Barbie has a brand-new job. In the latest iteration of the beloved toy’s “Career of the Year” line, Barbie is has taken up a career as a robotics engineer.
The iconic doll comes with all the tools of her new trade, designed with the help of real-life robotics engineer, Cynthia Breazeal, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT and founder of the social robot company Jibo, Inc. Robotics Engineer Barbie comes with a doll-sized laptop computer, a tiny robot with moveable arms, and accessorizes her casual look with safety goggles. It’s also worth noting that the doll has swapped her high heels for sensible flats to make it easier to work in a laboratory all day.
Furing her nearly 60 years in the workforce, Barbie has racked up a very diverse resume. Robotics engineer is a new career choice for her, though. It’s part of a growing list of jobs Barbie has undertaken in science, technology, engineering, and math, including as a computer engineer, astronaut, and video game developer.
It’s all part of Barbie’s ongoing evolution from plastic fashionista to ambitious, science-loving role model, becoming a toy for little girls dream of careers in STEM or perhaps being a robotics engineer when they grow up. Mattel isn’t just letting girls play with dolls and dreaming of careers, though. They teamed up with Tynker, an online platform that provides coding classes to children, to teach aspiring robotics engineers some of the skills necessary to make their dreams a reality. They are offering seven free “Barbie-inspired” coding lessons that will focus on logic, problem-solving, and other skills that a potential robotics engineer will need.
The brainy Barbie, who comes in four skin tones, is available online for $13.99.
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