At its most basic level, coding is a matter of problem solving and pattern recognition. Sphero indi teaches both—no screen required. Instead, kids as young as 4 use different-colored durable tiles to move a robotic car from point A to point B—green tiles increasing its speed, pink tiles telling it to turn 90 degrees left, purple tiles telling it to spin and dance, and so on. “We really wanted to take these abstract concepts and bring them into the physical world,” says Jeff Wiencrot, one of the principal engineers who worked on the product. A student kit priced at $124.99 includes the car and 20 colored tiles to help kids make programming-based puzzles. —Chad de Guzman
Correction, November 10
The original version of this story misstated the material the colored tiles are made from. The tiles are no longer silicone; they are made of either latex-free rubber or paper.
- Exclusive: The Making of the U.S. Military's New Stealth Bomber
- Your Next House Could Be Made on an Assembly Line
- The Legal Implications of the Debate Over Whether 'Extreme Racism' Is a Mental Illness
- Why European Countries Are Giving Teens Free Money To Spend on Books, Music, and Theater
- Republican Skepticism of Trump Has Never Been Higher
- Column: The U.S. Prison System Doesn't Value True Justice
- How Green Is the Qatar World Cup’s Outdoor AC?
- 16 Funny and Whimsical White Elephant Gifts Under $25
- The 5 Best New TV Shows Our Critic Watched in November 2022