DJI RoboMaster S1(dji.com)
For those that aren't aware, this is designed for the RoboMaster robotics league in China, which is sponsored (owned?) by DJI in the first place.
Overview of the competition series itself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyYsCyMC-0w
Video of the 2018 Finals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRNQfaf_Cr0
Bloomberg video about the RoboMaster S1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPzq1DoPnXs
Making the offensive component a central design element is... interesting. They could have designed a robot for kids like what anki did but.. this is what they came up with.
It's perhaps notable that Anki went out of business.
Given the popularity of games like Fortnite, the shooting dynamic seems somewhat inevitable. They may as well shoot at other toy robots and learn to program in the process.
I can only conclude they've actually met a child, unlike the Anki designers then. :)
Children don’t buy $500 toys, parents do.
I guess that's why there are no advertisements directed towards children on networks like Nickelodeon.
That is a cogent point but I fail to see how it benefits from the snarky tone.
From my experience companies try to design way too friendly and childish robots for kids. Kids at age 8-12 don’t like anki looking robots, they are not cool at all, maybe that’s the reason anki went out of business
It was also STUPIDLY overpriced for what it actually could do (not much)
Meanwhile this isn't a terrible price for what amounts to a programmable ground drone and even is just a fun looking toy
I can imagine, that some primitive gripper is many times more expensive than this offensive component. With a gripper robot must be also bigger and wider as well as more expensive.
As I can see in my home country (ex Soviet Union), parents have no problems when little kids play with guns, tanks or planes. Germans, for example, avoid this. I have mixed feelings, I love peace, but the guns also exist in this world.
I'm from the former Eastern Bloc. Not playing with a toy gun as a child is seen as weird. It's something that never happens, everyone has used a toy gun many many times and never ever thought it's wrong.
Same deal here in at least some (most?) parts of the US (the vocal minority of overzealously-violence-averse helicopter parents notwithstanding). Cap guns, squirt guns, Nerf guns, you name it, we had it (and to my knowledge still have it). Such toys are increasingly-frequently disallowed in schools, but they're still prevalent in homes and toy stores nationwide.
When I was a pre-school child, most kids' parents didn't have money to buy toy guns often, but we made toy guns ourselves from sticks, and these worked quite well :)
Really limiting their demographic though. A little thought and they could have have had all the Candy Crush kids too.
Do kids play Candy Crush? I’ve only ever seen adults playing it.
is... a reflection of where this technology came from
This is obviously being used as a test for better tele-operated war machines.
China has realized AI sucks, and they will use remote soldiers - young men with good hand-eye coordination, the same set of people that are good at e-sports.
This is a Chinese war-league on these bots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRNQfaf_Cr0
The fact that DJI releases an educational robot for kids that has a working cannon feels super icky from my western perspective. In China do they think it's a great idea? Is the culture gap that big, or is there another reason?
Also, how long until someone recreates the famous square scene with a lego character and 3 of these?
EDIT: This video from the promo page where it is hunting down a child - https://www1.djicdn.com/assets/uploads/v/1b34c0e069531a08639...
This would have been great without the cannon, with the cannon it feels... off.
> The fact that DJI releases a [toy] for kids that has a working cannon feels super icky from my western perspective.
I don't think that's a western perspective, I think that's your perspective. The actual western perspective likes robots, toys, toy weapons, robotic toys, and robotic toy weapons, and all the various combinations thereof. Nerf and Transformers have been cultural staples for decades.
This isn't even the first commercial toy robot with a toy gun on it: https://www.amazon.com/Nerf-Creatures-TerraDrone-Discontinue...
Or the hundredth: https://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Imports-Control-Military-Airs...
I guess you could argue the programmable nature of this somehow sets it apart, but I don't see how.
> Is the culture gap that big, or is there another reason?
I don't think the culture gap is where you imagine.
yes, there are many commercial toy robots with guns. And there are many gun toys and violent videogames etc etc.
