Here at Mastering Drones, we firmly believe that there’s no set age for children and kids to start learning the basics of robotics. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a 7-year old kid still watching Tom and Jerry or a senior looking for something to pass the time, you can start learning right now! And drones are a great way to start learning the basics or robotics.
Robotics can be a great hobby to kill time, as an extra-curricular activity to gain experience, or as a proper career option to make a livelihood. Robotics is the future of this world. Everything is slowly turning towards robotics, AI and Machine Learning.
If you want to succeed in the world of the future, or if you want your child to get into a technical industry, then robotics is the best thing to possibly learn right now.
Throughout this article, we’re going to address you guys, the parents that want their kids to learn something practical but are having trouble understanding what that should be. So, in order to clarify your doubts, we’re going to go over some of the key benefits of robotics for kids and follow up with how you can start your kid with robotics. Let’s get right to it.
Benefits of Robotics
STEM skills are absolutely necessary if you want to succeed in the world today. It’s really challenging to learn the four pillars separately so why not combine them with something that uses all four? Basically, what we’re trying to say that, robotics is one of the only fields in the world that uses all four aspects of STEM learning. Just think about it, the whole procedure or combining components, assembling the circuits, programming the code requires a complete understanding of STEM learning. Hence, learning robotics allows kids to expand their understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
With the help of robotics, your kid is going to learn the basics of coding at a very early age. Sure, your child may not learn how to calculate the Fibonacci serious or create complex graphical designs at the age of 8 with robotics, but they’ll certainly get a grip on the core understanding of how programming works. In the near future, even if your kid doesn’t want to pursue a career in robotics, a degree in Computer Sciences may just be what they find themselves interested in.
How to Get a Child Interested in Robotics?
Give them a Taste of the Real Deal
The best way to get someone interested in something is to give them a look at what they’ll be able to do once they learn that specific skill. You want someone to get into painting, take them to an art gallery. It’s just that simple. In this case, you can bring a little something to your kid that just fascinates them. And, we’re talking about one specific thing, Cozmo the Robot. Cozmo is an AI-bot developed by Anki. The company created Cozmo specifically for kids and it’s priced pretty averagely as well considering the fact that it contains one of the most advanced AI we have at our disposal right now. Wired calls Cozmo the “Smartest, cutest AI-powered robot you’ll ever see”. He’s like Wall-E from back in the day. Cozmo can already perform a ton of tricks, but Anki is constantly adding to his database with frequent updates. If you want your kid to learn what exactly AI is capable of doing, getting them Cozmo will definitely arouse their curiosity.
Robotics isn’t an academic course at an early age. Your kid will only be able to find the first proper course in college. So, in order to incorporate studies and robotics in school, the best option is to make your kid join robotics clubs.
These groups are available in every locality and almost every school has special activities for folks of all ages and expertise level. Meaning that no matter how old your kid is, there’s a spot for them in some robotics club. You may even find a specific drone robotic for kids club.
The clubs are usually overseen by some talented individual that has spent a career in the field of robotics. Your child gets a proper teacher instead of having to use YouTube to learn robotics. Apart from that, there are also a bunch of other benefits of working in a robotics club apart from the technical ones. Your kid will get a chance to socialize, clubs are perfect for the anti-social kids that have trouble making friends. Also, your child will learn how to function in a collaborative environment where a bunch of people want to achieve the same goal. This is actually a pretty valuable piece of training since this will make your child grow into an adult that knows how to work with people.
So, your kid is already registered in a robotics club, but you want them to dive further into the industry and learn how it functions properly. Well, the best way to do that is through something called robotics competitions. There are literally thousands of robotics competitions out there happening every single year on both a local as well as a global scale. There’s the long list of First Lego League competitions out there that are available for all expertise levels (junior, teen as well as college / university students). You can persuade the robotics club to enter into a competition. It requires sponsorships and a whole lot of cash, but these competitions provide a tremendous amount to be learned. There are industry leaders and influencers out there as well that are attending the same competition. Your child will expand their contacts and reach and who knows, maybe some company hands them a card and asks them to call once they graduate. If your kid is truly into robotics, someone will recognize their talent in that audience of hundreds of people.
Let’s talk about something a bit more close to home. Not every parent wants the practical approach to learning robotics, maybe some of you just want your kid to stick home and learn stuff on their laptop. Well, there are people out there that have made this a possibility as well. There are two popular ways to teach kids robotics at home, the first is through robotics kits and second, we will discuss later.
So, robotics kits, what are they? Basically, these kits are made by some of the finest firms in the world of robotics just because they want to help kids learn more about their industry. The kits are loaded with a ton of exciting equipment your kid can use to build a lot of cool stuff. Robotic kits contain a components that 7-10 year old kids may not know how to make, but still need to use. Thus, they take a fair chunk of load off of kids and instead allow them to focus on the real building that matters. Once your child starts growing their understanding of the industry, they can slowly move towards more complex kits and eventually, one day, they won’t need kits. They can just go and but stuff from Walmart.
Another fun way to get your kid in robotics and building drones is using LEGO bricks. Basically, a lot of kids might figuratively run away from robotics because it’s just too much of a technical task for them. In order to tune it down a little bit, there’s something called LEGO Robotics. These are blocks that can be joined in the same way as regular LEGO, but the blocks can actually be programmed to perform a bunch of cool functions. The programming is done through a visual program called MindStorm. There is a lot of other software too, but we prefer MindStorm since it comes from LEGO themselves. The fascinating part is that yes, they’re just blocks, but they can actually make some pretty cool stuff. There are guys out there making actual drones out of LEGO blocks. So, you can understand the potential of what your kid could make if given access to these technological blocks.
Some Final Thoughts
We’re about 90% sure that you’re fully convinced and are firmly on the robotics hype train and want to get your kids into them. The thing is that if we were to name one demographic that could benefit the most out of robotics, it’s kids and teens between the ages of 7-18. This is the time in a person’s life that whatever they decide to do will decide where their whole career turns to. So, if you can somehow get your kid into robotics during this time frame, the possibility that your kid will be working in a robotics firm ten to fifteen years from now is not really a far-fetched possibility.