It's definitely the cutest block of wood we've ever seen
Coding used to be something that only computer scientists could do. Today it’s mainstream but can still be quite inaccessible to some. Moving forward, coding is going to be a normal skill for so many people in the years to come. The best way to learn is as early as possible but it’s difficult to teach children coding until they’re old enough to understand the words used. Primo Toys wants to change that with a tactile programming language and the most adorable wooden robot we’ve ever seen: Cubetto. Check it out:
Cubetto is a little cuboid robot that can be controlled by placing blocks into a controller. The blocks tell the robot to go in different directions over a colourful map. Other maps will be available so you can have themes like space travel.
We love this entire concept for getting kids to learn programming. It reminds us of the Scratch programming language, which is visually similar but still written on a computer. Perhaps Cubetto can bring more kids to Scratch, which will make more sense after playing with the adorable cuboid robot.
The tactile nature of the programming language makes it really accessible to all sorts of people. Kids don’t even need to be able to read to play with it and learn the coding principles, so there’s absolutely no language barrier.
Something else that gets praise from us is the company’s attitude towards gendering toys. Cubetto itself is described as being “for girls and boys ages 3 and up.” The toy’s Kickstarter page has a paragraph on “Let toys be toys” that explains that STEM toys should be for everyone. Primo Toys wants girls and boys to be equally excited about playing with Cubetto and learning to code. This attitude informed their design choices, as they didn’t want the robot or accessories to be gendered at all. That’s why the robot takes the form of a cube with a smile; something anyone can enjoy.
Kids that are 3 years of age won’t play with this because it’s a coding toy. They’ll play with this because they can make a cute robot move around. Without having kids staring at screens all day, they’ll grow up understanding some of the fundamentals of coding. It’s the 21st century and coding is becoming a form of literacy more and more people are expected to be comfortable with.
Primo Toys are campaigning on Kickstarter and have absolutely smashed their $100,000 target. Indeed, the toy is so popular that all the early bird backing pages are gone. The cheapest option that gives you Cubetto is $195 (£135.78) plus $40 (£27.84) shipping.
All images © Primo Toys