But they are not educational. Educational + has a cannon. There is some cognitive dissonance right there. My opinion.
Educational toys which are not actually fun are pointless since no one uses them.
Toy guns itself is an educational toy. It teaches you on how to use it. As kid growing up with guns the only way I can have my own and learn it is by having a toy version.
Guns are not toys. The fact that you cannot draw the line demonstrates the problem perfectly.
Well yeah, guns are not toys. And thus logically, toys are not guns.
> toy, noun, an object for a child to play with, typically a model or miniature replica of something.
A model of something is not the thing itself, therefore, toys are not guns, thus a toy gun is fine for children to have. Because it's a toy, and as you say, toys are not guns. :)
(Sorry if this comes off snarky, but seriously, step back and consider your argument: Lots of toys, as per the definition above, are models or real things. Cars aren't toys; does that mean toy cars should be banned in case a 6 year old plows his 1:75 scale diecast model car into a crowd? Obviously not. Other common toys include airplanes, kitchen appliances and tools. You seem to have misunderstood the entire point of toys. If the toy is itself dangerous, that's an issue. If the toy is a model of something which is dangerous, well, that's why the kid has the toy and not the real thing. Ideally they may even learn some caution with the safe toy version.)
Educational about what? What about Lego, is it educational? Because you learn to stick bricks together. So I guess it teaches you to become a brick mason, I suppose?
To each their own, I suppose...
We used to build guns out of Lego which eventually over the years led to our invention of custom Lego crossbows using rubber bands to sling projectiles. Our competition quickly devolved from who could shoot the farthest to who could hit moving targets (each other, cats, etc). After being hit a few times from each other's weapons, we quickly learned it's not fun to be on the receiving end, even if it was just a few grams of plastic.
IMHO this comment qualifies as one of those "bizarre anti-Chinese sentiment" ones.
The #2 consumer drone maker in the world after DJI, Parrot from France, also sells an educational drone for kids with a cannon (it's an add-on but gets sold together in a popular set), and has done so for years: The Parrot Mambo.
There's countless other toys for children that include weaponry and/or glamorize it for that matter, like just about any toy for boys sold in the US throughout the 80s, or so it feels like. I'm also quite sure LEGO has sold sets with motors and plans to build catapult contraptions. Nothing about this is "super icky from a Western perspective".
I am deeply concerned about many things going on within China (e.g. Xinjiang), but this willful othering and breakdown of empathy has to stop. The bottom line here is that some people think it's fun and/or will sell well to have a toy that shoots things. You can absolutely criticize that, but it's a culturally universal phenomenon and doesn't need to divide us along borders.
Zero anti-chinese sentiment from my part.
I was wondering if the culture there makes it more acceptable. I understand it is a poor question to ask, as it immediately sets the tone that China is doing something wrong. Perhaps I should have worded it better.
Bare with me for a second though. I grew up watching western spaghetti films, playing with bb guns and thinking of cowboys as heroes. I was born and raised in Europe, not in the US (just to see how much things changed in a few decades). And I would not want my kids to grow up like that. Back then, that was normal. Today, luckily is not.
In the past, having robots that fight each other was cool, because it was in the realm of fantasy. Now that drones and unmanned vehicles are a reality, and the next step is to make them AI and metadata fully powered. Having robots fight each other begins to feel poor in taste, because the jump from toy to war machine becomes blurry.
I was just wondering what the general sentiment and how the culture in China is in regards to the above. Zero anti-sentiment, except honest questions.
>Bare with me for a second though. I grew up watching western spaghetti films, playing with bb guns and thinking of cowboys as heroes. I was born and raised in Europe, not in the US (just to see how much things changed in a few decades). And I would not want my kids to grow up like that. Back then, that was normal. Today, luckily is not.
As I see it, the world is a violent place, always has been and always will be, by not teaching your kids about it all you're doing is making them irrationally afraid of it. Then they want to be extra safe from it so they support politicians who says they'll keep them safe. Of course, safety involves constant control and oversight by the government but to those raised without violence it is a good tradeoff.
