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Koov is Sony's answer to Lego Mindstorms

The robotic and coding kits are the first element in Sony's Global Education program.

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Governments and educators around the world want to teach kids coding at an early age, so many corporations are eager to help -- for a price. The latest company jumping into the trend is Sony, which just launched Koov "digital native blocks." It's the first product for Sony's new Global Education division and a big part of its STEM101 (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) endeavor. Sony describes Koov as a "robot building educational kit made up of [translucent] blocks and a microcontroller," much like Lego's Mindstorm and WeDo 2.0 kits.

Sony says that the kits encourage learners to "'Play' by building with 7 kinds of translucent blocks, 'Code' by controlling the assembled figure through the program software, and 'Create' by embracing their creative side and imagination." Other details are scant, including what the product even looks like. However, the video below shows a visual style programming language with motor controls and "if-then-else" logic, along with WeDo-style vehicles that kids can build. Another video called "stories" features a student building a guitar out of Koov blocks and then playing it as part of the "create" learning process.

To develop the kits, Sony teamed up with a Japanese company called Artec Co., which is developing the product. Sony, meanwhile, supplies the software, tech know-how, and marketing muscle. Koov will arrive sometime this summer as the first product from Sony Global Education. However, Sony has said it's just the "make" element of its "think, make and feel" program, so we can no doubt expect similar announcements down the road.

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