An introduction to robotics for early learners (Canceled)
An introduction to robotics for early learners (Canceled)
Stimulate their brains with hands-on construction play. Connect the electronics, build the toy and bring it to life!
Stimulate their brains with hands-on construction play. Connect the electronics, build the toy and bring it to life! Read more
About this project
What Are Pixi Kits?
Pixi Kits are electronic construction toys for children ages 6 and up. Rather than passively consuming technology, they're using it to build and create! Watch your child connect the battery pack to the motor and gearbox gaining an understanding of how the energy is transferred to the motor and how the gear box creates motion. Your child will ultimately build an adorable robotic bunny with their own two hands!
The next two products in our line-up are Inky the Colorful Chameleon and Coco the Talking Bird. Inky will have LED lights that use basic sequence coding to turn the lights on and off in different colors and patterns. Coco will have a sound recording device to record your childs voice and sing it back in several unique harmonies. These two will not be available in this campaign but we will start immediate prototyping if our optimistic stretch goals are met!
* The bonus educational video is below in the educational section.
The screen time dilemma:
When the research community talks about excessive screen time with kids, they use terms like sensory overload, lack of restorative sleep and hyper-arousal of the nervous system. Your child’s sensory system is overloaded while they’re getting no physical activity. We’ve all the seen the zombie look on their faces as they stare at the screen, and the anger they experience when finally pulled away.
We made it a primary goal to create a hands-on technology experience that wouldn't require spending more time in front of a screen. With Pixi Kits our goal was to capture their imaginations with endearing characters and a fantasy world they would find irresistible. We partnered with an Emmy award winning animator who made his name creating characters that kids love. When combined with the expertise of one of the best design firms in the world, we ended up with toys that teach robotics, electronics, anatomy and engineering and do it in a fun way while giving them a sense of compassion. The engagement has been tremendous and it’s amazing what kids accomplish when in a state of play!
Ciela (which means "sky" in Spanish) is a pixie who loves to create things with technology. She spends much of her time in a treetop workshop within her magical mechanical forest. Her favorite things to create are little forest friends, just like Poppy! She will be your child's guide through the play of building and decorating their interactive robotic pet. With the help of Ciela, your child will bring their very own Poppy to life!
A certificate of completion to reward a job well done:
When they're done building they can decorate with the included stickers, draw on the coloring sheet and print up a personalized certificate of completion as a reward for their hard work. A really dynamic STEAM experience with a toy they can truly call their own.
How about the cool shirt and necklace...
Your child will have fun strutting around with the t-shirt and necklace, showing they are a powerful Pixi Kits kid!
What is the funding for and what needs to be done to complete this project?
As you can see, we have already made a significant investment in creating Pixi Kits. All of the design work, CAD engineering and prototype design has been completed for Poppy the Bunny. Our design firm has already provided a clear timeline and is waiting for us to give the green light to move towards full production. The first and most critical stage is creating the tools necessary to make all the individual parts that make Poppy. This is a complex manufacturing process. Unlike pre-assembled toys, every piece has to be carefully engineered for safety, strength and ease of use as it will be constructed by a young child. This requires a high degree of precision, expertise, capital and careful thought. As you can see from the prototype, most of this has already been accomplished. Once the tooling is underway they will undergo multiple steps to "de-bug" the tools and make sure they are ready for production. From there they'll do an "FEP" or final engineering prototype, which is basically the finished product. It then goes through a battery of QA/QC tests to make sure it meets worldwide safety standards and regulations. The first shipment will be 25 boxes. This will give us a chance to try them out with groups of kids, educators and store owners. If all is good we will start the first production wave. All of these steps take a known and specific amount of time allowing us to have a very good handle on timing.
Optimistic Stretch Goals:
While we can't take orders for Inky and Coco, we will start the prototyping process if our optimistic stretch goals are met. For Inky, we will start prototyping if we reach $125k and for Coco, we would start prototyping at $250k. The capital needed for developing the CAD files, prototypes and molds is meaningful so we want to make sure we have adequate funding to start on that process. It's also important to note that the development of these two would be behind that of Poppy the Bunny and would ultimately have a later delivery schedule. We will provide updates to this process as we move through the Kickstarter campaign.
