Fisher-Price is on a mission to teach toddlers coding through the use of its adorable new caterpillar.
The toy company’s new Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar is set to teach young children between the ages of 3 and 8 fundamental programming concepts such as problem solving and sequencing.
Fisher-Price unveiled the Code-a-Pillar during the recent 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The Code-a-Pillar will teach young minds the basics of coding by presenting eight segments of a caterpillar, each of which has a different command icon that controls how the toy moves or acts.
The eight segments hook together via a USB port, with the youngsters selecting their specific order of what they would like the Code-a-Pillar to do.
Once the segments are connected and the start button is pressed, the Code-a-Pillar will take the programmed route specified by the young user, a similar concept to coding.
The Code-a-Pillar moves according to the programming done by the child to its different segments, and takes the appropriate order of actions after scanning the segments programmed by the child.
Through the release of its Code-a-Pillar, Fisher Price is aiming to prepare the young minds for a future in which coding will be a vital part of everyday life, so vital that Apple’s senior vice president of software Craig Federighi has said that coding is ”the next level of literacy” and that “programming should be seen as a language and a way of thinking.”
The Code-a-Pillar comes with a companion app that encourages the young users to participate in challenges or experiment with different command patterns.
The Code-a-Pillar will be available in US stores in June at a cost of $49.99, with expansion packs with additional commands to be sold separately at $15 each.