Posted by Willy Franzen on October 2, 2012. Jobs updated daily.
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When I was growing up, educational toys were pretty lame. I’d beg my mom to take me to Toys ‘R Us and not Learning Express. The one exception was the 130-in-1 Electronic Playground and Learning Center that allowed me to broadcast my own radio station by connecting wires in a particular pattern. It was one of the few “toys” that provided an opportunity to pursue my interest in technology without the help of an adult. Today’s kids have access to way cooler stuff from companies like Orbotix (I got a tip today that they have some really cool job opportunities that have opened up since we featured them), LittleBits, and Sifteo. Another company that has recently entered the market is Modular Robotics. They’re based in Boulder, CO, and they manufacture Cubelets, “magnetic blocks that can be snapped together to make an endless variety of robots with no programming and no wires.” It sounds a lot like a way more interesting, robotic-themed take on the 130-in-1 kit.
When I was a kid, pop culture convinced me that robots would be far more prevalent now than they actually are. The fervor about robots seemed to die in the early 90s, and it’s just coming back. I think that a big part of the explanation is that computing (hardware and software) wasn’t where it needed to be to make robots actually useful outside of an industrial setting. Now it is. Drones, self-driving cars, and autonomous vacuum cleaners are a reality. Robots are going to be a big part of our future, which is why it’s important for kids to start understanding how they work. Cubelets simplifies robotic parts down to specific functions that make sense to kids of almost any age. Watch this video to see how:
While Cubelets and many of the other educational toys that have recently come out are quite expensive as toys go, I think they’re going to have an amazing impact on today’s youth. If you’d like to be part of what Modular Robotics is doing to push forward education and robotics, head over to their Jobs page. Right now they’re looking for an Education Coordinator. They’re looking for someone with experience in hands-on education, so if you’ve been volunteering at a local science museum or working with kids, this could be a great position for you.
Links to Help You Begin Your Research
Do you wish that you had Cubelets as a kid?
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