Computer programming is being introduced into the UK curriculum for 7-11 year olds in the new school year in 2014. Lil’Bot is a low cost cost, open source balancing robot, suitable for introducing children (at school or home) to the fundamentals of programming. Lil’Bot can be programmed via a web browser through a drag and drop interface, similar to that of Scratch. As the child progresses and wants to get deeper into programming, the code can be revealed and edited. The Lil’Bot is Arduino compatible and completely hackable, so you can make it do exactly what you want it to and then share with the community.
Another interesting feature, is that it can power with the Hy-Druino, an Open Source Hydrogen Fuel Cell. A great way to introduce fuel cells into your projects, although currently a little out of my price range.
It is really important that children (teachers and parents) use open source technology, if it is to have a chance in the world. As a child it was drilled into me that it is important to “share”, then later as a young adult it was soon drilled out of me again, as I entered the commercial world. We must teach everyone “sharing is caring” and is good for all, not just children.
As of writing this, there are a few day left to get your Lil’Bot via the Kickstarter Campaign. So go get one for your family and your kids school.