Helpful Robot Teaches People Of All Ages How To Code

Helpful Robot Teaches People Of All Ages How To Code

The Root has coding expertise designed to benefit a wide range of people

Zack Palm
  • 7 december 2016

Root is a robot designed to teach coding to beginners ranging from young children to students attending college classes and beyond. The robot, covered with an array of sensors, follows the code created on a tablet with the application the developers made to guide it.


Root features three levels of coding. The first level is graphical programming mostly suited to younger audiences or those starting their coding journey. This section has more diverse pictures to show what the lines of code will ask Root to do. The second level is computational fluency, where a more advanced coding algorithm is in place, providing fewer pictures. The third level is full text programming with the coding languages Python, JavaScript and Swift installed.

Root is 15 centimeters in diameter and 4.5 centimeters tall with integral parts covering the robot’s top and bottom. The bottom has a color-sensing bar to recognize the specific colors the code tells the device to follow or erase. Root also uses a drawing tool to create a colored path, following the directions provided by the code.


There are sample activities uploaded to the application to make the first few steps of coding easier, rather than throwing language at the students with no clear direction. One of the games has Root attempting to escape an obstacle field full of colored dots. The program tells Root to recognize that it is about to traverse over one of these dots and to find a new path. Another involves two Roots where one Root explores a drawable surface coloring a path behind it and the second Root follows the path erasing the marker to catch the Root in front of it.

Root reached their goal of $250,000, garnering $397,427 in total. The Root robot comes with a charging cable and a coding app with a digital download of lessons and activities. Developers estimate they will ship to backers by June 2017.


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