CES 2015: Robotics Magazine sets out to Inspire Kids to Teach Themselves
The publication from Wonder Workshop will feature activities, lessons, and all things Dash and Dot
Sadly, some of the most exciting toys have often required parents to sort through complicated instruction manuals before play can commence. With the help of a new robotics magazine, however, kids can soon teach themselves how to negotiate — and about the inner workings of — a pair of cute, capable robots (and even enlighten their parents, too).
Today at CES 2015, San Mateo-based Wonder Workshop announced the launch of Wonder Magazine, a free, bi-weekly digital publication for young robotics fans and their families. The magazine, which will be delivered via Wonder Workshop mobile apps and to customer email inboxes after sign-up, will cover activities, updates, and “creative new [play] ideas” for Dash and Dot, Wonder Workshop’s kid-friendly robots.
“Now that Dash & Dot are arriving into homes around the world, we’re excited to offer new and engaging ways that children can play and learn with them,” said Vikas Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Wonder Workshop. “Our team is excited to introduce Wonder Magazine as fun and creative content for our community.”
With the two robots and a number of support programs, Wonder Workshops aims to introduce children of various ages and developmental stages to different aspects of robotics. Dash and Dot’s youngest fans can play with the duo using apps that “weave in music and movement,” send the robots on mini-adventures, and stage performances. Users in mid-childhood are introduced to programming and coding through play with Blockly, a visual programming language from Google that allows kids to drag and drop simple commands and control Dash and Dot’s movements. Older kids, too, are invited to engage by building new apps for the robots on iOS and Android with Objective C and Java through Wonder Workshop’s open API (developers are welcomed to take up the task, too).
The first issue of Wonder Magazine is set to go out in English on January 15th, reps stated. The ongoing publication’s sections will include:
- a “Making Wonder” series, pairing play ideas with related videos
- “Ask Dash, Ask Dot” for robot FAQ and kids’ tougher queries, too
- featured “Wonderful projects” from children worldwide
- “Adventures of Dash & Dot” stories
- “Hello World” coding lessons
- “Build-a-Bot” building and crafts projects for use with Dash and Dot
- “Wonder Labs,” a chance to “engage with the Wonder Workshop team”
- “Funny Corner, Events and Announcements” areas
As the Wonder Workshop team explains, they believe that today’s children “spend far too much of their days hearing about what they should and shouldn’t do,” and are being herded and shaped by overbearing outside forces, such as with standardized assessments in schools and by a toy industry which “tells them which toys it’s okay to play with.” Being parents themselves, the bot creators note, they “want kids to learn to think for themselves.”