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Smart Kiddo Robotic camps: ‘Gamifying’ Education with fun cool camps

The Explorer2Rover robot is the 5th generation of robot to be launched by Smart Kiddo over the last 7 years and is becoming a very popular education toy at coding camps this Summer. At Smart Kiddo we strive to make learning a fun activity and hence there are lots of fun, creative things to do with this highly versatile, feature packed Robot.     

What to expect

The course will start off with the children building their own robot. This will mean screwing and wiring together the 4-wheel Explorer2Rover and then connecting it up to the Smart Kiddo coding App called Robo Coder. Then the fun will start, the children will in effect ‘bring their robot to life’.

Typically, each child would have his own individual robot to build and play with but children can work in teams or easily share a robot.

The classes run from 1 to 2 hours and from over 30 hours of course work to pick from there is a lot of fun to be had.

Coding and Robotics

After assembling the robot, the children will start to learn the very basics of coding on their tablets using their Robo Coder App and a very simple to use software called Blockly.  Blockly was invented by Google to give children the chance to be introduced to coding and has become a standard in teaching the basics of coding. The coding ‘Blocks’ look like pieces of jigsaw puzzle that fit together and create Code. The coding language hidden below these coding Blocks is Java Script a widely used and recognized coding language. The coding classes will cover a lot of educational but fun things to do with a robot. 

The robot itself has a lot of incredible features that the children will get a chance to play with. All of these features become important parts in the learning the basic and even more advanced aspects of robotics like Image and Color recognition technology allowing the Robots to be driven autonomously around homemade obstacle courses with traffic lights and other objects.

Courses suitable for all age groups – boys and girls

We normally recommend that the children be around 9 or 10 before they start the Explorer2Rover robotics class. With over 40 hours of online self-learning tutorials there is a lot of material for teachers and pupils to choose from. For the younger children they will learn the very basics of making their robot go forwards, backwards, turn on and off camera. The older children can move onto learn more of the fundamentals of robot operation including some of the basic of machine learning and AI.  

There are also courses for younger children starting at the age of 6 using another Smart Kiddo App called Smart Koder; which allows very simple, fun exercises for children to start to build basic games and mazes. Again there is a wide range of courses from Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced to build creative, innovative 3D and VR digital games.

Fun things the children can expect to do 

As they progress though their coding class, they will learn to do lots of fun and exciting things with their robot. For example they will learn how to turn on and off a light that comes very useful for finding things in the dark and will later be used in more advanced courses about Augmented Reality to simulate firing at other robots or targets. There is a full color camera which can be viewed live directly through the Robo Coder App on their tablet or phone. The robots have a full functioning OLED screen which can display texts and messages that the children can send to it as part of their coding course. The display will also be used to show the basics of image and color recognition technology.

Although education is an important part of the mission, we believe that children can have fun along the way so we have lots of fun games the children will do like:

  • Circuit and Maze navigation and racing
  • Hide and Seek using the robot onboard camera to find a hidden object.
  • Create and animate different messages; make robot conversations. 

What support we provide?

Smart Kiddo teachers and support staff are there the whole time to answer questions, organize fun events and exercises to go along with the robotics and coding courses. We provide all of the equipment and electronics to run the camp courses. The children just need to turn up.