ABC of programming logic.

# Rewards

SOURCE FILES - £5

With this reward you will get all the Primo CAD and Arduino source files, ahead of time, with an illustrated documentation on how to build your own Primo prototype!

Show your support to the project with one of these colourful pins!

TOTE BAG / T-SHIRT - £18

In exchange for your support, we will ship you one of these illustrated goodies, choose between a fantastic t-shirt with a Snoop Dogg quote (yo!) on coding, or a wonderful tote bag!

LOVE PACK - £24

Show your love for the project with the Love Pack! You will receive T-Shirt AND Tote bag AND happy pins!

CUBETTO ROBOT KIT - £55

In this kit you will get all the materials to build your own cubetto robot! This includes the Arduino at Heart USB board, 2 gear motors and wheels and 2 ball casters!

PRIMO DIY - £135

All the electronic components and wooden parts you need to easily assemble your own Primo at home! The play set includes materials to build Cubetto, the Interface Board, and 16 instruction blocks!

PRIMO PLAY SET - £160

A fully assembled Limited Edition Kickstarter Primo play set, everything you need for an out of the box play experience! The set includes A Cubetto robot of your choice, an Interface Board, 16 instruction blocks and a play manual explaining how to play with and maintain the set.

PRIMO DELUXE - £200

In addition to a basic play set, this reward also includes a set of wooden fences and trees, along with an illustrated play manual to help you structure a consistent and rewarding play experience, easily setting goals and tracks during play time.

With this reward you will also get all the Love Pack goodies.

PRIMO WORKSHOP + PRIMO DELUXE x3 - £ 1,000

A one day workshop with the two Primo.io founders at your school, shop or laboratory. The workshop will introduce children to the basics of programming logic. We will also spend the entire day with your institution, teach you how to make more Primo sets yourselves! Hack the current Primo sets and tell you all about the technology behind the product! And of course, you will acquire 3 PRIMO DELUXE sets to keep in your classroom or store.

Travel and lodging are not included in the reward, but we are happy to couch-surfe and fly economy to keep expenses as low as possible. What is important is getting to you and delivering a great workshop.

16 EXTRA INSTRUCTION BLOCKS - £32

16 extra instruction blocks, 4 of each.

# How was Primo developed

Primo actually has a really interesting story: It all began at SUPSI, Lugano, during Matteo's Master in Interaction Design.

Inspired by the work of Seymour Papert, that resulted in the development of LOGO in the 70's, the idea for Primo was simple enough. Create a physical learning tool that would effectively introduce programming logic to children, avoiding the use of screens or visible technology and electronics.

After a consultation period with local kindergarden schools and educators, the first prototype was built, using Arduino boards, laser cutting tools and an Oh_Oh robot by David Cuartielles.

The study was succesfully complete, and Primo looked a little different back then, but at this stage Primo wasn't meant to be more than just a concept study.

It wasn't until a year later that we set out to turn what proved a great concept into a product intended for distribution in schools and homes.

We redesigned Primo, this time not only to look good, feel great and work well, but also as something that could be actually produced in series. So with a newly assembled team, we began to redesign Primo.

And that's when this guy was created :)

We eventually developed the product into what you see today, and carried out extensive testing with hundreds of children between the ages of 1 and a half to 8. This allowed us to confirm that Primo is in fact great for advanced 3 year olds up to the age of 7.

We also got to exhibit at Maker Faire Rome, where we met hundreds of children that played with Primo, finding it fun, adequately challenging and rewarding. We even won some prizes!

# How is Primo being built

The final play set will currently be a hand crafted product which we assemble by hand lovingly at our headquarters in London. We plan to produce 300 Play sets with only Filippo and Matteo working on the assembly line. Exceeding our funding target will mean shipping faster.

# Schedule

Jan 6th  / Jan 10th
Work begin in London after festivities. Fun rewards like badges, tote bags and t shirts are packaged and dispatched

Jan 13th / Feb 31st
All the source files are tidied up into a comprehensive folder ready for download, documentation for makers will be created.

March 3rd / March 28th
Final tests and checks are done on the SMDs on a small test order to make sure everything is working 110% before placing the large SMD order representing the majority of our funding goal.

March 31st / May 2nd
The final bulk order for the circuit boards and electronics has been placed, we wait as all the supplies come in to our HQ with a holiday in between.

March 5th / May 16th
We travel to Torino to laser cut the wood and fly it back with us to London. Surprisingly enough it's cheaper than having it laser cut in the UK.

May 25th / July 31st
All the Primo kits are assembled within this two months period.

August 1st / August 8th
All the rewards are shipped out, and will be making their way to our backers.