You wrote a rather leading "do they think it's a great idea?" (not a neutral way to ask this) and you said this would then constitute a large culture gap. If it's not sentiment, it's at the very least irrelevant - if the implied assumption holds that Western culture broadly considers this not a great idea (and I have my doubts on that one), then clearly it's not a requirement for the thing existing as the West does make and sell equivalent toys.
It's not normal? I'm only acquainted with a handful of children, but they all have toy guns and things. All I needed to read was your description "educational + cannon" on a drone to know I'll be getting this or something like it for my nephew this year.
I'm not Chinese and think this stuff is cool.
That drone wars are becoming a reality seems like a good reason to start learning how to program drones early, actually.
China has strict control over gun-like toys, and it is difficult to buy gun toys that can launch ammunition on the market.
Story: A women sell balloon shooting game had been sentenced for violating the gun ban. https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B6%99%E6%98%A5%E8%8F%AF%E6... （You should use google translate)
In fact I'm worry about is RoboMaster S1 safe for children when I just knew it?
I found faq page said that it's meets the safety requirements of major countries and regions around the world. https://www.dji.com/robomaster-s1/faq
It does not indicate age limit, but considering the complexity of assembly, I think it's most suitable for college students with programming skills.
And the adults around me think it’s cool.
Also from a Western perspective: this looks like a toy, they even include the orange tip. In context, and contrary to that western battle bots TV show, it seems to pretty much focus on education and competition. A goal which they seem to achieve or it wouldn't be viable to put commercial resources into it.
I don't get this finger pointing, can we please solve real gun violence in our midsts before going for educational resources?
Just preparing them to go to the MIT. Toying with guns is very much in line with western culture, not even mentioning video games. The ability to program the toy just makes it more attractive to nerds.
You mean the western perspective that have us bb guns, lawn dartsm, nerf guns, slingshots, and a plethora of other destructive devices? As a western kids I woukd have loved a robot with working Canon. As a western adult, even more so.
> where it is hunting down a child
You are explicitly trying to put it out of context and I don't understand why.
Thats tracking and object and not "hunting". Even the hover link which makes that video visible mentions this:
> People Recognition
> Thanks to advanced computer vision technology, the S1 is able to identify and track any individual you select in the S1’s FOV.
Very well then. The robot is tracking a child with weapons drawn! Better? That was meant as a joke, it looks poor in taste because it is running after a child with the cannister of the cannon pointed towards the child. It even has "cannon cam" vision!! Without the cannon it's a great display of modern technology. With it, it looks kinda funny.
So you must have same sentiments regarding paintball and lasertag as well ?
I grew up in a western country in the 80s; all my toys were war or military based.
Damn, a younger version of me would have loved this thing. The remote-controlled cars we had in the 90's were downright primitive in comparison.
Those primitive RC cars weren't $499 though.
I'm clearly old, but I'm sure I remember the Tamiya Frog was about £100 in the mid 1980s, plus radio - IIRC it was about £130 for a complete kit. That equates to about $500 in today's money, so it's not a crazy after all...
Given we've had about 100% inflation since then, it's actually not that crazy. A $250 RC car would have been extravagant, sure, I think my fanciest was about $100 back then, but not unthinkable.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System cost $199 when it launched back in 1991. Plus the additional costs of the games.
The original mindstorms set from lego was over $100 in 90s money and pales in comparison
My kids went through Sphero, Mindstorms and a couple of other robots where you can program them in Scratch and similar. To me such a toy would have been a godsend. They got bored pretty quickly.
Another issue is that gimbal adds to video quality but also to cost.
Finally with the hype, I was expecting a nice ready to fly FPV drone.
So I'm a bit meh about this toy.
Why do you think they would not get bored? Also, what do you think about the price?
DJI is amazing. They sell their drone IMU+RF module separately to make your own drones, and their new 4K Osmo Pocket comes with me everywhere I go. Few companies are making such innovative hardware.
