Coding and robotics go hand in hand and are some of the most popular fields in computer science and engineering. Both coding and robotics should be part of every child’s curriculum.
In this guide, we are going to take a closer look at how these two forms of technology are intertwined, and we will review the benefits children can get from learning to code or build robots.
What Is the Link between Coding and Robotics
Coding and robots are paired to form robotics. Robotics is a hobby, activity, or educational field that involves building robotic devices and programming these devices by coding them to automatically perform certain actions.
Coding and robots are frequently used independently in so many parts of our modern lives. When these two technologies are combined, though, they can offer so many more benefits.
What Is Coding?
Coding is something we use on a daily basis without even realizing it. Algorithms run through computerized software and are used in so many modern devices. Your video games, TV set, microwave, and the computer you use all function with the help of some form of microchip.
They can each perform specific actions because of the software they are programmed with.
Coding itself is just a series of algorithms, statements, and instructions. A machine reads and understands this code and executes actions based on the code.
The code sets a specific set of rules or commands so the machine can act in a desirable way.
What Are Robots?
Robots, on the other hand, are autonomous machines that are constructed from various small parts and components like blocks, gears, and bolts. Older autonomous machines were able to perform certain actions through their unique construction.
A good example of a very basic robot is a Lego toy car. This little device consists of various parts and performs certain actions if energy is applied to it. If you push the little car, the wheels will spin and it will move forward.
If you add additional gears and components that are linked to the toy car’s axis, it might perform other tasks like spinning a little propeller on the roof without the use of coding.
How Coding and Robots Work Together
Coding and robotics are paired to create devices that can perform tasks. These devices are actually much older than you might think.
An autonomous music box is a good example of an ancient coding and robotics system. These robots consist of multiple coiled springs that are tension loaded by turning a small crank. Once the coil is loaded with tension, it will set a series of gears into motion.
These gears will then motorize a spindle with nodes (a primitive form of coding) on the exterior that will produce sound as it turns and makes contact with metal bars. Each metal bar produces a different tone or sound when the bar is struck. As the little spindle spins, it will keep hitting the metal bars and the little device will start producing sound.
A more modern version of robotics and coding is a robotic arm. The robot arm consists of various gears and components to create a structure with articulated features. By adding electrical components, the arm will receive energy that will help it move in a certain way depending on the structure of the robotic arm.
When a microchip with coding is included in the design, the robotic arm can start performing smart actions and could perhaps pick items up or sense items in the environment around it.
The Benefits of Coding Through Robotics
Robotics and coding have been functioning together as a unit for many years, and it is very important for children to include this in their STEM education.
When children start learning about robotics and coding from an early age, they will one day reap plenty of key benefits like the following:
Develop STEM skills
When children build robots and program these bots, they learn a lot. Robotics can be helpful for developing various STEM skills.
Building robots can help develop engineering skills, while coding develops technological and mathematical skills. Many robotic features or functions are also helpful for improving a child’s understanding of modern science.
Develop Programming Abilities
Kids learn a lot about the basics of coding through robotics, and they develop a lot of computational thinking skills. The programming skills they learn through STEM robotics can be helpful for future jobs in programming.
Computer programmers, app manufacturers, technicians, and website developers are all very important positions kids with coding skills can one day pursue.
Boost Creative Thinking
Robot kits ignite the imagination. Kids can use these kits to build and develop all sorts of machines or robots that can perform tasks.
Developing their creative thinking will enable students to perhaps one day create devices of their very own from scratch and will enable them to advance technology even further.
Enhance Cognitive Skills
Coding and robotics involve a lot of reading, designing, testing, building, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
All of these activities are helpful for forming new neurological pathways in the brain and can boost the cognitive abilities of a child tremendously.
Better Future Jobs
Unlike many other hobbies or toys, a robotics kit can improve your child’s chances of landing a higher-income job in the future.
Skills these kits develop are sought after in the 21st century and come in handy in a huge variety of work industries.
This is because robotics coding technology engineering is used for developing so many modern tools and advanced systems that ease tasks in the manufacturing and processing industry.
Children Have a Lot of Fun While Learning
Coding classes are a lot more fun than your average school class. Most kids love building blocks, and when you pair building blocks or technical blocks with a coding kit, they have even more fun because they can make their creations come to life.
While they are developing something that is a toy in their eyes, they will also be developing their coding abilities, fine motor skills, hand dexterity, analytical thinking ability, and so much more. It won’t even feel like they are learning.
