- The child's age
- The child's ability
- The child's interest
Unfortunately, most coding robots appeal to a very narrow user. Usually this is because educational robot is tailored to a very specific skill level that is either quickly outgrown or unreasonably challenging. This skills gap is the primary problem that mimicArm and tinybot try to solve.
tinyBot and mimicArm, and all our coding robots, start teaching programming using drag-and-drop methods through mimicBlock. Each "block" in the mimicBlock environment translates directly to a line of code, so the students are able to see the actual text program that's being uploaded to their mimicArm or tinyBot coding robot. When the student is ready, tinyBot and mimicArm can also be programmed using the C programming language. As an incentive to graduating to text programming, there are features available using C that are not available using mimicBlock, so the students can do even more with their coding robot.
Additionally, most coding robots have wheels. This is fine for certain situations, but sometimes it's preferable to have an educational robots that won't be stepped on! mimicArm and tinyBot are both desktop robot arms, so they're unlikely to roll of a table or be left on the floor in the living room. There is definitely a place for wheeled robots (just look at digiRacer!), but they're not the right tool for every job.
Finally, a coding robot, like any educational tool, should represent the state of the art at a minimum. Ideally, a coding robot should represent things to come. By focusing on human interaction, collaborative programming, and cooperative robotics mimicArm and tinyBot represent simplified versions of the very latest in industrial robot design, and have features similar to the very most advanced robotic prototypes.
After some thought you may find that our robots are not for you, which is great! A robot on the shelf isn't helping anyone. But we believe our wide age and ability range, plus the features our robots offer, provide a great way to teach students programming.