Here in the States, UBTECH is probably best know for the crazy-walking Star Wars Stormtrooper it released late last year. But the company’s been producing robotics toys for long enough to get a vote of confidence in the form of a $820 million Series C late last year.
The Chinese company’s latest project takes a decidedly more educational bent, with a plan to teach kids STEM skills with the 410-piece JIMU Robot BuilderBots Series: Overdrive Kit. There are two primary robots — a bulldozer and a dump truck — built with a pair of motors and sensors that react to their environment.
A connected app walks you through the building steps with a 360-degree view and also doubles as a remote control, once they’re built. There’s a coding element on board, as well, designed to teach kids a bit of programming using Google’s Blockly language.
At $120, the kit is fairly reasonably priced — though its got plenty of competition. Every company from LEGO to Sphero is attempting to horn in on the STEM/STEAM coding market, and here in the States at least, the UBTECH name doesn’t carry much water.
The product has decent retail outreach, with availability at Target and Amazon, but seeding the product in schools could go a ways toward helping spread it by word of mouth.