Ubtech's latest JIMU robot kit is a fun way to teach kids how to code

Chinese robotics company Ubtech garnered a lot of attention last year with its $800 humanoid robot powered by Alexa, and the manufacturer is also known for its series of education-focused robots that are designed to get kids interested in STEM.

The JIMU robot lineup already has eight kits, and the company is now launching a new BuilderBots Overdrive kit that has over 410 interlocking parts. The parts can be used to build either of the two new robots — DozerBot and DirtBot — or kids can use their imagination to come up with entirely new creations. The Overdrive kit comes with two smooth-motion robotic servo motors and two DC motors, as well an ultrasonic sensor that can be used for obstacle detection and a programmable RGB light.

The free JIMU app includes detailed step-by-step instructions to build and control the DozerBot and DirtBot. The app includes a 3D model of the robot for 360-degree viewing, an in-app joystick that lets you easily control the robot from your phone, a set of pre-programmed actions for the robots, and Blockly coding lessons that teaches kids how to code new actions.

Chinese tech giant Tencent led a $820 million Series C investment into Ubtech earlier this year, pushing its valuation to over $5 billion. The company is using the infusion of funds to expand retail availability of its products, with the Overdrive hit heading to major retailers across the country.

The JIMU Robot BuilderBots Series: Overdrive Kit is now available for $119 from Amazon as well as Ubtech's own website, and it is also up for sale at 5,000 retail stores including Target, Walmart, and Sam's Club.

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Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.