Sure, kids can play with an iPad to learn how to program, but what about robots? Play-i is a startup company seeking to develop affordable (under US$100), programmable robots as an educational tool for children. Normally this would sound like the plot of a bad '90s sci-fi movie of the week, but the development team behind the Play-i have impressive resumés.
CEO Vikas Gupta, a former head of consumer payments at Google, is joined by Saurabh Gupta, a former head of the iPod software team, and Mikal Greaves of Frog Design. The team also features Imran Khan, a former head of marketing at Eloan and Symantec.
The group is still a bit shy about providing specifics about the robots they're designing, but AllThingsD has a profile up on the group that's well worth reading. The profile explains about the team's motivations, the importance of tangible play for children and the struggles they're currently facing. Recently the program gained $1 million in funding from Google, Madrona Venture Group and a few private investors.
Reportedly they will launch a crowdfunding effort later this summer to raise more money.