The creator of smartphone-controlled robotic toy Sphero has launched an initiative aimed at teaching kids programming, robotics and maths.
Orbotix — the company behind the robotic Ollie toys that can be controlled via iOS and Android apps — has announced the launch of SPRK, an education initiative aimed at using Sphero to teach kids essential knowledge such as programming, maths and science while having fun.and
SPRK — pronounced "spark" and standing for "Schools, Parents, Robots, Kids" — consists of an eight-week program with free, downloadable lessons to be used with free apps for iOS and Android — MacroLab, with which you can create programs and macros for Sphero using presets, and orbBasic, which lets you write your own programs.
The lessons start with very basic MacroLab lessons, moving up into the more complicated programming, with lessons that teach speed, distance and time; geometry; and percentages. All you need is a Sphero — available from Harvey Norman, Myer, iWorld, Tech2Go and the Apple store for AU$179.95 — and an Android or iOS smartphone.
"In ten years, if a child points back to Sphero as their inspiration to becoming an engineer, we've done our job," said Orbotix co-founder Adam Wilson. "You can't put a price on that."
You can get all the lessons and apps from the SPRK website, and learn more about the program in the video below.