DIY computer kit Kano launched a Kickstarter campaign last November with a goal of raising $100,000. The project was an overwhelming success as more than 13,000 backers donated over $1.5 million to the cause and now, the computer and coding kit is available for anyone to purchase.
The consumer version of the homebrew computer kit includes pretty much everything you need to get started except a monitor (you can also use an HDMI-equipped TV if you don’t have a spare display handy).
Inside the box is a kid-friendly instruction manual, a Raspberry Pi hobby board, a clear plastic chassis in which to mount the system, a bright orange Bluetooth keyboard with an integrated trackpad, speaker, USB and HDMI cables, power cable, a USB wireless dongle, an 8GB memory card loaded with the Kano operating system, stencils and stickers.
After all, what kid doesn’t like stickers?
Early reviews from around the web are mostly positive. While putting the system together is part of the fun, the long-term value comes in the software. As USA Today’s Edward C. Baig points out, the machine uses a modular visual programming approach called Kano Blocks that helps teach coding as you play games.
The Kano DIY computer is now available for purchase with a price tag of $149.99. That may be a bit steep for some but if it can get your kid into something worthwhile like coding at an early age, it could pay dividends down the road.