Can three-year-olds learn to program? The founders of Primo, Filippo Yacob and Matteo Loglio, thought so and set out to prove it with a friendly wooden robot named Cubetto. Using colorful command blocks, kids guide the character around a map, getting a hands-on introduction to coding concepts as they play. The Primo team refined this idea over two Kickstarter campaigns, first offering a hand-assembled version to early adopters in 2013 and coming back three years later with a more refined — and professionally manufactured — product that gained support from over 6,500 backers.
Now Cubetto is out in the world, helping kids get a first taste of programming. Beyond this young fan base, the project has been recognized for its innovative design, winning a Red Dot Award, a Cannes Lion, and landing Yacob on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.
The latest addition to the Cubetto universe is Cubetto Adventure Packs: a collection of maps and story books that place the boxy protagonist in imaginative scenarios and present programming challenges for kids to figure out.
When asked how they worked through the challenge of building an ambitious hardware project, Primo’s founders, highlight the importance of being open: “Don’t hoard your idea. Share it, talk about it, ask for opinions, build a community around you project. This way you’re sure to launch with some allies on your side.”
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