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索尼少儿向KOOV机器人工具包登陆众筹网站

经一年延期,索尼KOOV机器人工具包终于上线众筹网站Indiegogo。 KOOV一套可编程机器人套件,内含模块、传感器、执行器,以及可用于控制机器人的编程语言。

KOOV工具包自诩并不是一套可使孩子们轻松组创出机器人的简单机器人工具包,而是为了教孩子关于机器人的工作原理,以及供其接触可视化编程。

为实现这一目的,KOOV应用内置了30多个小时的少儿教育内容。少儿可利用这一应用组建预先设计好的23个机器人,这就是使用高级套件中302个模块创制的“机器人秘方”。

想要进行深入探索的人群还可使用机器人秘方共享,机器人秘方共享是一项在线数据库,内含用户创造且经索尼核准面向8-14岁客户群的定制机器人。

KOOV工具包目前使用小型亮色半透明的模块,类似3D像素工具,从而易于类比,使少儿能在使用移动应用与组建现实产品间轻松过渡。

KOOV是索尼国际教育推出的首个硬件产品,该机构对其投入颇多,期待一鸣惊人。这也是KOOV之所以在众筹网站上线的原因:不为筹资,只求在完全发布前能从感兴趣的家长处得到反馈。

KOOV问世前,苹果公司新近发力教授少儿其Swift编程语言,乐高也新发了教育产品Lego Boost。

刚进行软发布的KOOV工具包似乎已遇到了一些障碍。索尼日后发布其产品前或许需做几项调整。

索尼必须克服的一大差别在于其新发产品与竞争对手产品间的差价。Lego Boost定价为160美元。KOOV标准版套件价格为359美元,高级版价格为499美元。

KOOV的另一项问题在于其软件与硬件。苹果公司教授给少儿的编程语言与iOS、macOS、watchOS、tvOS相同。而KOOV使用的则是专为其研发的自由编程程序,也就是说该语言无法移作他用。

KOOV目前使用的是基于Arduino的微控制器。尽管存在转为开源学习的可能性,索尼目前已锁定了该系统。也许收到Indiegogo的反馈后,索尼将对KOOV做出调整。

KOOV曾暂时在日本发售,但目前仅面向美国消费者出售。

Sony has finally launched its KOOV robotics kit on Indiegogo, a year after it was supposed to. KOOV is a coding and robotics kit that has modular blocks, sensors and actuators, as well as a programming language to control the robot.

The kit prides itself on not being a simple robotics kit that allows kids to easily make robots. Instead, it intends to teach children about the working of robots and provide them with some exposure to visual programming.

All of this will be provided through a KOOV app which in itself has over 30 hours of kids’ educational content. Kids can use this app to create 23 pre-decided designs which are known as “Robot Recipes” using the 302 block Advanced Kit.

For those who want to explore more, there’s the option to use Robot Recipe Sharing which is the name of an online database containing custom robots built by users, and approved of Sony for its target audience aged 8-14 years.

The kit presently uses small, bright coloured, translucent blocks, which are similar to 3D pixels, a comparison that will allow kids to easily transition from using the mobile app into the real world product.

KOOV is the first hardware product to be released by Sony’s Global Education extension which is putting in a lot of effort to get its first launch right. This is why KOOV has been released on a crowdfunding platform– not to gather money for production, but instead to gain feedback from interested parents before launching it properly.

KOOV comes after Apple’s recent efforts to teach its Swift programming language to kids and Lego’s Boost line which joins the list of educational products released by the company.

There seem to be a few obstacles already for the kit that has just been soft launched. Sony will probably have to make a few tweaks before it launches the product in the future.

A huge difference that Sony must look to overcome is the price difference between its new product and that of its competitor. While Boost is priced at $160, KOOV starts at $359 for the Starter Kit and $499 for the Advanced Kit.

Another issue that has been discovered is with the software and hardware. While Apple’s kit teaches kids to use the same coding language used by iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, Sony’s KOOV has its own coding program that was developed especially for it. This means that this coding cannot be applied elsewhere.

Similarly with the hardware, the product currently uses a micro-controller based on Arduino. While this still has the potential for open-source learning, Sony has locked down the system right now. Maybe with all the feedback it gets on Indiegogo, Sony will make changes to KOOV.

KOOV has been available in Japan for a while now but has only been made available to US audiences now.


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