The Lego Company has announced the upcoming release of a new robotics system, scheduled to be released in January of 2009. Geared towards grade school children, ages 7-11, WeDo is designed to introduce robotics to an age group that has been previously overlooked. By building robots that remain tethered to their computer, kids can write, download and tweak their programs, giving them the opportunity to see what changes occurred immediately. While it appears that, due to its tethered nature, it may have a limited use outside of the classroom, anything that introduces young children to robotics is a good thing in my book.
In a company press release, dated June 30 2008, Jens Maibom, vice president of LEGO Education, said:
“Building upon our successful 10-year history of bringing educational robotics to middle, high school, and university classrooms with the award-winning LEGO MINDSTORMS toolset, we are excited to extend this expertise to benefit an even younger audience. With a progressively competitive global economy, we know it is imperative to provide even younger children and their teachers with curricular-relevant, easy-to-implement educational materials to spark children’s interest in all manner of subjects. After observing classroom tests conducted in Brazil and the United States, we are confident that WeDo Robotics, the first product from LEGO Education designed to serve the classroom needs of emerging markets, will inspire teachers and motivate students in classrooms around the world.”
Check out more WeDo info at the Lego Education site.
Wedo! Can you?