Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Copy Bot

A colorful little robot that resembles an overgrown computer mouse could give kids a chance to explore computer programming even before they know how to read. Users program the Curlybot without writing code. Just turn it on and scoot it across a flat surface. The roly-poly device records every movement exactly, and until it is turned off, it will repeat each movement, allowing children to see the effects of simple programs: how, for instance, a sequence of 90-degree turns can become a square or a short arc can become a circle or spiral. Developed by design firm Ideo’s Phil Frei while he was a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab, Curlybot is simple in design. Its brightly colored plastic shell hides two motors, each attached to a separate wheel, and the robot records its position 100 times each second. The frequent sampling allows for movement so precise, says Frei, that it looks eerily organic. Independent of Ideo, Frei is working to bring the newly patented toy to stores in about two years.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Communications

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me