Learning with Robots—not as teachers, though

We recently came across Alicia Gibb, a role model for women in technology — she hacks cakes (pictures below) to make them noisy and flashing. But she’s also made Pathosbot, a roller skating robot, shown above.

Alicia Gibb appeared in a news story about two sisters who are developing the Pi-Bot, a robot-building kit aimed at schools. Building robots gave Melissa Jawaharlal the critical thinking and problem sovling skills that she used to gain an engineering degree. Now she wants to share the experience with others.

Pi-bot is currently in a kick-starter campaign (through April 10th) to get started. The sisters aim to get their robots in schools at a more affordable price than some rival offerings.

The Roberta Initiative  is an existing German effort to improve students’ learning using Robots. It aims to:

support youngsters, in particular girls, to develop a long-term interest and to be motivated to engage in information technology, technology and the natural sciences.

Through Roberta, teachers aim to deliver new knowledge, but also to have it wrapped in positive emotions about the experience–which is particularly helpful to girls. Although they don’t say explicitly, the Roberta robots look like they might be based on LEGO mindstorm. (We reported on mindstorm in our post on 8 tech learning games and projects)

And now for the CAKE HACKS:
Thank you Alicia Gibb. You go girl roboticists!

There are probably more interesting programs out there for learning with robots–let us know in the comments.

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