A crowdfunding campaign for the Play-i robot is approaching $750,000 in funding after seeking a goal of just $250,000. The campaign still has a week left to go and could hit $1 million before all is said and done.
Play-i is creating a visual programming environment for its robots on touch devices for kids, that meets children at their level of cognitive ability and motor skills, starting as early as age five. Unlike other programming languages where children are first taught the syntax, Play-i focuses on learning through exploration, play and discovery.
Play-i is using their own crowdfunding solution, avoiding the success fees of a Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
The $700,000 milestone came with a stretch goal: an available xylophone for one of the robots that comes with pre-programmed songs. The robot can be programmed to play other songs, of course. Play-i provided a video of the robot using the xylophone, which is embedded below…
Play-i is an impressive outfit with a really strong team. Team members have experience at companies like Apple, Amazon, and Frog Design. Advisers for the company include Mike Dooley, the original product lead for LEGO Mindstorm Robotics, Steve Cooper, Professor of CS & Ed at Stanford University, Chairman of CSTA, Andrea Thomaz, Professor of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, Kiki Prottsman, Educator and Executive Director of Thinkersmith, Vibha Sazawal, Scientist at the University of Maryland, and Prashant Kanhere, who led development of the iPod at Apple.
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