iRobot has created a new division, iRobot Education, to house all of its education products and services under one roof. iRobot Education includes the Root coding robot, Create 2, a new iRobot Coding platform, and the company’s STEM outreach program.
“With students and teachers nationwide currently homebound, virtual learning resources, educational content and tools have never been more important,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. “We hope that the free lessons and coding platform that iRobot Education provides will help facilitate new opportunities for teachers and students while they are outside of the traditional classroom environment. The launch of iRobot Education and expansion of our educational offerings coincides with National Robotics Week, a time when kids, parents and teachers across the nation are tapping into the excitement of robotics for STEM learning.”
iRobot is also introducing iRobot Coding, a free platform that allows users to build coding skills both virtually online and through the Root coding robot. iRobot Coding features three learning levels that let users advance from graphical coding to hybrid coding, followed by full-text coding. Its auto-level converter translates code from one learning level to another, making iRobot Coding approachable for beginners, but also challenging enough to keep experienced coders engaged.
iRobot acquired Root Robotics in June 2019. Root Robotics licensed the intellectual property behind Root from Harvard University. iRobot knew Root Robotics Co-Founder and CEO Zivthan Dubrovsky quite well. Dubrovsky worked at iRobot from 2003-2009 as a program manager and senior product manager. With the acquisition, Dubrovsky returned as iRobot’s General Manager of Educational Robots.
The iRobot Coding platform can be accessed on devices running most major, up-to-date operating systems, including Android, Chrome OS, Windows, iOS, and macOS. Providing a uniform appearance and functionality across devices, the platform is suitable for mixed device landscapes in school or at home. Users may access the platform at code.irobot.com.
For those who own a Root Coding Robot, iRobot Coding brings the code to life by connecting to the robot and having Root carry out a user’s instructions. The online platform also features virtual arenas that let users control robot simulators (SimBots) on their device’s screen, allowing educators and students who do not have a Root coding robot to still participate in classroom or at-home coding lessons.
An online learning library offers access to hours of free tutorials, projects, and activities to encourage student learning, while premium lessons modeled after educational standards, such as CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards and Common Core State Standards, are available on a paid subscription basis. Until June 1, 2020, use the code “LEARN” for free access to the paid subscription.