This DIY robot on Indiegogo hopes to spur kids’ inegenuity

There’s a new “R” joining the “reading, writing, and arithmetic” building blocks of education, and this one is far less rudimentary. Robots are all the rage in learning today, with parents and educators increasingly turning to these machines to help turn their children onto STEM fields at an early age.

The latest project to join the scene is DFRobot, a robotics and open-source hardware provider that has just launched a new Indiegogo campaign to fund a DIY robot named Antbo. Geared towards children and teenagers to learn how to program in an interactive manner, the robot aims to “specifically target maker, design, and coding enthusiasts to help foster their skills.”

For a month, DFRobot will be seeking funds for the continuation of Antbo, which is unique in its set of self-learning and “bionic” qualities. Capable of analyzing and understanding its surroundings by way of user interaction, Antbo is one of the most advanced DIY robots to hit the scene, even able to develop emotional functions through the use of  lighting and voice control.

“We want to encourage today’s youth to create and design by actually producing something they can use, teach and then learn from,” said Ricky Ye, CEO, DFRobot. “We believe that Antbo’s collaborative features and unique DIY approach will provide kids with the perfect tools to help them gain a better understanding of robotics, machinery and programming from an early age.”

Related: Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Robot subs, laser cutters, a $300 3D printer

The robot promises to be easy to configure, but will encourage continued interaction and education by way of PC or mobile programming software like WhenDo, Arduino IDE, and Scratch, which will help upgrade Antbo’s movement sensors. Moreover, a companion app for the bot will allow users to further customize the Antbo, and even provides the option of 3D printing removable shells for their robot. This approach, DFRobot says, “merges the physical and digital worlds through a gamified methodology that is equal parts challenging and exciting.”

You can pre-order an Antbo for $69 via Indiegogo, with products expected to ship by this fall.

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