This Toy Will Turn Your Kids Into Little Programmers

It's never too early to start.

Credit: / Jonathan Chan

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STEM jobs are the future, right? According to Forbes, the median salary for a program developer straight out of college is $61,300. Not bad. So how do you get your children on track for a job like that? Get them started early.

Evollve Inc. can help nudge your kids in the right direction, and all they need to do is play with some Ozobots.

Credit: / Jonathan Chan

The original programming language of the Ozobot depended on a color coding system.

Ozobots are tiny programable robots that made their first appearance in 2014. Originally, they were programmed to read a color language. Various colors correspond to different commands, and Ozobots would scan commands as they rolled over them and react accordingly. The advantage of Ozobots over other programmable robots was that once you got the color language down, you could use paper as well as electronic tablets, so they could travel much further.

Paper Trail
Credit: / Jonathan Chan

The Ozobot can read the color coded language on paper and tablets.

Fast forward to CES 2015 and Evollve Inc. has taken it a step further. Not only can you program the new generation of Ozobots–Bits–with the color code, now they can be controlled with a version of Blockly. This visual code editor is a way of demonstrating code in a more visual way. Like writing a sentence, code needs to be written in a certain syntax for it to make sense, and Blockly simplifies this concept into something kids can understand.

Credit: Google

Blockly is a visual representation of code. Created by Google, it was meant to help introduce people to the logical structure of coding.

Designed for children eight and older, these new Ozobots introduce a fun and tangible result of programing. You get the program right and immediately the little robot does what you want.

Computer languages are built on a logical set of rules. Learning programming is path to mastering critical thinking. And that–the ability to work your way through a problem–can be more important than any credential.

Credit: / Jonathan Chan

An example of the new programing system based on Google's Blockly.

The Bits have a tentative ship date of around June 2015 and will cost $49.99.

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