Programming

  • ​Parents wanting to get their kids into coding are spoiled for choice, but there aren’t many gadgets for an older audience. Hexa is a six-legged, sensor-laden robot that’s a blank slate for people to program their own functionality into, and share those skills across a social network of tinkerers.
  • With an automated future looming, getting our kids interested in coding is becoming just as important as reading, writing and arithmetic. The latest project to join efforts from Fisher-Price, Google and Osmo is Algobrix, a learning platform where youngsters build colorful bots and play with code.​
  • Programming most robots to grasp and retrieve an object can be a rather complex process. That's why scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new system that simply requires users to click twice with a computer mouse.​
  • On January 22, 7,000 new games sprang into existence, after a 48-hour jam session called the Global Game Jam, undertaken by over 36,000 people. Some may become commercial products, but the real focus is on innovation, collaboration, and getting more people into the art and business of making games.
  • A little over 18 months after first announcing its intention to inspire the coders of tomorrow with its freely distributed micro:bit computer, the BBC has given the project independence. The newly created Micro:bit Educational Foundation will now be championing the device globally.
  • ​​Drones have proven their worth as toys, but are beginning to show how they can serve as fun learning tools as well. The Flybrix Lego drone is a recent example of this, and it has now been joined by Airblock, modular kits of foam drone parts that snap together for customized flying machines.​
  • Swarm, a new chip architecture developed at MIT, automates critical aspects of parallel processing to speed up multi-core CPUs by up to 75 times, while requiring programmers to write a fraction of the code​.
  • ​With an increasingly digital future, kids are being taught programming skills at younger ages. Now, Google Research is aiming to accelerate the development of the field by announcing Project Bloks, an open-source hardware platform for developers to create “tangible programming” tools for kids.
  • Codeybot is a cheese-wedged shape robot that joins the latest in a line of educational robots that aim to teach basic programming skills to kids ages six and up.
  • The BBC has begun delivering up to a million of its micro:bit mini computers to school children in the UK for free. Announced last year as part of the organization's Make it Digital initiative, the micro:bit is a pocket-sized programmable device aimed at encouraging young people to code.
  • If you try talking to young children about the joys of programming, you may witness eyes glazing over faster than ever. The Arduino-based Kamibot, however, teaches kids how to code using Scratch, while offering fun customization with papercraft skins.
  • The Wunderkind marries Lego block-building skills with smartphone and tablet use to build and program custom, modular robots, letting even the youngest hands and minds (aged five and up) build and program their own robot creations.
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