One of the most rewarding parts of creating Pixi Kits is the reaction from the educational community. We've spoken with a number of early learning authorities and received very encouraging feedback. They think there's tremendous potential for our product line as part of a STEM curriculum for early learners. We have already started to work on creating a more in depth curriculum for a classroom setting to give kids an engaging experience. The additional exercises would be available on the website. We are reaching out to large engineering and technology firms for advice on fun activities to create for Poppy once he's built. We're trying to turn this into a fun exercise by crowdsourcing the ideas. The winner would have Poppies to donate to their local school. Watch the following video for more thoughts on why Pixi Kits is an excellent tool for STEM in early learning.
Here's a sample syllabus we've been using for one hour classroom visits.
Section 1 - A quick introduction to Poppy the Bunny
1) Is he real or robotic? Obviously robotic.
2) He is able to hop because of technology and engineering.
3) Initiate conversation on technology – there is technology all around us, can you think of how you used technology today?
4) Discuss the childrens' examples and offer some additional, potentially less obvious ways technology is used everyday. Introduce Ciela and the storyline.
Section 2 - Introducing Ciela and the power of Pixi Kits
1) Ciela means “sky” in Spanish.
2) Introduce her magic forest and treetop workshop as a place where she loves to build and create with technology.
3) Explain that she is a tech wiz and likes to create all kinds of things, especially little robotic pet friends.
4) How old do you think she is? She was intentionally designed to be of similar age to the kids doing the building.
5) He needs the child’s help putting Poppy together. Before we dis-assemble Poppy, lets talk about what we think is inside of him since he’s not a real bunny.
Section 3 - What makes Poppy work?
1) Lets all sit down and take a few minutes to draw what we think is inside of Poppy. A good time to walk around and discuss with the students.
2) Lets all help to dis-assemble Poppy and see what is actually inside.
3) Talk about the role that each part plays in making him hop. Reassemble with their help and watch him hop.
Section 4 - Some additional STEM conversation starters
1) The battery pack is a source of energy for Poppy. How do you get your energy?
2) Show the motor and gear box, compare to the human body.
3) Show how levers make the legs move. Compare and contrast with your family pet's legs or a real bunny.
3) Watch him hop, count how many times he hops. What are some of the things we learned about today?
Section 5 - Important take-away lessons
1) We use a lot of technology every day and it’s very important to our lives.
2) It’s fun to use technology but it can also be fun to make things with technology.
3) There are people who build all the technology we use everyday.
4) You should be very proud as you were a technologist and helped to build this adorable robotic pet!
5) You should always wonder why things work and know that you are capable of making things yourself!
Fine Motor Skills
Hand grasp, wrist rotation and finger isolation allow children to engage in activities that synchronize hand, fingers and eyes to work together. Pixi Kits give children a great opportunity to practice their fine motor skills while they play.
Want to see exactly how it's constructed? Check out the intuitive instructions with guidance from our pixie Ciela.
A truly unique DIY electronic building experience at a price that won't rival your cable bill:
Being able to offer Pixi Kits at a reasonable price has been a top priority. Too many tech oriented toys require a hefty financial commitment that just isn't realistic for most families, especially when shopping for younger children. We did everything we could to offer a rewarding experience at a reasonable price. While a toy of this complexity requires a meaningful upfront investment, it was engineered to have a per unit cost that most will feel is a very good value. Have fun!
Risks and challenges
Starting any new business is a challenge. With Pixi Kits, our intention was to create a product that would scale well. Every member of the team has between 10 and 20 years of business experience in their respective fields. Whether we just pass our funding goal or surpass it by 20x, we have the capacity to complete the project and ultimately fulfill the orders. As we mentioned above, we have our production partner on hold and ready to start the process. We also have a warehouse and logistics firm lined up and ready to get Poppy to your front door. Every project has challenges but we stand by ready to tackle whatever may arise.
We are also making a firm commitment to give consistent updates to keep you well apprised of our progress and timing. Nothing is more frustrating than backing a project and having the sponsors go radio silent! We will also try to make the updates fun and educational if you'd like to share them with your budding technologist.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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