Develop Social Skills
In robotics and coding classes, children often have to make teams to create a robot that can perform certain functions. This will help kids learn to function as a team. They are also great for developing managing skills.
While they are working as a group to solve a specific problem, they will have lots of fun interacting, and utilizing critical thinking skills. This will help them establish good communication skills and can promote healthy social skills.
Suitable for All Ages
You can find coding kits or robotic kits for children of all ages. Children can start building robots from as young as just 3 years old with the help of entry-level block sets.
By the time a child reaches the age of 8, they could already start learning robotics and can start their coding experience with structures that can be programmed to perform simple actions.
Even adults can start to learn more about the aspects of robotics with advanced robotic kits, coding kits for adults, and tutorial videos as a guide.
Robotics is becoming more and more accessible to children. Many schools and institutions have started including robotics as part of their curriculum, and there are lots of tutorial videos or online classes that they can stream if they want to learn how to build robots.
Parents can also find all sorts of robotic kits that children can build at home. Robot toy brands like Wonder Workshop, Robotical, Primo, Codie, Stillbird STEM, Lego, and many others produce robotic kits that are specially developed for children.
These kits usually include all the components children need for assembling these robots and an instruction manual that enables them to construct these bots all on their own.
Most robotic toy brands also create bot sets for specific ages so parents can easily find the right set for their child. This ensures that the child will actually be able to construct the piece with little to no assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coding & Robotics
Parents and students new to robotics or the aspect of coding and programming always have many questions regarding robotic kits, coding training, and coding workshops.
It is good to ask these questions to make sure that you are on the right path.
Here is a quick look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding these advanced learning systems.
Why Is Coding Important?
Coding is very important because our digital and technical world is advancing at an incredible rate. Technology is already replacing a lot of jobs in just about every industry from mechanical to agricultural and will continue to replace manual labor as these systems become more advanced.
The best way to ensure a successful career for a child in the future is by equipping them today with tools and skills that will be useful. A child who is part of the development, maintenance, and incorporation of technological devices will always have the means to earn an income.
At What Age Should Children Start Coding?
It is always better to start learning about coding from a young age. Computerized systems are a bit more complex than it is to build basic robots from building blocks. For this reason, it is usually recommended that children start out with basic robotic kits that include blocks and gears so they can construct different models.
Children can start building very simple robots from just 5 years of age. It helps develop engineering and critical thinking skills.
From the age of 6 to 8, they can start coding and can learn to add some computerized instructions to the structures they are already familiar with.
Children should start coding and building robots between the ages of 7 – 13 because children’s brains are a lot more flexible at this stage. They can quickly form and establish neurological pathways that will give them a good understanding of how these systems work.
Does Robotics Need Coding?
Yes, a robot without coding is nothing more than an animated toy with a couple of moving components.
Coding is what makes robotics advanced and enables children to learn more about other STEM skills like electronics, mechanics, and software programming.
What Is Coding Used for in Robotics?
Block-based coding and text-based coding are both used for robotics and give the student some way to communicate with the robot. The coding is essentially a set of rules or instructions that the robot should follow.
Most children start with block coding. This is a form of programming that allows children to drag and drop text or code that is already established into visual blocks. When children combine different blocks, they create animations, and games or make it possible for the robot to perform certain animations or actions.
In more advanced robotic and coding kits, children start learning coding languages and they learn to make robots do more advanced tasks. In some coding classes, children might also learn how to develop mobile games or desktop games which will help set the foundation for future programmers.
Why Are Robotics and Coding Included in School Curriculums?
Plenty of schools have started including robotics and coding as part of their curriculum because it offers so many current and future benefits.
Children develop important skills that might be helpful for future careers. They also develop lots of skills like engineering, storytelling, designing, problem-solving, an understanding of electronics, computer skills, construction skills, an understanding of different structures, mechanical skills, and much more.
When children enjoy these classes, they also benefit in other ways because robotics and robotics competitions can help them build confidence, develop collaboration skills, make new friends, promote social skills and find their passion in the world.
Coding and robotics definitely should be part of a child’s curriculum.
If your child’s school doesn’t offer this fun activity as a subject, it is time for you to have a look at some of the other guides on Codefather. Here you can learn more about different types of robotic kits or find a suitable kit to help your child get started.
With Codefather, you can learn all the latest and best things about coding or robotics and you can give your child, or yourself, a great head start in our technologically advanced future.
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