This January, SoftBank Corp. have announced the ‘IoT Challenge’, coming in April 2019. The challenge will provide micro:bits to 100 elementary and junior high schools in Japan, free of charge.
By linking Pepper - the humanoid robot - with micro:bit and related teaching materials, SoftBank Corp. - a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. - aim to provide more creative learning of programming and nurture interest in AI. The challenge encourages students to use micro:bit as part of creating solutions to familiar tasks and issues in schools and communities. Interacting with micro:bit, Pepper, and sensors helps children to notice that programming plays an important role in everyday life.
These efforts cover 100 schools participating in the ‘Pepper Social Contribution Program’ and 'Pepper Social Contribution Program 2', which lend Pepper the Robot to local governments and non-profit organisations. IoT Challenge classes will begin in April and a contest for participants to show their learnings is planned for the future, too. We can't wait to see what they come up with!