Design Engine
Training Classes/Tutorials for Designers, Engineers, & 3D Professionals


Google+

Ideas, Thoughts, Perspectives

June 28th, 2016

Google Launches Project Bloks, a Physical Toy System to Teach Kids Coding

Learning to code can be a difficult process that involves sitting in front of a computer screen for hours. To make it more fun and to cater it to children, Google has developed a Lego-like toy system named Project Bloks. This system uses physical toy blocks that connect together and are assigned a function, which is then used to give instructions for toys to follow. Throughout this process, Google hopes it will help kids to learn the fundamentals and logic behind coding.

Google in collaboration with IDEO created a reference device, called the Coding Kit, to explore the idea of tangible programming. However, it should be noted that Google itself is not currently planning to build its own retail version of the toy. Instead, Google is to provide the open-source hardware platform for developers to use it to build their own devices. Google believes the Project Bloks system is an effective way to teach children how to think outside the box because it focuses on the use of physical toys, rather than just having to learn coding using traditional on-screen tools. Using a physical toy system also comes with the advantage of allowing kids who haven’t learned to read or write or those with learning disabilities to participate in the coding process. The entire system is made up of three main parts – pucks, base boards and brain boards. The brain board, built on Raspberry Pi Zero, is the core of the system and provides power to the base boards. The pucks provide basic programming demands such as “turn on or off” and “move left,” and the base boards read those instructions from the pucks and transmit them to the brain board. Google has already put their first Coding Kit to the test by having kids instruct a Wi-Fi-connected robot to do some basic functions such as drawing a square and rotating 60 degrees.

In the past it has been difficult to experiment with this kind of physical programming due to the amount of time and money it takes to create such a platform. Paulo Blikstein, a contributor to the project and the Director of the Transformative Learning Technologies Lab at Stanford University believes such toys would be beneficial, “Imagine what could happen if we had 10 times more people developing ways for children to learn coding and computational thinking: not just the traditional way, but kits that would teach programming in different ways such as making music or controlling the physical world. That is what this platform will enable: make it easy to think outside of the box, without all the technical obstacles.” It may help that Google has taken quite an interest in developing this toy system and is even asking for developers, educators, parents and researchers to participate and help to develop it further.

projectbloks_pr_splitscreenc_3000x2000_300ppi

The entire system is made up of three main parts – pucks, base boards and brain boards.

projectbloks_pr_paper_x3kits_3000x2000_144ppi

projectbloks_pr_puckgrid_3000x2000_300ppi

The pucks provide basic programming demands such as “turn on or off” and “move left”

Source: Google 

 

Article Written by Mila Medonaite for Design Engine on June 28, 2016 


About the Author

Design-Engine





Design Engine Industrial Design Training Pro Engineer
 
 

 

BioLite FirePit: Making Fires Toasty Instead of Smokey

If you are an outdoors lover like me, you probably like to go camping , grill food, or sit outside at night with friends around a warm fire. Man has been doing these activities since he learned how to make a fire, and i’m...
by Bart
0

 
 
Creo Phantom Drone propeller

AFTERBURN: Plastic Part Design / Mold Design – Theory and Application

AFTERBURN: Applying Creo Plastic Part Design & Mold Design – Theory & Application  Click here to view the web stream! Access Code > > > 871-513-837 WHAT: Design Engine is hosting our AfterBurn n...
by Bart
0

 
 

3D printing and Spare Part Supply Chain Effects

Everyone keeping up with technology, engineering, and design should have heard about 3D printing. Much of the the general population has heard of it, but most likely the majority don’t understand the capabilities and how ...
by Scott Froemming
0

 

 

Man vs Machine – Rossi against Yamaha Robot

Author: Sean MacDonald Originally published on cycleworld.com November 3, 2017   Yamaha claimed back in 2015 that it would build a robot that could ride a motorcycle around a racetrack faster than Valentino Rossi...
by Bart
0

 
 

BMW and Automotive UX

  When I think of automotive design, I think of the straight lines, and boxiness of the 90’s cars, then I think of the feminine curves of the next decades cars. I think of the once simple interiors where everything was o...
by Bart
0

 



0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


You must be logged in to post a comment.