Nos 10 plateformes préférées pour une découverte de la robotique et de l’électronique en famille

Our 10 favourite robots (for some family fun!)

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What gives you the possibility to grow your creativity and ingenuity from an early age? To explore the digital world beyond screens and social networks? To make use of technology actively rather than passively? To create a link between the knowledge acquired at school and having fun?

Take advantage of the next few weeks to discover robotics with your family. Build, invent, program, design robots or intelligent systems!

Here is our top pick to discover robotics and electronics with your family.

From 4 year old onward: the Cubetto robot

Cubetto is a beautiful wooden mobile robot that is a great introduction for little ones to robotics. The robot can be programmed using plastic instruction blocks and a wooden control panel. Story-telling is a fun part too, thanks to the fabric activity mat and the story booklet. Other mats and booklets (ocean, space, Egypt…) are available to discover other thematics!

Examples of activities: Build a sled for Cubetto, or teach it how to draw!

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From 4 year old onward: the Cubelets

From the age of 4, children will be able to build small modular robots. There is no programming on a screen here, the behaviours of the robots will depend on the how you assemble the cubes to create your robot, it’s quite unique! Each cube has a specific function (actuator, sensor, power supply, etc.).

Cubelets can also be programmed with Cubelets Blockly, a scratch-like visual programming interface.

Example of activity: Create a hand-washing timer Cubelets!

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From 7 year old onward: the Ozobot robot

Ozobot is a line-tracking robot. It has an artist’s temperament and is certainly the cutest robot in our range. Aside from that, Ozobot also offers many possibilities and activities! Draw a circuit and incorporate some colour sequences to see your robot changes its behaviour. We promise you endless hours of entertainment!

Children will also be able to code on Ozoblockly, a visual programming software in French that comes with a 5 levels learning curve (from beginner to expert).

Examples of activities: activities for all ages to do at home

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From 7 year old onward: the Thymio robot

The Thymio robot has become a real superstar in French schools and packs a lot of functionalities: it has many sensors and actuators, it is robust, cute, Lego compatible, programmable with several programming interfaces (for every age and level), and surrounded by a large community that has created over the years countless activities for this little robot!

Thanks to its sensors, this small mobile robot can avoid obstacles, feel when we touch it, hear us, and so on. The children will be able to program it by building an environment with which the robot will be able to interact.

Example of activity: get into Light Painting with Thymio!

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From 8 year old onward: the Sphero robot

The Sphero brand robots come in the form of a ball that rolls very fast! Some are transparent and let you see the circuits that make them work, others are waterproof and can go in water! It is also possible to paint with these robots!

What makes the Sphero robot so special is also the large number of applications available on iPhone and Android, created by Sphero or developed by enthusiasts. The Sphero community is indeed very active, and does not hesitate to exchange ideas and lines of code! It is also very easy to work together on a same program (Sphero is above all a programmable robot). With Sphero, working together is what truly matters!

Examples of activities: community-created programs

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From 10 year old onward: Makey makey

The Makey Makey can turn the things around us into a keyboard key! Modelling clay, sponge, pencil lead, hands, water glasses, cats… You can turn your stairs into a piano, your cat’s water bowl into a screen capture tool or create a game controller out of modelling clay. The possibilities are endless!

It’s probably the craziest invention of the moment. It will increase your imagination tenfold, while teaching you the basics of programmation and electronics… We love it!

Example of activity: build a gamepad mat with Makey Makey!

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From 10 year old onward: the micro:bit board

This board is inexpensive (less than 20€), very small (it can be integrated into e-clothes projects, drones or a tiny blimp project!) and packs a lot of sensors. It’s easy to understand why there is such a craze for this British microcomputer!

Many ideas for DIY activities, shared by the micro:bit community, are available online. You can also get accessories or extension sets to explore other thematics with micro:bit! (electronics, IoT)

Example of activity: build a connected greenhouse with micro:bit!

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From 12 year old onward: Bare Conductive

Bare Conductive, a London-based start-up, has developed a range of electronic components based on an original idea: conductive paint! You will thus be able to design your own electronic circuits, repair them (without soldering), create many interactive supports, etc!

Associated with the Touch Board (which works the same way as the Makey Makey board), the electric paint makes it possible to make really cool, original, simple or complex electronic projects.

Examples of activities: 8 projects to do at home with Bare Conductive

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From 12 year old onward: the mBot robot

The mBot robot is a small mobile base that is able to detect obstacles, follow a line, emit sounds and light signals, being teleoperated by a remote control, or communicate via an infrared channel with another robot.

The robot must first be assembled (20 minutes) before it can be programmed under mBlock (graphical user interface developed from Scratch 2.0). Its range of accessories makes it scalable. There are many online activities for this robot.

Examples of learning activities: get started with the mBot robot

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From 13 year old onward: the Marty robot

Marty is a 20 cm high humanoid robot, delivered in a set and open-source. The STL files of his frame parts are available on the internet, so you can print them again or design new ones! It is a scalable robot (you can add a camera, sensors, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, etc).

You will need 3 hours to build Marty (no soldering required, several programming languages are available: Scratch, Python, C++ and Javascript.

Examples of activities: Home learning with Marty (this curriculum can be completed for free at the moment!)

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