With Open Roberta, coding robots is child’s play
The open-source programming environment, “Open Roberta Lab”, aims to spark children’s and young people’s interest in IT and natural sciences by enabling them to program robots. The platform uses graphical programming, which means that even complete beginners are able to carry out coding. As a cloud-based application, the Open Roberta Lab doesn’t require any specific software to be installed, as it runs in most browsers, regardless of which operating system and device is being used. The Open Roberta project is powered by a Local Love grant from google.org and is run by Fraunhofer IAIS – an internationally renowned research centre that has been getting teachers and students involved with robot development and programming for over 10 years. Open Roberta is connected to their Roberta Initiative, which offers teachers in Germany a certification program that helps them to get their students interested in coding and robotics. So far, over 1,000 teachers have completed the program, meaning that the initiative has reached more than 350,000 students. With Open Roberta, the Fraunhofer IAIS is expanding its primarily offline Roberta initiative by providing an online platform that’s available in German, English and other languages, and it’s hoped that this new programming interface supported by Google will reach even more people. Open Roberta has been endorsed by German Federal Minister for Research and Education Johanna Wanka and won a national award in the “Germany – Land of Ideas” 2015 competition in the education category.