Sony launches a $250 version of its Koov robot coding kit

It could put the coding toy in more classrooms.

Sony has launched a smaller, more affordable version of Koov, its candy-colored coding toy for kids. A Koov kit contains blocks, motors and sensors kids can put together to create robots and small machines they can program. It can make classes a lot more fun and ignite kids' interest in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) subjects. But it also costs $520 a set, which could be too much for schools with little funding or teachers who pay for classroom supplies out of pocket. The new Koov Trial Kit only costs $250.

Of course, it's a lot smaller than the full-sized kit. It only comes with 86 blocks whereas the bigger set has 322, and it has fewer electronic components. Further, it only has up to 12 pre-coded robot recipes kids can follow and 6 lessons, while the bigger set has 35 robot recipes and 23 lessons on programming, robotics and other subjects.

Still, Sony believes the trial kit is enough to teach kids key programming and design concepts. Sony Electronics North America VP Michiko Araki Kelley said in a statement:

"Sony looks to the next generation of young innovators as we head into the future, and we created the KOOV Trial Kit to provide a wider base of youngsters with the opportunity to take a peek into the coding and robotics universe. By embracing STEAM subjects in school, we hope students will be better prepared with the skills needed for their future careers."