Play-i Launches Campaign to Fund Robot That Teaches Programming to Kids

Play-iMountain View-based Play-i recently launched a fundraising campaign to help take their robots that teach children programming and computer literacy, Bo and Yana, to the next level.

The newly launched campaign has already exceeded fundraising goals. With 23 days left, the company has raised $301,849, over $50,000 more than their goal. The additional fundraising dollars will join the $1 million seed funding round Play-i closed last spring.

According to Play-i, Bo and Yana are much more than toy robots. “They are learning and storytelling platform that makes computer programming accessible and fun,” while teaching the basics of computer science.

“Kids are great at sequences, just not abstract sequences. Since programming tends to be an abstract concept, you have to make it tangible,” said Vikas Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of Play-i. “For kids, robots make it tangible.”

The project that teaches problem solving through hands on playtime is beneficial to all because it will help shape future innovators, leaders, thinkers and creatives.

Donations will go towards bringing robots to schools and other organizations. Many Louisiana companies could also benefit from the robots, including Teen Tech Day, Maker State and more.

Gupta believes tech has to evolve to be accessible and fun, which is why the robots will be sold at a reasonable price, $149 and $49 (for Bo and Yana respectively), and then retail at $199 and $69. The designs were also meant to be appealing but not to look like pets.

USA Today reports that Play-i expects to deliver around 1,500 of the robots by June.

To donate to the campaign, click here.