Robotics, coding become child's play: KOOV Trial Kit

Robotics, coding become child's play: KOOV Trial Kit
Credit: Sony

Earlier this month, Sony Electronics announced an abbreviated take on the KOOV robotics kit that it showed in a 2017 video as a robotics and coding educational kit, made up of blocks, sensors, motors, actuators, and a companion app for educating children about coding and robotics designs.

The new flavor is the KOOV Trial Kit. Put simply, this is a smaller version of the full KOOV. Limited parts, lower in price.

In the 2017 video, scenes showed children immersed and having a good time fitting blocks together, referring to recipes on a display screen, and witnessing robots in the making.

Oh, so it's a toy, right? Sony wants the world to know that KOOV is far more than a toy.

KOOV delivers a step by step guide to the coding process and —well, posing as a fun activity. The children are shown how to use code to make their designs come to life and move.

Sony was stepping on to the STEM bandwagon in an ambitious way with KOOV.

Just as in the aspirations of Raspberry Pi pioneers,, who insisted kids can not only play at their computers but can understand the foundations of what makes their computers work— KOOV's bandleaders wanted to enable kids to not just build a robot but "understand the complete process behind it."

"For example, so when kids learn to use an LED for the first time, we show them what exactly is an LED. Where can I see it in real lfie? How is it relevant to me?" said a presenter in the video.

Children learn core concepts about design, coding and robotics. The new trial kit is priced at $249.99.

What's in the kit: The KOOV app and Classroom Management Software. The app download instructions are provided in the Basic Start Guide.

Robotics, coding become child's play: KOOV Trial Kit

The KOOV Trial Kit has a description of the kit with limited parts and dedicated lessons, bringing forth a baseline understanding of KOOV coding, robotics, and design "while in consideration of the comprehensive Educator's Kit solution that's perfect for STEAM education in the classroom or at home." The KOOV App download Instructions are provided in the Basic Start Guide, said Sony.

System requirements accommodate Chromebook: Chrome OS, Microsoft and Apple users. Users with Windows: 7/8.1/10 64bit; Mac OS: 10.9 and above; iOS: iOS 9 and above, iPad mini 4 and above, iPad Pro, iPad Air.

Connect via: Direct USB (Windows); Bluetooth (iOS/Mac OS/Chrome OS).

this microcontroller connects code with robots to make it all come together.

So, how abbreviated is the new trial kit? "With limited parts and dedicated lessons," sauid Sony, "the KOOV Trial Kit enables a baseline understanding of KOOV coding, robotics, and design."

The kit resonates with children ages 8 and older.

Sara Friedman's take on the trial kit debut was that the kit would help, not replace, STEM educators focusing on robiotics. "The kit provides educators with new way to teach coding, robotics and design through hands-on STEAM exercises," she said in THE Journal.

How does it compare with the fuller version? Mariella Moon had some answers in Engadget. The bigger KOOV "can make classes a lot more fun and ignite kids' interest in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) subjects. But it also costs $520 a set, which could be too much for schools with little funding or teachers who pay for classroom supplies out of pocket. The new Koov Trial Kit only costs $250."

She also compared size. It comes with 86 blocks whereas the bigger set [you can check out the Educator Kit page on Sony's site] has 322, and it has fewer electronic components. Further, it has up to 12 pre-coded robot recipes kids can follow and 6 lessons, while the bigger set has 35 robot recipes and 23 lessons.

Steps are steps no matter how small. Sony's rendition of a trial kit aims to attract an even wider base of young learners with "the opportunity to take a peek into the and robotics universe," said Michiko Araki Kelley of Sony.


Explore further

Robots can learn how to support teachers in class sessions

More information: direct.sony.com/koov-trial-kit/

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