Makeblock Co. Ltd. has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for a modular and visual programming drone called Airblock.
Airblock is made of magnetic, modular parts that connect together to form a drone or hovercraft. According to Makeblock, beginners can put Airblock together and start programming through an app in minutes. In addition, the modular blocks are replaceable and are made of durable engineered plastic foam, making the devices kid- and crash-friendly.
Jasen Wang, founder of the start-up, says the motivation behind Airblock is to team science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts. Airblock uses simple visual programming, a programming language using graphic elements rather than text.
“People have this notion that coding can only be done on computers in a room, but coding can be done anywhere,” explains Wang. “We wanted to show this through our Airblock drone – that you can build it, code it and see it physically come to life within minutes and all from the palm of your hand.”
Every drone features a flight time of six minutes, a maximum height of 10 meters, a maximum speed of 1.5 m/s and a weight of 140 g.
Designed for ages eight and up, Airblock uses Bluetooth to connect directly to the Makeblock mobile app, which will be available for iOS and Android.
Pre-orders are starting now at $99 via Kickstarter.