So they are showing how this robots shoot each other and then they show where you can point to a child to follow (or shoot?)...
I like it. Wish it came with an arm instead of a turret. We have a Parrot Mambo in our home. The turret was used for a few days and then removed. It added a lot of bulk and halved the flight time.
This website has a major flaw. When I click the buy button it says not available in your country. I was thinking about getting this for my nephew who lives in the USA while I live in Australia. I know I'm obviously a small percentage that is outside USA that could buy and get it delivered to a local address but it still seems crazy not to even allow that.
I know I could vpn it but I don't think that should be necessary.
You can change the country at the top right corner. At least this worked for me to get a price tag and the option to order.
It might be a legal issue instead of the small market. the robot shoot water ball so it might violate Australia law. just my 2 cents.
To mimic your use case, I went through a trial run and it does let you enter a non US billing address (Australia was a drop down).
Yes but are you in the US? When I try and buy it says not in your country. I did just find that if I go store then change to US I think I can now order. I was on my mobile before so this definitely wasn't clear then.
So, how about a DIY variant of this?
- Start with a DonkeyCar with Jetson Nano
- add mecanum wheels (why not three instead of four?)
- add a weapon or laser pointer or whatever
On the other hand, do we really want to push gamification of autonomous weapon systems?
DJI taking the time to write a page for the S1 in my language only to at the very end tell me "Not available in your region" is toying with my emotions and heartbreaking
You can always do dropshipping...it's sucks, but us non-US people are always second class citizens of the world.
It's a chinese company isn't it? You'd think they'd have a non-US worldview
Generally they are quite global, but we see that they are China and US first.
Interesting how an educational robot project/competition always needs to involve the careful exercising of ballistics against a target. Descartes clearly got it all wrong and should have instead formulated his proposition as "I fire ma lazerz, therefore I am". By that definition, the singularity is clearly near.
Bloomberg Businessweek created an excellent video profile of how this kit fits in robotics education and STEAM programs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPzq1DoPnXs
Looks like a cooler version of the AWS DeepRacer mixed with an old LEGO MindStorm kit.
I know this is a yet-to-be released product and it says Python is supported, but does anyone know if it is possible to install 3rd party libraries and interact with the filesystem?
Interested in installing a webserver like flask on here.
It will be interesting to see how open it is but DJIs first educational offering (Tello) and other products don't go very far in that regard.
This looks pretty damn cool and I'd like to try it. But weird that the western media hasn't picked up this story in light of all their coverage on China stealing IP...
What does the "gun" shoot? It seems laser, but then how does the target in the movie (which seems to be paper) fall over?
it's some kind of small ball, need to absorb water for 2+ hours before use.
> To comply with local laws and regulations, the RoboMaster S1 will not be sold in Washington, D.C. or North Dakota.
My American girlfriend's immediate response: seems militaristic and violent.
My daughter was turned off from robotics at a young age. She joined firstego league and there was a ton of domineering "boy energy" in her school. She enjoyed creating and personalizing the robots in unique ways, the boys wanted "to win".
This is what happens when you have a bunch of dudes designing educational robot toys.
You are posing an interesting assumption. Your premise is girls and boys are "biologically" different in this robotics context. Your words: "the boys wanted 'to win'", "She enjoyed creating and personalizing the robots".
If we accept your premise to be true, then we must cater to the girls so robotics can be more inclusive. Again your words: "creating and personalizing the robots in unique ways". Maybe DJI can provide robotics which is less violent, catered for girls. I don't know, maybe something like Baymax, or Wall-E.
The other side of coin is we reject your premise. Boys and girls have no differences. Boys want to win. Girls want to win also. If this alternative premise is true, then either we must push the girls to be more aggressive (want to win) or discourage the boys who are aggressive (want to win).
I am interested in other people's opinion about this. No, I don't have answer for this question.
