Cannybots teaches kids about robotics, programming, design and 3D printing. The Cannybot comes in a kit that needs to be assembled and programmed by hand, though this has been simplified to such a great extent that any kid used to a smartphone can do it. ‘Going through the building process gives kids the hands-on experience of building a functional robot that they can also program,’ Anish Mampetta says. ‘Programming is an essential skill today but it is not easy to get kids started. We are allowing kids to do this in a fun, interactive and rewarding way.’
Key in that educational process is programming App CannyTalk, which has been developed in collaboration with Cambridge University’s Computer Science department. ‘The app uses a syntax-free programming environment that works like a friendly chat tool. Using the app anyone can program the Cannybot using plain English. The children use programming to solve puzzles, control Cannybots on race tracks, and create new game play styles,’ says Mampetta.
The result is a fun toy that can be used for a variety of games and scenarios. Among the options are racing on tracks, sumo wrestling, jousting, maze solving and other puzzles. ‘There is a dedicated phone app and track design for each game play. Customer can print the tracks at home or use the large format tracks that we supply. It is also possible to make a large track by printing segments of A4 sheets. The bots work by following black lines and colored mark printed on the track,’ the team writes.