Teaching kids to code has been criticized for stifling creativity, but we're excited about the DJI RoboMaster S1 because it teaches kids how to code with tons of features that foster creative freedom!
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Coding is the language of the future. As the impact of technology on business becomes more and more apparent, the demand for coders in every industry is rising. Tech companies have been sounding the alarm about a massive shortage of tech workers to fill jobs for over a decade now, and though there is serious debate over whether this shortage actually exists, there’s no doubt that coding is one of the most valuable skills a person can learn in the digital age.
The job market for coding is different than other industries for the value it places on self-taught knowledge; every study gives a different number, but it’s clear that a large percentage of the tech labor force is hired based on self-taught skill rather than a degree.
Yet nothing scares people way like the daunting task of learning to code. Learning any new language is difficult, but just like any world language learner will tell you, it’s easier to pick up a new language at a young age. There’s an entire movement surrounding teaching kids to code, complete with tons of books on the subject, coding summer camps, and toys geared towards teaching coding.
Some are critical of this movement, uncomfortable with emphasizing hard knowledge over the creativity that is so unique to children. Programmer Joe Morgan writes,
“Coding books for kids present coding as a set of problems with “correct” solutions. And if your children can just master the syntax, they’ll be able to make things quickly and easily. But that is not the way programming works. Programming is messy. Programming is a mix of creativity and determination. Being a developer is about more than syntax...”
He makes a great point--creativity is not only the freest form of self expression, it’s how kids develop problem solving skills, learn how things work, and begin to make sense of the world around them.
That’s why it’s so exciting that DJI has come out with their RoboMaster S1. It teaches kids how to code, but it also has so many features that allow kids to really get creative while they learn this valuable skill!
The RoboMaster S1 doubles as both a remote-control car and an educational platform. DJI equipped the S1 with 31 sensors to help it map the surrounding environment and gave it the agility to move on a 360-degree radius. Like previous drones from DJI, this toy, through computer vision, can recognize and respond to sounds and gestures and track objects. The camera has a wide 120-degree field of view with an f2.4 aperture. One of the many fun features of the S1 is that it can shoot small gel bead projectile bullets.
The educational platform that comes with each RoboMaster includes a suite of video tutorials and guides that will teach someone with no experience how to operate the machine. It’s also extremely customizable and comes unassembled, allowing kids to get that creative experience of putting it together.
Kids can play all sorts of fun and educational games with the robot. It includes a battle mode where you can put robots head to head with laser shooters in a points-based game. There’s also a race mode in which you follow a course while scanning images along the way to beat your opponents. These features are only the tip of the iceberg of this great product. It's rare to find a toy with such valuable educational properties that keeps kids engaged! You can order the RoboMaster S1 starting June 12th.
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