You don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to realise that robots are starting to take over the world. But don’t panic, robots are here to help us! In fact, you probably interact with robots every day without even realising it. Robots are machines (generally programmable by a computer) that can carry out a complex series of actions on their own. That means that the ATM you use to withdraw cash is technically a robot, and so is the vending machine your kids pester you to buy snacks from. Amazingly, the first simple robots date back to Leonard da Vinci or before, but it’s only in the last 50 years that they’ve started to become a really important part of the human world.
Robotics is going to be an increasingly important part of our children’s lives as they grow into adulthood, so there’s a strong case for introducing them to this amazing form of technology as early as possible. Here are just some of the reasons why all kids should learn about robotics:
1. Robots encourage logic and scientific thinking
Scientific investigations often start with a hypothesis - what will happen under these conditions? When kids learn robotics they start to predict what outcomes their instructions will cause and compare them with what actually results. This creates a logic-based scientific mindset that can be useful throughout life.
2. Robots encourage creativity
Robots are a blank canvas that, with the right knowledge and materials, can be developed to perform whatever tasks people can imagine. Kids might not end up with a C-3PO or an R2-D2, but their creative skills will be engaged when they start to plan what their robot will look like and what jobs it will do.
3. Robots are a gateway to programming
While programming might initially feel sterile and remote to some kids, robots offer tangible evidence of what programming can achieve. It’s far more interesting seeing a robot navigate through an obstacle course than it is to see code on a screen. And as kids see the power of programming it can open up this increasingly important world to them.
4. Robots foster curiosity
Robots for kids are specially designed to be easily programmable and to make learning fun and engaging. As children master these simpler robots it can stimulate their curiosity about the functioning of many of the machines around them, robotic or otherwise.
5. Robots help develop problem-solving skills
Robots’ whole raison d’être is solving problems and making life easier for us humans. So when kids start thinking about how to build or programme robots they start to think about the problems they want to solve and how they’ll achieve it. In addition, they’ll encounter problems as they get robots to perform more complex tasks and will get satisfaction and confidence from overcoming these hurdles.
6. Robots are the future
Just like computers, robots are only going to become more prevalent across human society. We already have the best robotics for kids ‘co-bots’, which are robots that work in close proximity to humans; some can even be used to give people superhuman strength to lift objects in warehouses. It’s therefore likely that a basic knowledge of robotics will be useful for nearly everyone in the future.
7. Robots are important for many careers
Robots are used in a rapidly increasing number of different fields, such as medicine, underwater exploration, agriculture, manufacturing, and space exploration. Drones, which are a type of robot, are already used by companies such as Amazon to deliver packages. Some surgeons use specially designed robots to help them make intricate movements when performing complex operations. And some education is now performed by special ‘teacher’ robots which are programmed to interact with children. Whatever career kids end up pursuing, robotics is likely to be an important skill that will make them more employable and versatile.
There are many factors to consider when deciding how to choose a holiday camp for kids, but if you want to foster skills in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), it’s well worth exploring camps that use robots for kids in Singapore.