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KUBO an intuitive robot to support the teaching of computing

KUBO an intuitive robot to support the teaching of computing

KUBO is a coding robot designed to introduce young learners, typically aged 4 to 10 years old, to the exciting world of programming and robotics. This educational tool is created with the goal of making coding and computational thinking accessible and engaging for children in a fun and hands-on way.

Richard Smith from Amazing ICT has been conducting research to gauge children's opinions on KUBO and its usability in the classroom. Here are the findings he discovered:

From the moment the students opened the box they were intrigued by what this little white robot might be able to do. It is cleverly designed so that you charge up the body of the robot via a USB cable and then the robot comes to life when you put the head on the body.

The head is pulled to the body by magnets. The children found this intriguing and once the connection is made the eyes light up. We are now ready to do some problem solving.

The kit comes with robust plastic tiles with arrows on them to clearly show directions such as turn, left, and right. These tiles can be used individually with children as young as 2 years old. The tiles then slot together to allow more than one action to take place. This encourages language to be developed, such as ‘the robot went forward and then turned’. Children liked the intuitive nature of the robot and the tiles. The teacher didn’t have to follow instructions to begin the activities.

A four-piece board is included so a town can be laid out to encourage discussion of where to go and how to get there. A 7-year-old commented, ‘I love it because it is physical’.

As students become more confident, loops can be included, so something happens more than once. The layout of tiles required is shown on the lid of the box to help. In addition, a function can be added so that the robot remembers a series of instructions and then can recall these when place on a special tile.

Using KUBO encourages staff to use key computing vocabulary such as algorithm, direction, sequence, pattern, loop and function.

A KUBO online play platform is available that includes a method of creating your own maps.

Further tiles can be purchased as an add-on pack, which allows timers and turns of a range of agles to be used. It is useful that a range of lesson plans and teacher guides are accessible to assist with delivering cross-curricular challenges.

One important thing to remember when starting to use KUBO, is that the turning tile not only directs the robot to turn but also instructs it to move forward afterwards. This is essential to prevent KUBO from continuously turning in one spot. Make sure to explain this to your children before they begin using it.

Richard Smith, Founder of AmazingICT 








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