The differences could be due to environmental influence or a number of other factors. You are reaching to establish a wider gender narrative. Children have different interests for a wide variety of reasons not the least of which is role modeling and social pressure. Anecdotal evidence is not a reliable basis for conclusion-drawing, especially when the anecdotes occur within a similar cultural context. You are trying to find ground for an assumption based on little to no information. Let people be people and stop with the armchair sociology.
Okay, I am trying to have a conversation here.
So according to you, the situation of boys like "more military and violent" type robotic toys and girls like "more creative" type robotics toys, could be caused by social construct (role modeling and social pressure).
In that case, what should we do as society? Should we let this social construct be because it is harmless? Should we uproot this social construct as society because this construct is harmful for children?
The second question is what do you mean by "let people be people" in the parent's context? Should DJI produce another kind of robotics toys (which is less violent)? Or if a kid who happens to be a girl and does not like "violent" robotics toys should accept the situation and just find another toy? Or she should learn to love "violent" robotics toys?
I’m more concerned by the idea that wanting “to win” is “boy energy”. Why should we persist the idea that wanting to win is a boy thing, and wanting to create/personalize is (as implied by your comment) a girl thing?
> Why should we persist the idea that wanting to win is a boy thing
Because it most often is, boys typically like to compete more than girls do. I'm not going to quote studies on this, just basing this on my experience growing up and now as an adult being around small kids.
This speaks to society’s role in conditioning men to be aggressive and women to be passive, which was exactly what I said I was concerned with.
Unless you’re making the case that absent cultural conditioning, women are biologically less interested in “winning” than men?
Ew, I can't for the life of me understand this "everything is a social construct" mindset.
The average man is biologically different than the average female. Testosterone alone can explain why men are generally more violent and sexually aggressive than women. And there are many many many other factors in effect. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693622/
Why do people get angry about facts, there is no value judgment in saying "The average women is inclined to do X while the average man is more inclined to do Y", it doesn't mean "every woman HAS to do X and every man HAS to do Y". Why would every animals of different sex present different behaviours but somehow humans are all 100% equal and every difference is due to "society" ? Is biology a social construct now ?
I’m not claiming that “everything” is a social construct.
I replied to the claim that wanting “to win” is a masculine trait, and compared it to the feminine trait of personalization/creativity. It seems pretty far fetched to claim that biology causes boys to be more interested in winning Lego programming competitions.
> It seems pretty far fetched to claim that biology causes boys to be more interested in winning Lego programming competitions.
Why ? The "Lego programming competitions" is a detail there, the important part is "does winning at X triggers the same biological pathways as winning at Y ?" and "are men more inclined to be competitive ?".
For example men are more inclined to do dangerous activities for fun, like racing cars or rock climbing. Does it means that biology ""wants"" men to race cars, no, just that racing cars trigger biological pathways somehow perceived as more beneficial for men than female.
Does society do this to apes as well? Reindeer? Etc?
Study history and biology and I think you'll probably find that society used to accept nature but today it is trying to romantizise nature and blame it on culture, while the opposite is more true.
>Why should we persist the idea that wanting to win is a boy thing
Because the same processes that make male and female bodies have different structure and work differently make male and female brains have different structure and work differently.
I'm curious, since you know your daughter's personality (and those of little girls in general) better than I do, how would the game be designed such that they'd be more interested? Keep in mind this is coming from a company known for making high quality drones.
I am not informed enough to even guess. Was it the first robotics ciricculum or the gender dynamics of the class? Or both?
That was 7 years ago, now she is in an all girls high school. The same sex education has provided a much less distracting environment. (Don't want to get off topic but I could go on and on about same sex education)
So you have enough intuition to criticize this drone toy as being "designed by dudes" and not palatable for girls, but have zero intuition about how the game can be changed so your own daughter would enjoy it better? Do you realize how unhelpful that is?
From your own words, it sounds like your daughter enjoys being aesthetically creative rather than technically competitive. In which case, why are you bitter about a drone company being a drone company?
