Root: A robot for all ages to learn coding

31 October 2016

share this:

Support a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund Root: the coding robot for all ages!

Root is a robot, originally developed at Harvard University, that helps anyone from four to 99 learn how to code. Root has over 50 sensors and actuators with it can draw, erase, play music, explore its world, and even defy gravity by using magnetism to drive on wall-mounted whiteboards. Root simply connects wirelessly (using Bluetooth Low Energy) to your tablet, phone, or laptop, to create a real-time link for programming and controlling Root.

The main goal when developing Root was to make computer science accessible to as many people as possible.  This meant that getting started had to be easy and non-intimidating for newcomers to coding.  To do this, we made Root ready to go out of the box, with sensors to support a wide variety of activities.  We also developed a multi-level coding app that starts with a graphical programming interface that even non-readers can use to code.

Some unique features of the app are that it has been optimized for touch-screens (that kids are experts at using from a young age), it does not require reading or advanced counting skills, and kids (or adults) can modify the program while it is running.


Coding with Root is a dynamic and creative experience: Root reacts to things in the environment, kids react to Root and the interplay is orchestrated with code.  Once you have mastered the basics in the first interface, the app smoothly transitions through a second block-based interface that enables more complexity and finally to full text-based coding in Python, JavaScript, and Swift.  From there, you can continue programming through Root’s SDK.

We have been developing Root and the software interface for over three years and now our startup, Scansorial, has launched a Kickstarter to get Root into homes and schools around the world. You can support the campaign and get your own Root at a discounted price.


If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read:

See all the latest robotics news on Robohub, or sign up for our weekly newsletter.

tags: , , , , , ,

Zee Dubrovsky is the Co-Founder and CEO of Scansorial. Scansorial is a startup born out of Harvard University on a mission to make coding accessible for learners of any age...
Zee Dubrovsky is the Co-Founder and CEO of Scansorial. Scansorial is a startup born out of Harvard University on a mission to make coding accessible for learners of any age...

Related posts :

Engineers devise a modular system to produce efficient, scalable aquabots

The system’s simple repeating elements can assemble into swimming forms ranging from eel-like to wing-shaped.
07 February 2023, by

Microelectronics give researchers a remote control for biological robots

First, they walked. Then, they saw the light. Now, miniature biological robots have gained a new trick: remote control.
05 February 2023, by

Robot Talk Episode 35 – Interview with Emily S. Cross

In this week's episode of the Robot Talk podcast, host Claire Asher chatted to Professor Emily S. Cross from the University of Glasgow and Western Sydney University all about neuroscience, social learning, and human-robot interaction.
03 February 2023, by

Sea creatures inspire marine robots which can operate in extra-terrestrial oceans

Scientists at the University of Bristol have drawn on the design and life of a mysterious zooplankton to develop underwater robots.
02 February 2023, by

Our future could be full of undying, self-repairing robots – here’s how

Could it be that future AI systems will need robotic “bodies” to interact with the world? If so, will nightmarish ideas like the self-repairing, shape-shifting T-1000 robot from the Terminator 2 movie come to fruition? And could a robot be created that could “live” forever?
01 February 2023, by

Sensing with purpose

Fadel Adib uses wireless technologies to sense the world in new ways, taking aim at sweeping problems such as food insecurity, climate change, and access to health care.
29 January 2023, by

©2021 - ROBOTS Association


©2021 - ROBOTS Association