I am still amazed by the ease with which kids (namely my now seven year old son) can pick up technologies and figure out UI interactions. Over the past few months, my son has been watching me design robots on My Robot Nation, a web-based service that allows you to configure, design and 3D print your robot. He asked if he could create his own robot for his birthday and so I sat him down in front of the computer. In the time I went to the kitchen to make him something to eat, he had already configured and designed his first robot. Like all things digital, the robot’s existence was ephemeral: he deleted his creation, wanting to create something better the next time.
This led to his prototyping and designing on paper several different robots before he sat down again in front of the computer. The movement between digital and traditional analog tools as means of expression and creation comes naturally to kids. Their movement is seamless and effortless; we’ve lost this skill as adults.
This prototyping process repeated itself several times before my son finally prototyped and created M.A.X.
Not to be outdone, his younger sibling also prototyped a robot with his help.
Originally published on my Research Blog — Kids and Robots
Follow me on twitter: @andrewsmyk