About this project
What basic skills do our kids need today, to succeed in the future?
Just like reading, writing and arithmetic, problem solving and innovative thinking are essential 21st century life skills our kids need.
Research shows that one of the most effective ways for kids to learn problem solving is through coding & robotics.
Phiro is a robotics & coding platform that teaches problem solving and computational thinking, basic skills required for the next generation. With Phiro, kids can become artists, engineers, economists, astronomers or anything they want.
Phiro is a LEGOⓇ compatible programmable robot designed for kids & young people.
We have created two robots:
Phiro Unplugged for kids ages 4 to 8.
Kids can learn to code & program the robot without a computer!
Phiro Unplugged is a great robotic tool to learn Sequential Programming and fundamentals of Binary Coding.
Phiro Pro for young people ages 9 to 18.
Phiro Pro engages young people at the next level by stimulating coding concepts using free open-source programming languages.
Program & control Phiro Pro wirelessly, with a computer, tablet or smartphone connected in bluetooth mode, to Scratch 2.0 (MIT, USA), Snap4Arduino (UC Berkeley/Citilab, Spain), Pocket Code mobile apps (Catrobat project headquartered at Graz University of Technology, Austria). Connect to a community on-line enabling collaboration, sharing & learning. Phiro Pro also has all the capabilities of Phiro Unplugged.
Both robots come fully assembled and are ready to learn from & play with, right out of the box.
With many years of experience teaching STEM, robotics and coding in K-12 schools, we have evaluated robots from all over the world and found gaps. They are usually expensive, use proprietary programming languages and are not so fun to use.
We created Phiro, an affordable robot that has a lot of learning, creativity and fun packed into it. We didn't just add 1 way to code and control Phiro, we added 5 ways! We designed it to enable many ways to problem solve without a computer or with open-source programming languages that millions of kids use and love. Kids can be endlessly creative and innovative with Phiro’s LEGOⓇ compatibility and Smartphone Mount.
Phiro robots makes learning to code accessible and less intimidating to kids.
Phiro brings computational thinking and programming to the physical world, where kids can visualize the outcome of code they have created.
Revolutionizing the future of play learning with Phiro! Kids can create their own interactive games and stories, program Phiro to do anything they imagine while learning to solve problems. Phiro engages kids for a long time and it is super easy to get kids started with the robots.
Want to clean you room? Transform Phiro into a bull dozer or snow plough with LEGOⓇ attachments, write code in Pocket Code, and command Phiro to navigate your room & clean your stuff!
Be endlessly creative and transform Phiro into an animal, alien, car, join your tea party, or anything you imagine with Phiro's True LEGOⓇ Compatibility and LEGOⓇ compatible connector. Kids can personalize their own Phiro robots!
Want speed? Create code for a remote control in Scratch 2.0, Snap4Arduino, Pocket Code mobile app's and gear up Phiro with LEGOⓇ parts and watch your race car go!
Phiro the Monkey Artist : LEGO® compatibility + Scratch 2.0
Phiro's Pocket Code app, can program & control wirelessly via Bluetooth both Arduino and Phiro simultaneously without need for live internet, once downloaded on the smartphone. Special “Scratch” like blocks have been created to access Phiro + Smartphone + Arduino sensors and output devices. Phiro’s smartphone app opens up endless possibilities for Arduino tinkering community and in the Maker movement world-wide to extend the capabilities for Phiro and Arduino with Pocket Code. Read more about Phiro's Arduino Shield here.
Wireless Gesture Control with Phiro Pro+Arduino+Pocket Code+Flex Sensors
Learn the basics of coding & robotics without a computer!
Parents love that Phiro Unplugged does not require visual screen time from tablets, smartphones or computers for their little ones!
Swish Card Demo - Ferris Wheel Phiro!
More on Swish Cards and how they teach Binary Coding at the bottom of this project page.
Phiro Pro helps young people go further by teaching them visual drag & drop programming using Scratch2.0, Snap4Arduino and Pocket Code mobile app's which are free & open source.
Through the online community of Scratch, Snap4Arduino and Pocket Code, kids can share their code for Phiro with friends across the world, collaborate to create entirely new robot commands and learn coding tricks from them!
