Kids/Babies
Codie steers its way to teaching kids simple programming concepts

There are many apps and Web sites that help teach young minds how to program. In addition to being a worthwhile pursuit in and of itself, it helps students learn lessons in logic and problem-solving. However, in this era of connected devices, it’s helpful to see the ways in which coding can affect objects in the real world.

Codie is a small robotic set tank tread that has various sensors in it. Unlike many kits that combine development and robot-building, it is ready to go right out of the box. A companion app allows beginning programmers to implement very simple instructions and logic to control the bot via Bluetooth. Codie includes a microphone, proximity sensor, light sensor, ultrasound sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope. Not everything Codie does depends on its wheels. It can even be used as an alarm clock.

Codie includes a rechargeable lithium ion battery that allows it to run for about four hours of continuous play.. Codie’s use of Bluetooth and simple companion app are part of what set it apart from Romo, another crowdfunded kid-friendly programmable tread-based robot.

The makers of Codie compare it to Lego Mindstorms, a far more expensive and elaborate — albeit expandable — early robotics kit that is used in introductory robotics. Codie is certainly better geared toward younger kids and has a lower price. The Budapest-based team seels $70,000 by May 15;  Codie costs $169 and should be delivered by November.

Arthur Tufeau is a contributor to Backerjack.