Are robots the future of educational toys? Featured

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Read Mia Andric's comments here...

Lego made the robotics toys trend a fixture in the lives of families with children who could afford high-tech toys, but robots are set for integration into children’s day-to-day play, if the experts are to be believed. From problem-solving, to decision making, to learning the basics of coding, robots are changing how the younger generations are learning.

Robotic manThe Ubtech Robotics range of robots has just landed in South Africa. Described as “suitable for children as young as age 8 and upwards, these interactive robot building kits go beyond pure-play and also challenge our perception of educational toys. While stimulating creativity and imagination, Ubtech Robotics building kits encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, three-dimensional engineering and collaboration. The possibilities are quite simply endless.”

The robotics to be released in the country include the Alpha1 Pro humanoid robot, as well as a range of programmable and educational robots from the Jimu range, which include TankBot, Mini Kit, Explorer kit, and MuttBot. The Alpha1 Pro humanoid robot is an “interactive robot” that evokes the robots seen in movies for decades. Its high-precision servo motors allowing it to reproduce a number of human movements such as push-ups, choreographed dancing and a few kung-fu moves.

The Jimu Robot Kits feature a number of different kits with different capabilities. These were reportedly all built to meet the needs of the STEM curriculum, including science in the form of physics and electronics; technology, through advanced motors and sensors; engineering, by building and creating as well as a software-hardware interface; and maths through the geometry, balance and programming required to make the robots work.

“These interactive robot building kits go beyond pure play and also challenge our perception of educational toys. While stimulating creativity and imagination, Ubtech Robotics building kits encourage critical thinking, problem solving, three dimensional engineering and collaboration. The possibilities are quite simply endless,” the company’s representatives have been reported as saying.

Experts seem to agree. Offering the ability for children to learn “computational thinking”, robots have been touted as the first step to demystifying complex technology at an early age. Computational thinking is described as “the process of creating a program, letting it run, encountering problems, dissecting and examining the problem, and finding a solution so you can create something”. Robots, therefore, should be seen as the educational toys of the future, if these experts are to be believed.

Their argument is that the future of the world lies not just in being able to use technology, but also in developing it. To understand robotics, children need to be exposed to coding and programming. In addition, understanding cause and effect is an essential life skill that children need to learn. The simple side of these concepts may be easy to grasp, but as you get older, decisions are harder to make. Robots are supposed to provide problem solving and critical thinking skills that enable good and quick decision-making.

While there is already a gap in the skills market for coders and continual advancements in technology only serve to highlight the importance of computer literacy, high-tech toys such as these are in their infancy as teaching aids. With relatively high price tags, their benefit will remain negligible until they are available to the masses – or until they become common enough to actually teach children the lessons they profess to.

Image credit: Copyright: abidal / 123RF Stock Photo


African Fusion

AfricanFusionAfrican Fusion, the official publication of the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), aims to provide up-to-date insight into welding technology and the welding industry.

Capital Equipment News

Capital Equipment News is dedicated to the application of equipment and modes of transport that are used in the mining, construction, quarrying, and transport industries.

Construction World

ConstructionWorldConstruction World was first published in 1982 and has grown to become a leader in its field, offering a unique mix of editorial coverage to satisfy the diverse needs of its readers.

Electricity + Control

ElectricityandControlE + C publishes innovative, technical articles that provide solutions to engineering challenges in measurement, automation, control, and energy management.

Lighting in Design

LightingandDesignLighting in Design is a glossy, upmarket publication aimed at lighting professionals. It is the only B2B magazine in SA that is dedicated solely to the subject of lighting.

MechChem Africa

MechChemJanuary2017cover MechChem Africa supports African engineering and technical managers across the full spectrum of chemical and mechanical disciplines.

Modern Mining

ModernMiningEstablished in 2005, Modern Mining is one of SA's leading monthly mining magazines, noted for the quality and accuracy of its writing and the breadth of its coverage.

Modern Quarrying

ModernQuarryingModern Quarrying is firmly entrenched as a leading industry-specific magazine. It focuses on promoting the science and practice of quarrying and processing in southern Africa.

Sparks Electrical News

SparksElectricalNewsReadable and informative, Sparks Electrical News is the newspaper for those involved in installing and maintaining electrical supplies and equipment.

Full Name*
Invalid Input

Company Name*
Invalid Input

Your Email*
Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Postal Address 1*
Invalid Input

Postal Address 2*
Invalid Input

Postal Code*
Invalid Input

Street Address 1
Invalid Input

Street Address 2
Invalid Input

Postal Code
Invalid Input

Town / City*
Invalid Input

Invalid Input


Invalid Input

Invalid Input