It's not intuition. The product team was lead by a man (see the Bloomberg video). The CEO of DJI is man, every senior exec is a man and 98% of all the DJI reps that I have met at trade shows since 2014 have been men.
It's true that I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about how to solve the problem. But it annoys me when a billion dollar company doesn't seem to either.
> But it annoys me when a billion dollar company doesn't seem to either.
It is literally not their responsibility, nor should it be. If girls aren't interested in battling or racing or "winning", then giving them competitive battling and racing games might not be a good choice.
Get your daughter a different toy, then, and let the boys enjoy their battles.
Are you feeling threatened?
I was just sharing some female perspectives. If this wasn't so expensive, I'd buy 2 for myself.
As a parent, I don't think there's a need to teach the next generation ok kids about AI in the context of autonomous killing machines...
Sure, yes, I feel threatened - because it is visible in many educational institutions that the only focus is on somehow getting girls into STEM. The boys are on their own, it is assumed that they will be interested in STEM anyway. Which isn't even the case. More boys than girls go into STEM, but many boys don't go into STEM or much of anything, really (less men than women complete higher education these days).
I have a son and a daughter, and I don't like that approach for either of them. I think if boys or girls are having fun, that should be encouraged and used as a motivator. If "killing machines" is what motivates the boys to program robots, so be it. Although I don't think this toy robot can actually kill anything, so that is just hyperbole.
And presumably it goes further - will I be blamed if I give my son a water pistol, because I encourage his toxic masculinity? Where does it stop?
I get it that boys are biologically different. I was at a party recently and two 14 year old boys wrestle for an hour on and off in dress clothes. My daughter rolled her eyes and texted her girlfriends.
The problem that I observed is that my daughter's co-ed elementary STEM program attracted a lot of hyperactive boys. On top of that, the curriculum flipped some primal switches. What I called the "boy energy" spilled over to my daughter's experience and made it crappy for her.
She has been in a same sex educational setting for the past several years and it has been great. FWIW, she loves Chem, Bio and Theater.
p.s. I am enjoying this conversation even though I must be getting downvoted a lot since my karma is negative. LOL
I have a general issue with school forcing kids into sub-optimal learning environments. It's not OK if a few ill-mannered kids make it difficult for everybody else.
I don't think it is an inevitable outcome of having boys in the class, in fact, many boys also suffer from the behavior of such classmates.
However, if single-sex education helps, why not.
What irks me is when there are STEM courses just for girls, without similar offers for boys. In my country, significant amounts of government money are available for that kind of thing. Firms and organizations also do it, presumably for marketing purposes (displaying how progressive they are by encouraging women in tech).
An example that comes to mind is Google sponsoring women traveling to their Google I/O event. It's nice to encourage women in tech. But if there is a woman reluctant to go, being convinced by being offered money, and a man who would love to go but can't afford it, I feel something is amiss. Although I give the companies that they have their own incentives, namely getting their hands on cheaper software developers. The market for male developers might be tapped out, so it is understandable if they set their eyes on women.
It doesn't. This is all because there's a lack of women in STEM, and people trying to find out why.
If we can conclude that it's society's fault (nature/nurture) women don't like STEM, then we can change society until women are interested.
If the reality is that women are uninterested in STEM from a biological standpoint, then it's harder to manipulate to get women interested.
The people who are most concerned with this problem are really fighting the idea that any of this is biologically responsible.
First of all women are doing lots of STEM - they are the majority of medicine students, for example. It seems to be mostly engineering they shun.
In my opinion, the main reason for that is that they have lots of other interests, too, and they have more options than men (being less dependent on a good income). For that reasons alone it is to be expected that less women choose engineering. Biological aspects might play a part, too, of course (apart from having a womb, I mean).
> In my opinion, the main reason for that is that they have lots of other interests, too, and they have more options than men (being less dependent on a good income).
