Play-i looks to crowdfunding to teach kids to code

(Credit: Play-i)

(Credit: Play-i)

by Don Reisinger, A startup has surfaced that wants to raise cash to teach your children how to code.

Play-i, a California-based company founded by a group of Google, Apple, and Frog Design engineers, has launched a crowdfunding campaign aimed at raising $250,000. If the goal is met, the company will be able to mass-produce its Play-i Robots for kids aged 5 and up.

The idea behind Play-i is simple: Teach kids how to string together code to create applications. In order to do that, however, the company relies on robots and an iPad that displays a visual, kid-friendly programming language. By stringing together commands through the iPad, the kids can control the robots’ movements and activities.

Play-i will sell two robots — Yana and Bo. Yana, which Play-i calls the “storyteller,” will cost customers $49. Bo, which sits atop three other balls outfitted with wheels, will cost $149.

Play-i plans to start shipping its robots in the summer. As of this writing, the company has 211 backers who have donated nearly $43,400. Play-i hopes to reach its $250,000 goal within the next 30 days.

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