Makeblock is the STEM educational platform for the 21st century


The DIY open-source platform teaches beginners and experienced tinkerers to code with various educational kits.


Chinese-based open-source construction platform, Makeblock, drew in crowds at Maker Faire Bay Area 2016 this past weekend. The startup allows you to build anything that comes to mind with its kits, from wiggling robotic caterpillars to reliable 3D printers. 



Makeblock bots at Maker Faire Bay Area 2016.


Targeted at children and anyone interested in learning how to program code, projects can be controlled and managed via an accompanying app on your mobile device. No matter what your ideas are, Makeblock provides numerous mechanical parts, electronic modules,and software such as beams, connectors, plates, motors, sensors, brackets,drivers, and controllers to bring them to life.


Located in Shenzhen, China,the company began with just 10 young employees in 2013, and within three years,grew to employ over 120 team members. According to marketing director, BettyYin, after Makeblock's CEO and founder, Jason Wang, intrigued the hardware accelerator. "The whole idea beganas a one-man company, it was just Jason in his garage," Yin told Electronic Products. "Soon he met people in the industry , providing the whole package. Everyone is interested in STEM now, after it began going main stream a few years ago around 2014," she said. "Things were slow for us atfirst, and then, boom! STEM became hot in the U.S. and in Europe, and thenChina, too." 


Makeblock kits on display at Maker Faire Bay Area 2016


As the first Asian company in STEM to be funded, the interest in Makeblock is growing at lightning speed. According to Yin, there are schools in Spain that require students to take STEM classes, and those schools use Makeblock's kits in their classrooms.


The company's best selleris mBot, an all-in-one solution for robotics learning, designed with STEM purposes in mind.


Another popular product is Makeblock's MegaPi, a microcontroller board based on ATmega2560. With abundant motor driver interfaces, it's able to control and combine different kinds of motors rapidly, drive 10 servos, eight DC motors, and four stepper motorssimultaneously, with a maximum output current of 10A. Yin said it's the firstboard to connect Arduino and Raspberry Pi. 



MegaPi at Maker Faire Bay Area 2016.


Also attracting makers and engineers of all ages at Maker Faire was the startup's Codeybot, a smart robot with a mission to teach kids and adults to code. The two-wheeled self-balancing bot teaches the fundamentals of coding in a playful way, and is packed with features, including the ability to shoot lasers out of a special detachableturret, playing your favorite tunes, dancing, making silly voices, and more,all while teaching makers how to code. It's easy for beginners to adopt, andcomplex enough for experienced coders to tinker and learn.  


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