Can you explain these three points? I really don't know what you mean by them. I assume men would have the same amount of interests and "options", and don't know why being dependant on good income has anything to do with it.
Dependence on good income: if you are not dependent on a good income, you have more jobs to choose from.
For example you can study literature, or work with children. Another option only women have is becoming a mother, staying at home or working only part time. Some men do that, too, but as a man you can not really count on making that your career. Mothers have the first choice of staying home or not (because they have the wombs).
Other things, like being more sociable, might be affected by biology. I am not sure. Maybe being more popular as a kid makes people more inclined to take up a people facing job.
I love maths, and even I find it difficult to stay focused on it if I am not forced to do so. Maybe it is different for other people, but I could imagine that is also a factor that makes women drop out. Not because they don't like STEM, but because they don't have the pressure to stay in it.
Another way to think about it: what do women do who don't go into STEM? We are trained now to think that they fail in life, but the reality is that they usually go on to do other interesting things.
I have had female colleagues in IT who told me they would try this now, and they could always drop out and have kids if they don't like it. Only one of them stayed in tech, and she became a teacher. That was in a job where they ended up putting the IT staff into the basement, while marketing and HR resided on the first floor with big windows. Not the only time I witnessed that attitude towards tech workers.
I predict someone will mount a real gun on this.
Wow so crowdsourcing the military industrial complex's artificial intelligence KILLBOTS?
This almost looks like it's satire, but it's completely real and for sale, just $499!
Reminds me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlO2gcs1YvM
Wild speculation, but I could see Apple acquiring DJI.
No way the Chinese government would let a strategic asset be bought by an American company, especially nowadays.
imo giving way to kids impulses like fighting might be commercially the most viable thing - educationally it is not. It is always much easier to be destructive than constructive. However, we should try to teach our kids the latter. Achieving win-win does not usually come from impulse but from empathy.
Although it is hard, I try to avoid fighting games and media for my kids as much as I can and try to teach them competing in more creative ways...
The kids would presumably spend a lot more time constructing than destructing. I also doubt the robots get actually destroyed in the competition.
Do you also forbid water blasters in the hot summer?
As you say, those playful fights are a natural impulse. It is also not true that you can solve every problem without violence.
I'm expecting people to chime up with "what about the girls?", though. Presumably those battle bots might be considered off putting to girls, putting them to a severe disadvantage because they miss out on their STEM education. (An argument I would also consider bullshit, but those are the times).
as I said, it's hard, but I offer them alternatives: building things, ball games, surfing,... I guess they are better of with that than water blasters.
In what way are they better off, would you say?
Btw Rudolf Steiner (of Waldorf School fame) would also outlaw ball games, at least soccer. After all, the ball could be mistaken for a head and it could train kids to kick heads.
1) they learn to have fun without the need to feel superiour (ball games need some supervision in that regard though)
2) they learn emotional intelligence, especially for activities that require collaboration (surfing not so much though)
people tend to miss, that in the early years many inner brain functions and predispositions, especially emotional regulation get tuned for the rest of the life...
I don't think winning in a game has to involve "feeling superior". Many games of chance are also fun. In other cases, somebody might actually be superior (the better player). Then what - nobody should be better than anybody else in anything? Maybe the "loser" can try to become better, for example.
And it can also train emotional intelligence to win or lose gracefully in games, and try again.
What will your kids do when they encounter somebody who "feels superior" later in life? Like an actual superior, perhaps?
Teaching how to code is constructive and creative btw. If you don't want the turret you can simply do so.
the main question is: for what purpose
here it is fighting... This particular robot though is hard to repurpose (e.g. put additional sensors on top, e.g. to measure things or additional actors to move things or have other meaningful impact)
commercially it makes sense, like a facebook bubble does, educationally it is limited
Have you watched a youtube video?
You can use "macros" in the fight. Regardless, this robot is a vision-enabled robot after all. You can use it as a ordinary AI robot anyway. I think the price still make sense as there are few consumer programmable robots with mecanum wheels.