Programming for Kids
In today’s computer age, programming is slowly transitioning from a specialist skill to a general skill applicable in some way to the majority of professions. And when it comes to learning, it may never be too early to start. That’s why this team has developed the Hackaball, which appears like a typical toy ball but is actually an incredibly valuable learning tool for children. The ball has a six-axis motion sensor and multi-color LED lights. Using that sensor, kids can program it to do various things, including changing color when you throw it or if the ball is off-balance . The idea behind the programmable toy is for kids to be able to create all sorts of games while simultaneously learning the basics of programming.
The Hackaball includes a rechargeable battery, onboard memory and built-in motion sensors that can detect when the ball is being dropped, bounced, kicked, and shaken. The device responds to such movement by changing the color of the nine LEDs, playing sounds through the built-in speaker, or creating a buzz with the help of a built-in vibration motor. Kids can control such behavior through an app on an iPhone or iPad.
The Hackaball also has a bouncy silicone shell that covers its internal hardware. There is also an additional silicon sleeve that gives it a decent amount of grip. Hackaball CEO Sebastian Potter says that sleeve is also meant to encourage kids to open up the device and play around with it.