I’ve always wanted to fly a drone so today, even though it was really awkward being an adult participant in a class with kids less than a third my age, I relished the opportunity to get a hands-on session with the Airblock. It’s a really cool drone with 6 removable parts so it can be transformed into various shapes. The Airblock can fly (obviously), be a hovercraft, and also work on water (but that we did not try). It’s entirely crash-friendly because of the material (EPP, which is like styrofoam). I liked this class even more than the Micro:bit one.
If you want to find out more about the Airblock, you can check out its Kickstarter page, where they got funded over 800K when the initial goal was only 100K! *It’s actually from this Shenzhen company called Makeblock – they make lots of cool stuff.
Here’s what the box looks like:
Pros: Great practice tool for kids to learn about drones and how to program one. Crash-proof. Relatively cheap. Parts can be replaced if damaged without having to get a total overhaul.
Cons: Battery takes very long to charge but gets depleted fast. Blades actually come off (sometimes) during a crash, and can be a pain to find. It’s not very consistent – flight path may not go the way you programmed it.
You can easily order your own Airblock online. While it launched on Kickstarter for just USD89 (super early bird price), it now costs over S$200. I found it selling for $269 on Lazada and $260.75 on toytag.
I’m totally amazed at what young children are learning these days. And us adults have to really keep up. It helps that things like drones are such fun to play with. And you can even use it to teach principles of physics. So tempted to go buy a drone now. 😀