Bringing coding to life through robotics


Exhibiting at the Bett Show this week was California-based Wonder Workshop which showcased its family of robots that aim to inspire students of all ages by giving them the tools to imagine and invent the future.

The robots, which come with a range of age-appropriate apps encourage hands-on play and learning to make creative problem solving concrete and tangible. Robotics is a great way for students to exercise their critical thinking skills through programming and watch it come alive through robots.

For elementary students from kindergarten upwards there is Dot and Dash which feature intricate Bluetooth enabled innards, an accelerometer, microphone, speakers and sensors. Children can watch their virtual coding turn into tangible learning experiences in real time.

For middle schoolers there is the Cue, which provides a mix of hardware and software that takes the students to the next level of computer programming. Built on Microsoft’s MakeCode platform, Cue lets students transition from block-based coding to text-based JavaScript.

Students can discover a growing library of in-app challenges, plus enhanced software and hardware capability, such as additional memory, improved sensors, upgraded processors, and advanced Bluetooth capabilities.

Cue’s motors and sensors work together seamlessly to provide accurate and versatile behaviour while reacting in real time to its surroundings, inspiring students to build problem-solving skills through coding, engineering and design.

A suite of add-ons are available for the robots including:

Sketch Kit: Enables students to express their creativity and exercise their critical thinking and spatial reasoning skills as they draw shapes and letters, create abstract art, and write messages using the Sketch Kit and Whiteboard Mat with Dash or Cue.

The Sketch Kit is available for the Cue and Dash. Solely available for Dash is:

Launcher: Enables students, with a simple head nod, to launch balls with precision and accuracy at targets or into containers.

Xylophone: With eight simple notes, play popular songs and compose original musical tunes and scores.

Gripper Building Kit: An easy to construct set of functioning arms that expand the robot’s capabilities. Students can build the mechanical arms for hands-on learning of gears, levers and axles.

Building Brick Connectors: Students can create attachments or one-of-a-kind costumes with additional Building Blocks which are compatible with Lego.

Accessories Pack: Students can design challenges and obstacle courses that use the Bulldozer Bar or Tow Hook.