Kamibot combines coding, robots, and papercraft

"Unless parents and educators can make it fun, kids are never going to stick with it"

Kamibot is a programmable robot that can be customised with papercraft skins. Its creators have launched a Kickstarter campaign, promising their robot will encourage children to learn to code. A smartphone app can control the robot straight out of the box; no programming required. However, hook it up to a computer and it becomes a great educational tool. Kamibot is compatible with the Scratch programming language, which uses drag-and-drop commands so kids can easily learn the fundamentals of coding.

“Coding is an important skill for kids to learn. But unless parents and educators can make it fun, kids are never going to stick with it. We’ve created Kamibot to be a small, programmable robot that kids can endlessly customise by writing their own code, and by adding creative papercraft skins.”

When I was in school, coding was a thing we touched on but nobody really explained why it was worth learning. It was boring and pointless. I learned nothing about the potential applications of learning to code. Teaching myself years later, I’m jealous of kids who were inspired by coding at school. When I finally started to make progress later in life it was because I had actual projects I was working towards. Maybe I would have realised the potential of coding at a young age if I had something like Kamibot.

Image © Kamibot

Kamibot comes packed with some cool hardware that makes it surprisingly capable. It uses ultrasonic sensors to avoid obstacles and IR sensors to follow black lines. Young programmers (or app users) can control the robot’s direction, speed, and coloured LEDs. The top of the plastic robot has a rotating pad that can also be controlled to turn the papercraft character’s head. It’s quite a lot of cool robot tech for very reasonably priced educational robot.

Image © Kamibot

The Kickstarter is looking to raise $50,000 to start mass production and has already raised 10% within its first day. The backing rewards that provide your very own Kamibot start from $79 (£55.32). The package includes the robot itself, micro USB cable, papercraft tank skin, and a line-tracing mat.

Main image © Kamibot