Play-i building educational, programmable robots for kids

We've seen software and even TV shows that teach younger kids about technology, but we haven't really seen ready-made educational robots for that age group -- and no, AIBO and Furby don't count. Play-i, a new startup involving former Apple and Google employees, thinks it's time that the younger set receives some truly helpful mechanical companions. The company tells AllThingsD that it's developing robots that 5 to 8 year olds can program through mobile devices, teaching them about code in a more tangible way than a device screen would allow. While details of the robots are scarce, the team is shooting for sub-$100 prices that parents could afford: these bots may not be limited to classrooms. We'll hopefully discover more when Play-i starts a crowdfunding campaign in the summer, although it will still be a long while before we're picking up Junior's First Automaton.

[Image credit: Alonso Inostrosa Psijas, Flickr]