The icon of kids’ building toys is of course, LEGO. But there are many more “building blocks” out there that can be even more inspirational!
But what about when kids get a bit older and want to start building robots with real automation? There are lots of companies and products out there, like Arduino and Raspberry Pi, that are designed to teach kids how to program a robot, but not too many that allow kids to both build a robot from scratch and program that robot to do what you want. Until now, that is.
The company is called Makeblock and have created a set of tools to help children build robots with relative ease. It also gives them a hands on experience in not just mechanical engineering, but also in electronic engineering and automation as well. This video from YouTube shows just how inventive you can be with their aluminum construction materials, not to mention how fun and easy this robotics kit can be!
The video shows many different robotic creations, from four-wheeled cars to a camera mounted to a moving platform, even a recreation of Pixar’s WALL-E robot. The aluminum alloy pieces are designed with a clever threaded slot for screws so kids can build and attach parts with ease. As a matter of fact, the aluminum pieces in the Makeblock kit are also compatible with LEGO engineering pieces, so a young kid could make the jump from building robots to engineering robots in a snap.
The servos and electronic motors that are included in the kit are also extremely easy to use and assemble. They are designed through Arduino software and you can even download an app through an Android phone to control your robot remotely. So, not only are you learning mechanical engineering skills by building your own robot, you’re also learning electrical engineering and software design that is simple and easy to use!
Makeblock already has a few projects being funded on Kickstarter right now to help bring even more of their clever robotics kits to young children around the country. It’s projects like Makeblock that get us really excited for the future: learning how to build and engineer robots will be great skills to have in the coming years!
photo credit: Makeblock products via makeblock.cc