Earlier in June 2019, iRobot Corp. announced the buying of Root Robotics, Inc.
Root Robotics started out as a summer project in 2011 at the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering (Harvard University). A lot has changed since then, and today, more than 500 schools use the technology to teach young children how to code, in a playful and engaging way.
iRobot plans to continue the deeds of Root Robotics, and implement it into its’ growing portfolio of educational robotics. The plans also include expanding the teaching of coding.
Zivthan Dubrovsky, Former Bioinspired Robotics Platform LEad and Co-founder of Root Robotics commented that he’s happy and honoured to see his work develop so much. He’s excited to see a new chapter in Root Robotics’ book.
A Small Teaching Robot
The prototype of a coding robot was called “Roomba for Whiteboards” by Radhika Nagpal, Co-lead at Bioinspired Robotics Platform and Zivthan Dubrosvky. The idea behind it was to create a robot that would detect ink, navigate and erase it from the whiteboard while the teacher addresses the students. Once the prototype was created, they quickly realized the potential of the robot.
It’s controlled by iPad app with three different levels of coding. These coding levels are allowing children from the age of 4 to learn the fundamental principles of coding.
Colin Angle, Chairman and CEO of iRobots, is excited to see their educational products develop. In one of the interviews, Angle said that the most attractive thing in Root was its’ primary function and design to teach kids. After all, that’s what their desire is – to use robots as a way of expanding STEM education. Angle believes that Root robot has possibilities even further than just teaching coding and erasing whiteboards. They are planning to implement the teaching methods to understand the concept of AI, engineering and autonomous robots – everything that the future holds for us.