The robot teacher
26 July 2017
Photon is a Polish educational robot that develops with a child and teaches it the basics of programming and logical thinking.
The robot came from outer space…unfortunately, the journey to Earth wasn’t successful because a collision with an asteroid made Photon loose almost all his abilities!
Children are getting to know this story via a dedicated app on Android and iOS devices. With the help of the built-in sensors, their task is to teach the robot how to use his senses again. Through a series of experiments, the children and robot are learning together about their limitations and opportunities. The robot knows only what the child teaches him, who at the same time learns the basics of programming, logical thinking and quick decision making.
Photon has 10 built-in sensors that detects obstacles, helps to experience touch, lighting, sound, check the surface of the ground, make sounds, change lights, communicate with other robots and more. In the consumer version (B2C), the robot is a mentor and leads the child with the help of a special application designed with a team of psychologists from SWPS University in Warsaw. The maintenance and learning does not require parental supervision.
The educational version is designed for schools and institutions involved in teaching young children about technology. It has a separate application developed with the MAC Publishing Group (a leading Polish educational publishing house), including teacher scenarios with activities for larger groups of children. The educational version also has additional teaching materials that will teach not only programming, but also mathematics, Polish or even biology at the same time.
“Our team comes from Bialystok University of Technology, and that is why we think programming is as important as reading and writing, and knowing how to communicate with machines and computers is very important. Photon teaches kids the basics of this communication, the rules of the device and the logic of the programming. Additionally, the process is designed in an interesting and engaging way” says Marcin Joka, managing director of Photon Entertainment.
Photon has attracted a wide interest all around the world. In the crowd-founding campaign, he was supported by over 300 people that donated almost $60,000. As the finished product, Photon was presented at the Hannover Messe. The authors of the robot have already received orders from more than 30 countries, and they are planning to open their first production line in August this year.
Zortrax helped produce the first 25 test versions of the robot by printing their cases. This part was necessary to start pilot programmes with children and intensive tests. 3D printing from Zortrax can also be found in Photon promotional materials. Zortrax is eager to support similar initiatives. In the past, the company helped teams of students in prototyping vehicles for scientific contests or even in printing whole, ready-to-use parts. 3D printing works best in this kind of projects – it is a fast and cheap solution for creating prototypes of products before their final production.
Photon was tested by nearly three thousand children across the country and will be soon available for the consumers as well as for the educational institutions.
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