MIT's light-up robot garden teaches you how to code

MIT's robot garden

If you're teaching kids how to code, what do you do to show that software makes an impact in the real world? MIT has a clever idea: a robot garden. The project lets you control a grid of Arduino-linked "plants" through programming that makes them blossom and light up in pretty (and occasionally mesmerizing) ways. It'll even teach the virtues of distributed computing -- you can tell these leafy robots to bloom or change color in algorithm-driven sequences. The garden is just a demo for now, but it'll eventually turn into an easy-to-replicate curriculum for students who'd otherwise have to settle for seeing their results on-screen.

[Image credit: Jason Dorfman, CSAIL]