The apps I read about kids making these days are startlingly cool. They are way past anything I could personally build. If you want to give your kid a headstart in today’s world, you should help them learn how to program. Thanks to Primo.io, your child doesn’t have to wait to being understanding logic and how programming fundamentally works—that is, if telling a robot how to get around sounds fun (hint: it does).
Primo.io describes itself like this: “Primo is a physical programming interface designed to teach children age 4 to 7 basic programming logic without the need for literacy.”
Filippo Yacob, Primo.io’s founder and Managing Director, says that kids are surprised by the play experience. “There are no screens or visible technology parts, so children essentially play with wooden blocks that come to life magically. The best part of the product and play experience is how rewarding it is for children when they complete a challenge.”
While Primio.io’s target audience is young children (and their parents), Filippo describes how adults and older kids can get in on the action as well, “For adults who want to tinker with the product and hack it, there is a huge amount of cool things that can be done with the robot by itself. Older children will be able to program the little robot using computers like Kano for example.”
It took about a year to get Primo.io off the ground. “After a year of development we settled for something that worked well, was sturdy enough to withstand a child’s curiosity, and also something that could be easily reproduced by Makers who build the product from scratch using our source files or DIY kit,” says Filippo.
And he doesn’t mind if you want to call it a hobbyist kit: “For now that’s the way we want to keep it, because we don’t just want to sell a widget, we want to build a community behind what we do, and for parents, educators and Makers to have the option to hack our product and improve it if they want.”
The idea for Primo.io came from a university study at SUPSI where Matteo Loglio (Creative Director and co-founder) was studying for his Master’s degree. “Both myself and Matteo felt it was the right time to introduce a product of this kind. People are waking up to how important computing skills are becoming. As important as reading or writing,” says Filippo. He continues, “We live in a digitized world where everything that once was tangible is now turned into something digital. The reverse is also happening, we use digital products to create physical ones (Digital Fabrication, 3D printing for example). All this is controlled by software and programming, and it’s now important to give children tools that turn them into creators and not just consumers in the digital world we live in.”