About this project
Created by NYU robotics professor Rudi Cossovich and ex-Google engineer Sean Purser-Haskell, Plobot is a fun, educational robot that teaches young learners coding concepts without all the messy syntax – and without any need for computer screens. They’ll learn about algorithms, loops, conditionals, and more, all while having a blast with their favorite new toy!
Plobot helps kids discover coding concepts through physical play. No screens, all fun!
Easily tell Plobot what to do - just tap the Command Cards to program algorithms, loops, conditionals, and more!
Plobot started from the idea that kids learn best from physical play.
With Plobot, we wanted to answer a crucial question: how do we get kids excited to learn about something as abstract as programming? We aimed to create a fun, effortless introduction to coding that promotes productive playtime away from computer screens. That led to Plobot - a happy little robot that can move, sing, dance, and entertain with a few simple commands.
Command cards are at the core of the Plobot experience, making every interaction tactile and hands-on. Each Command Card represents a block of code. Tap or swipe them on Plobot’s head to string them together and create a ‘program’ the robot follows - with the "play" card as an execute function. The base set lays the building blocks for controlling Plobot, while our expansion sets allow the robot to grow with your child’s abilities, creating countless possible combinations!
There are two distinct types of cards in our base set: Function cards, and Motion cards.
- Play – Executes all the steps programmed into Plobot's memory using the Command Cards
- Store – Records a series of cards to be used with the Repeat card
- Reset – Clears Plobot’s memory to allow a new sequence of cards
- Repeat – Activates all the steps stored by the Store card
- Rainbow – Treats your child to a brilliant display of colors!
- Dance – Special wild card that makes Plobot dance, sing, and light up in a surprising new way each time this card is used
- Forward – Moves one step forward
- Backward – Moves one step back
- Turn Right – Turns 90° to the right
- Turn Left – Turns 90° to the left
Our expansion sets introduce additional entertaining functions and more advanced coding sequences.
Color cards can be combined to make Plobot glow all the colors of the rainbow!
Modifiers change the effects of other Command Cards, and Sensor cards tell Plobot to wait until it senses an object to carry out the next action. These cards act like conditionals in a programming language.
- Boost – Boosts the effects of the next Command Card entered
- Pause – stops Plobot in the middle of a sequence
- Random – Repeats the previous step a random number of times
- Listen - continues to the next entered command if Plobot detects a sound louder than a soft clap
- See – continues to the next entered command if Plobot detects an obstacle
- Feel - continues to the next entered command if Plobot is moved or tilted off its axis
Plobot's stations act like objective markers for various programming lessons, and help Plobot tell a story. For example, you could have Plobot navigate a path from the Home Station to the Ice Cream Shop Station, listen for permission to get an ice cream, then dance to celebrate when it gets one!
Plobot is designed to foster a spirit of creativity in kids, giving them freedom to create and setting them up to be the makers of tomorrow.
With up to 50 possible steps in one sequence, dozens of cards and more expansions on the way, the possibilities with Plobot are truly endless. Plobot empowers your child to embrace the future and become a maker of technology, not just a consumer.
Plobot is made of easily washable plastic, and our expansion sets even come with stickers to make every robot unique. Kids can mold new shapes with clay, draw on it with pen, or even build crazy formations on its back with Duplo building blocks. Kids love turning Plobot into their own personal spaceship!
Starting at a young age is the best way to prepare children for careers in STEM and computer science, and Plobot is the perfect tool.
Computational thinking is something most of us use every day to solve all kinds of problems, without even realizing it. It’s all about breaking down complex tasks into a logical sequence of steps to reach an objective. Plobot teaches kids that there are no right and wrong answers when learning code; by breaking down each task into a sequence of steps, they exercise problem solving and creative thinking abilities, while picking up core coding concepts.
Plobot is designed to strengthen problem solving and logical reasoning skills, giving your children a head start in programming concepts in an exciting, intuitive way. Imagine the possibilities they’ll unlock as they gain confidence in their mastery of STEM learning and robotics, putting them one step ahead of the curve in school and in life.
Plobot helps parents and teachers to make playtime both productive and fun for kids everywhere.
We designed a robot that combined decades of education research with core programming concepts. We’ve tested it over many workshops with hundreds of kids all over the world. The one thing our workshops had in common? Everyone loved Plobot!
We used our experiences in these workshops to design a custom online teaching guide, with a curriculum centered around Plobot’s abilities. It’s downloadable through your own unique link, and will use our Command Cards and Stations to help you build a lesson plan and teach kids to code. The curriculum fosters creativity, grows with your child’s progress, and takes them on countless adventures with their friend Plobot!
Parents, teachers, and kids everywhere love Plobot! We asked some parents and leading professors in the STEM field to share what they thought about our little robot invention. Check out their responses below.
Coming in from Shanghai, Plobot sprung forth from our deep passion for education and the belief that robotics can be the answer. While there has been a lot of focus on teaching programming to children through iPads and computers, Plobot takes a new approach marked by physical programming, with no screens. We've built an educational platform based on different Open Source technologies that can be easily adopted by parents or teachers.
In the middle of 2015, Plobot was accepted into the Make in LA hardware accelerator, receiving huge support and mentorship from the program. We also launched workshops with parents as part of an agreement with Toys R` Us in their "Explorium" center.
Our team is composed of makers, teachers, toy designers, and illustrators. Plobot's inventor and CEO Rodolfo Cossovich has been tinkering with robotics for years, successfully launching open-source robot platform Multiplo on Kickstarter back in 2012. He currently teaches robotics and animatronics at NYU's Shanghai campus and enjoys playing with his newborn daughter Maxima. Our CTO Sean Purser-Haskell used to work at Google's Mountain View headquarters and now spends most of his time at the local hackerspace XinCheJian - experimenting with ultrasound, high voltage and superconductors. Scott Si is a product manager who is passionate about edtech, leading all marketing and business development efforts as the driving force behind this crowdfunding project. We all came together with the belief in a physical approach to coding and bringing that into the hands of more people.
Risks and challenges
Manufacturing is a very complicated process, and we will face all kinds of challenges along the way. The good news is that we’ve done this before. This is the second Kickstarter project we will deliver as a team.
We’ve made conservative estimates on our delivery schedule, and are confident that we will deliver on time. Nevertheless, we will be fully transparent and keep you posted in the event of any unexpected issues.
As a commitment to our backers, our whole team will continue to be on-site in China to be in close proximity to our suppliers and factories and ensure that our quality standards are met at every step of the manufacturing process.
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MultiploEdTech/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/plobot
Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOHXc_ZhNJadXpmhC0kDJBg
Support this project
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