# Stretch Goals!

40,000 | Pimp my Cubetto

We will enhance the Cubetto robot experience with LEDs, sound and other sensors.

48,500 | Educational Program

We will hire a child psychologist and an educator for a 3 month consultancy to help us create a structured educational program suitable for schools. We will also endeavour to translate the program in 6 languages, making the program accessible to educators internationally.

# Primo for Makers

Primo started as a university concept, in SUPSI Lugano, where the first prototype was made. With a view to transform a concept into a real product, It was later improved in FabLab Torino, always using Arduino boards, laser cutters and 3D printers. Without digital fabrication, open source technology and the sharing culture fostered in the Maker community, Primo wouldn't be here.

All Primo source files and documentation will be available from our website under a Creative Commons license, encouraging Makers from all around the world to hack, improve and play with our concept.

# Arduino at heart

We are honoured to be part of the Arduino at Heart project! The electronic core of Primo is in fact fully Arduino compatible! We will also release a library to simplify the robot interactions. Have fun hacking it!

# Who's working on this?

Filippo Yacob, Managing Director Filippo founded the company with a view to turn Primo from a university concept into an educational tool that would be available in schools and homes. Now working on product development, project management and operations management.

Matteo Loglio, Creative Director / Interaction Designer Matteo originally designed Primo as a university concept and built the first prototype. He is also one of the company founders. Now working on product development, design and creative direction, making our product look and feel awesome.

Josh Valman, Production Director / Product Engineer
Josh joined primo.io in the summer of 2013, taking lead in design and engineering for the project, designing the processes that would make the production of primo possible. Josh is a skilled designer with a track record on delivering products for large multinational brands.

Lucia Rabago Mayer, Mechatronics Engineer Lucia was the last to join the team, but she certainly isn't the least important. She is a skilled robotics and mechatronics engineer, and now in charge of developing all the circuit boards and electronics that make our product magically come to life.

Video Music: Jahzzar - Planet Zero

## Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter

As with all Kick-starter projects, the main risk is to deliver everything within the estimated timeframe.

We have taken all possible production issues into consideration, and planned our schedule accordingly.

All designs and electronics are finalised, tested and ready for production. if we raise our £35,000 target we should all be right as rain to deliver Primo by Summer 2014.

We also feel it's extremely important to make clear that Primo in it's current format is a limited edition hobbyist product, and that is what supporters will essentially be acquiring through the play set rewards.

By backing the project you are helping us along with development and design of a better Primo for the future, while acquiring the current version of the set.

## FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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You are brilliant and wonderful, thank you for your pound. It means more to us than you will ever know :)

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PRIMO FRIEND: We will be infinitely grateful for your support, and your name will appear on our website under the backers list

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SOURCE FILES: You will receive all the designs, code and documentation necessary to build your own Primo set from scratch before everyone else.

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CUBETTO BADGE: All of the above, along with a limited edition Cubetto badge for you to show off your support on this project at this early stage

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TOTE / T-SHIRT: Your choice of either a limited edition natural canvas Cubetto tote bag, or cotton T-shirt in your size. A cool way to support the project and have a unique item to show for it.

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LOVE PACK: This pack rolls in a limited edition Cubetto badge set, a natural canvas tote bag and a t-shirt in your selected size. These unique merchandise Items are the perfect way to acquire some cool products you can use every day to proudly display your enthusiasm for the project.

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EXTRA INSTRUCTION BLOCKS: 16 extra instruction blocks, 4 of each

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CUBETTO ROBOT KIT: A kit that includes all you need to build your own little naked robot and start programming it with the Arduino software. THE KIT INCLUDES: Cubetto USB Board, 2 gear motors and wheels, 2 ball casters

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PRIMO DIY: All the electronic components and wooden parts you need to easily assemble your own Primo at home, along with step-by-step building instructions. The play set includes materials to build Cubetto, the Interface Board, and 16 instruction blocks.

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PRIMO PLAY SET: A fully assembled Primo, out of the box. The play set includes Cubetto, the Interface Board, and 16 instruction blocks

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PRIMO DELUXE: In addition to a basic play set, this reward also includes a set of wooden fences and trees for a consistent play experience. In addition, you can also customise your own Cubetto robot with a graphic of your choice! With this reward you will also get all the Love Pack goodies.

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PRIMO WORKSHOP + PRIMO DELUXE x3: Both Primo founders will hold a workshop at your school, shop or laboratory. The workshop will introduce attending children to the basics of programming logic, and we will spend the entire day with you, teach your institution how to make more Primo's and tell you about the technology behind the product! Cost for travel and lodging are not included in the reward.

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