Phiro Pro has all the capabilities of Phiro Unplugged as well.
Note: We will provide Phiro libraries for Scratch2.0, Snap4Arduino, and Pocket Code (including special blocks) on our website, at no cost.
Phiro the Kangaroo detector - Scratch 2.0 Video Motion detection
Compass program using phone's magnetic sensor with Pocket Code
Speech Recognition with Pocket Code
Phiro Pro is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Android and Linux.
Smart Phone Mount: With this accessory, you can fix and adjust any smart phone on top of Phiro. Young people can use their smart phone camera with Phiro to record home movies, use the Pocket Code app to detect faces and more!
“Phiro presents an opportunity to make coding with your child a whole lot more fun. You can make a family hackathon game with the swish cards” - Mom, National Robotics Week, Rhode Island Robot Block Party, Brown University, USA April 2015
"I already know Scratch and now I can use it to make Phiro do cool things" - Caitlyn, age 14, Cambridge Science Festival, Cambridge, MA, USA April, 2015
"This would be a great tool to use for my middle school and high school robotics class" - Robotics Educator, Cambridge Science Festival, Cambridge, MA, USA April 2015
"We love doing family projects with robots, and with this face detection and Lego attachments, I can think of so many fun things we can do this robot" - Mom, Cambridge Science Festival, Cambridge, MA, USA April, 2015
"Si de pequeño hubiese tenido esto, seguramente hubiese sido mi juguete favorito, porque con lo curioso que era yo, teniendo uno de estos... ¡Me lo habría pasado genial!" - "Had I had one of those when I was a little boy, it would have probably been my favorite toy, because being the curious boy I was... I'd have had so much fun!" - Arnau Cervello, age 15, Citilab Edutec Congress Barcelona Spain May, 2015
There is a growing movement to help kids everywhere to learn to code. We want to empower kids to be computational thinkers and creative problem solvers by learning to program a fun robot.
We have created functional 3D printed prototypes of Phiro and have demonstrated and user tested Phiro with kids, parents and educators at the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program, Scratch team and Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT Media Lab, Google I/O California, Robot Block Party Brown University Rhode Island, Cambridge Science Festival MA, Latino STEM Alliance expo Boston, Charles River Coder Dojo Boston, Citilab Edutec Congress Barcelona Spain and received great feedback. We have used the feedback into making Phiro better for all kids.
Reaching our $50,000 goal means we can start manufacturing and getting Phiro into the hands of kids everywhere. Join our movement to empower kids everywhere to become computational thinkers!
Back us now at our special Kickstarter price and you’ll be amongst the first to get Phiro.
Thank you to the Kickstarter community for being a part of our journey to make Phiro a reality!
Help us reach & exceed our Kickstarter goal by sharing Phiro with your friends.
Stretch Goal: $100, 000 unlocks color options for Phiro robots and aims to make your experience with Phiro special. Thank you supporters for believing in our mission and helping to make Phiro into a reality. Phiro will be available in many colors - Yellow, Red, Pink, Blue, Green, Purple and our Original 'Peacock Mantis Shrimp' inspired color.
The name Phiro is a play on the Greek letter “Phi - ϕ” which is also a symbol of the Golden Ratio, and “Ro” for Robot. The product design of Phiro follows the Golden Ratio! You can also visit our blog for more information on Phiro's design story.
Phiro Unplugged: You get a Phiro Unplugged robot fully assembled, a starter lesson plan, Swish Cards, LEGOⓇ compatible Phiro connector and a USB charging cable.
Phiro Pro: You get a Phiro Pro robot fully assembled which is bluetooth enabled for wireless connectivity - ready to connect to free open source languages with Scratch 2.0, Snap4Arduino & Pocket Code mobile apps, a starter lesson plan, a Smartphone Mount, Swish Cards, LEGOⓇ compatible Phiro connector and a USB charging cable.
We would love to hear feedback or ideas that you might like to share with us!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Deepti and Aditi, 2 sisters, lead Robotix. Since 2009, Robotix has been providing hands-on robotics education programs in K-12 schools, is home to the robotics competition, Indian Robotix League and social initiative, @IndianGirlsCode.
