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Ubtech today unveiled the BuilderBot Overdrive Kit that lets kids ages eight and up build robots on wheels. The kit aims to teach kids STEM skills and basic coding in a fun way.

With the Overdrive Kit, kids can make predefined DozerBot and DirtBot robots, or they can design their own creation. What looks like a set of eyes on each robot is actually a pair of RGB lights and an ultrasonic sensor to determine distance with sound. The kit comes with both servo motors and DC motors with multiple gears to let the creations accelerate faster and decelerate more smoothly than previous models.

The kit is compatible with parts from other Jimu series kits, such as the AstroBot Kit and TankBot Kit.

Ubtech is also the maker of Lynx, a humanoid that works with Amazon’s Alexa voice control, and Stormtrooper, a fully assembled Star Wars robot that can do patrols around your home.


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In addition to robots for kids, Ubtech makes a number of robotics products for people of all ages, like the Cruzr service robot.

“Our approach to this type of category is as a robotics company making a product for kids versus a toy company trying to make a robotics product. And with that, we do a better job of teaching kids what robots are and how to program robotic movements,” Ubtech general manager John Rhee told VentureBeat in a phone interview.

The new Overdrive Kit will come with a newly updated Jimu app, which can handle pre-programmed or custom instructions.

“There are lessons that take the kids through a journey of learning what server motors are, [and] learning sessions for students is a deeper dive into the block-based coding module that we have in our app,” Rhee said.

Ubtech competes with a number of other robots designed to teach kids how to code, including Makeblock’s line of products and Anki’s Cozmo.

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