Wanna borrow a robot? A Finch Robot (Wikimedia Commons/finchrobot.com)
Wanna borrow a robot?
Lexile

The Chicago Public Library has more than just books for borrowing. It now has a fleet of 500 robots that can be checked out.

The idea is to give Chicago residents of all ages a chance to dabble in the basics of computer coding. The gadgets, known as Finch Robots, were donated by Google Chicago. The Chicago library is the first in the nation to have them available for people to take home.

They can be coded to move, make noises, light up and even draw. Some of the programming can be done by children as young as 8 years old.

"We hope to inspire the next generation of technologists and computer scientists," said Jim Lecinski, head of the Google Chicago office.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the partnership with Google will support the city's push to give residents better access to learning opportunities in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The robots were invented by a lab at Carnegie Mellon University. They are set up for use with more than a dozen of the most commonly used computer languages. Users hook the robots up to their home computer or laptops and download instructional tutorials from the company's website.

"Getting students excited about computer science at the primary and secondary school level is critical," Lecinski said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why does Jim Lecinski believe that getting students excited about computer science at the primary and secondary school level is critical? What is special about this robot that could make it relevant to young students even in elementary school?

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COMMENTS (144)
  • JCPtheflyingpickle
    5/12/2014 - 08:37 a.m.

    Because he said so.

  • sb28bookworm
    5/12/2014 - 08:38 a.m.

    I think it was a very good idea to let children borrow robots because they will enjoy it and want to invent something like it which would help our next generation.

  • Dalton_spooner
    5/12/2014 - 09:57 a.m.

    I think that it is cool how kids are age and younger and now checked out a robot and try to program it to do special things like draw and to go through stuff. I also think t this will help out with our learning course and will help all of us succeed in the future.

  • Cadence13
    5/12/2014 - 09:57 a.m.

    This is a great invention and I defiantly think that is is starting a new chapter I our generations future in technology. It would be so cool to go tithe library and check out your own robot and I think that soon all library's will be taking this great idea from Chicago !

  • Ladesha123
    5/12/2014 - 10:24 a.m.

    I think that this is a good invention. The robots will soon help us in life with new ideas and help us with our education. Chicago is very fortunate to have these. I believe that people will focus more on their work with this new invention. This will further people's education.

  • kiana131
    5/12/2014 - 11:16 a.m.

    i think is good for the kids and adults to have fun with a robot.and it might just bring out the inner child in them.and i would really like one too.

  • TaylorT01
    5/12/2014 - 11:24 a.m.

    sure i want a robot it looks really cool and maybe it could tell me answers to my work and homeworks. but i am guessing it cost to much.

  • Tomas01
    5/12/2014 - 11:25 a.m.

    i would love to borrow a robot but what dose it do? cause i don't want a worthless robot that doesn't do anything and it looks like a type of mouse but i guess it can do some prety cool stuff....

  • bladenw
    5/12/2014 - 11:26 a.m.

    why would i want to barrow a robot for if it Doe's my chores and go to school for me and take care of my sisters for me than would like to have it and then treat it like a pet

  • luiss123
    5/12/2014 - 11:28 a.m.

    its good and its perfect andn it sholud be in all the libarys and i will like that idea because im luis and im diffrent and i like icwecream and im mexican

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