Aaron Widmar
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Cannybot Toy Cars Drive Children to Learn Robotics, Programming, 3D Printing

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At Racer Pit Cannybot Robotic toy car

Looking for a real toy your digitally-addicted child can play with that isn’t on a smart phone? The future of remote control racing is here, and it uses basic 3D printing, robotics, and programming apps.

Imagine getting to build your own model car with your child, and then getting to race it. Hobby stores and websites will soon be carrying Cannybots, which are DIY assembled from kits and controlled via phone/tablet app. The kits contain parts, instructions, tools, and accessories to build a Cannybot, including the hard-wiring of the robotic elements.

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Teach Your Child Programming and Robotics Using Cannybots

Building Cannybot Robotic toy car

Playing with Cannybots also promotes learning in a new way. By following a black line used as a track (black electrical tape, lines printed on paper, and company-manufactured playmats all do the trick), children are able to learn programming, 3D printing, and robotics in hands-on ways. For the past year, Cannybots have been used in schools in conjunction with valuable teaching opportunities. The coordinating apps use directional navigation or word-based programming to control the cars.

Best of all, Cannybots can be customized using LEGOsĀ and even haveĀ its hardware hacked to allow children even more electronics experience.

Cannybot began two years ago when Anish Mampetta–a graduate of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University–wanted to draw his young son away from overexposure to digital devices and toward physical toys. With the help of friends Wayne Keenan and Sayi Pavithrasagar, countless prototypes were made to create a modern, interactive toy suitable for learning and play for all ages. With the reception of a UK government grant, a Kickstarter project to finish funding and distributing the next wave of Cannybots was unleashed.

With three weeks left, the campaign has already raised over $155,000–nearly 400% over its original goal of $40,000. The basic kit, which includes one car, is being offered for $99 (17% off retail price), and the double-car kit for $198 (26% off retail price with a free large track). Delivery is scheduled to happen as early as December 2015.

Interested in supporting Cannybot and preparing your child for a tech-savvy future? Back the project on Kickstarter before it ends on November 12, 2015!

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  • Aaron WidmarSenior Editor

    Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing... See more articles by Aaron.