Robotix has partnered with Ford Motor Co. India to teach underprivileged children coding and robotics, aiming to make India self sufficient in skilled manpower.
With experience in robotics education, we are now venturing into innovative educational robots for children.
Deepti has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and an undergraduate engineering degree in Biotechnology. Aditi has a Masters in Public Policy and an undergraduate Law degree. The Robotix team is multi functional with hardware and software engineers, industrial product designer, consumer product manufacturers with over 30 years of electronics and electrical manufacturing experience, educationists and business leaders with a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow.
You can also visit our blog for more information.
Disclaimer : LegoⓇ is a registered Trade mark of The LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this project.
Risks and challenges
We have been working hard on everything we need to do to avoid problems in making a great robot and giving it to you. Here are potential risks and challenges we may face and what we will do to reduce them.
We feel confident about our timeline, as we are collaborating with experienced partners, but our challenge will be staying on schedule.
Component Sourcing: Phiro is comprised of many components to be sourced world-wide, with multiple vendors to supply the components, all with exact specifications we need and with a just in time logistics pipeline. In the last 6 months we have been working with various global vendors and we are confident of getting supplies as per our requirement.
Design for Manufacture & Assembly and Tooling: We have spent the last 12 months working with Product designers, DFMA Designers and with an experienced company who will make the Injection moulding tools & deliver the plastics for Phiro from their factory. We still have work to do to ensure a happy customer experience. We are sure the collaboration of these 3 expert groups along with our Phiro team will be beneficial for easy production and assembly.
Production and Delivery Schedule: We are talking to multiple factories for supply of assembled & tested PCB for production of Phiro. The final assembly & testing of Phiro as a product meeting our Quality systems & procedures, calls for more detailing. We have already accounted for, in our schedule, the possibility of delays and to still ship on time.
We are confident of overcoming all these & other hurdles and we will make every effort to ship on schedule.
However if any unforeseen issues do arise we will keep you informed and update backers with the latest progress.
Other than this, we hope you will have a great experience once you receive Phiro !Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We received few questions from Phiro Pro backers regarding the new rewards added that allows existing Phiro Pro backers to add-on a Phiro Arduino Shield+Adapter (or) Phiro Arduino Shield+Arduino UNO+Adapter rewards. Sorry for the confusion! Here is an explanation of how to add-on the new reward if you wish to.
1. At the top of our Kickstarter page, on the right hand side will be a green box that says "You're a Backer, You Pledged $(amount)". Click this box.
2. This opens up a page that shows "Pledge Amount" and
"To change your pledge amount, enter a new amount below." There will be box where you can enter the total amount of original reward+add-on $value you wish to pledge. Enter this new $total in this box. For example, you pledged originally for Get Phiro Pro $149(+shipping) and you want to add-on the $40 Arduino Shield reward. Enter $149(+shipping) + $40=new $total.
3. Below this box will be "Reward Selection" area. Make sure you keep the original reward selection option checked.
4. Then there is a green button below the Reward Selection area of this same page that says "Continue to Next Step". Click this.
5. Next, send us a direct message via Kickstarter confirming which combination of rewards you want.
A) Mindstorms/EV3 uses a proprietary programming language while Phiro Pro uses open-source programming languages like Scratch, Snap4Arduino, Pocket Code.
B) Mindstorm/EV3 are construction kits while Phiro is pre-built, but Phiro comes with Lego® compatibility to construct your own creation.
C) Mindstorms/EV3 uses a cable for programming and bluetooth for control. Whereas with Phiro, you can use bluetooth for both programming and control wirelessly.
Phiro will be made & shipped from India.
We will ship to USA, Canada, UK, Countries in European Union, India, Singapore, South Korea, Japan & Australia.
World-Wide (except India): UPS will let the backers know exact amount payable and backers can pay UPS directly.
For each country the Taxes vary and therefore exact amount will be calculated by UPS and informed to backers.
For India: we will notify backers directly with amount and payment mode
When the campaign is over, we will send you a survey to enter your shipping information.
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