Move over Barbie — girls have a new toy that does far more then just wear pink outfits and shiny accessories. Nübi, a toy prototype will help girls (and boys) learn basic programming skills.
Nübi was named one of the winners of the DevelopHer challenge at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair. The design competition focused on girls from ages 3 to 12 in STEM learning, reports Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan for Toyland.
The toy comes from a company called Slice of Lime. The CEO Kevin Menzie descirbes Nübi as an alien who just arrived on Earth and who needs to be taught everything about colors, music, weather, or any other subject.
Nübi is equipped with an RFID chip, speaker, and radio transmitter that allows her to communicate. She also has motion detectors and both temperature and light sensors in order for her to learn about and react to her environment. Kids are able to talk to Nübi with an Arduino-controlled RFID reader in the shape of a flower wand.
The “words” they use to communicate take the form of circular cards with things like colors and musical notes. Let’s say you want to teach Nübi about color. You press the wand against a color card, then touch it to Nübi’s flower. An LED in its stomach glows with the color you chose. If you tap the wand on two colors in succession, Nübi will glow with the color they make when they’re mixed.
Nübi is capable of learning more complex concepts as well. Cards let kids to create “if, then” statements, and by using these IFTTT recipe cards, kids can program Nübi to do many different actions.
Through the use of the flower wand and 4 types of Nübicards, Nübi learns about the world. The 4 types of cards include Program Nübicards, Sense Nübicards, Action Nübicards, and Game Nübicards.
Nübi also comes with an activity book that walks kids through programming basic color skills all the way to color theory, music theory and programming, what kids teach Nübi is only limited to their imagination.
The toy does not include a video screen of any kind or any other electronics, which was a goal of the creators.
Slice of Lime is a UX Design agency focused on the connected device space. We’re also a bunch of parents with young girls that would love to see new toys that encourage learning and play without the use of TVs, iPads, and iPhones.
Slice of Lime has partnered with Kidrobot in order to make Nübi a reality.