iPod designer wants kids to builds robots without writing code

While listening to an NPR segment about a young girl who had outfitted her fish tank with MIDI sensors, Michael Rosenblatt realized that more kids should be creating machines. Rosenblatt was part of the first generation of the iPod team and his new project ATOMS Express wants to put machinery in the hands of kids. 

Using Atoms, kids can easily embed interactivity into their lives. Put a noise senor and motor on a Barbie car and it can be driven by clapping. The blocks, which are fully compatible with Lego’s studs, open up that platform to many new interactive possibilities — one of which is pure, destructive fun. He says, ”I’m a big fan of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. We thought it would be cool if kids could rig their Lego models to explode if they flashed a light or something. So we developed an explosion module.”

And since each Atom can report data back to iOS devices, Rosenblatt says there are all kinds of cool monitoring possibilities. “Imagine a kid dressing up like a ninja and trying to sneak down creaky stairs. They could track their achievement in decibels on an iPod, like they never made more than 7 decibels of noise.”

See more about the project here.