Yorkshire inventor gets backing for robots that teach coding

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

A Yorkshire entrepreneur has received £500k to support the launch of smart robots to help children to code.

The cash comes from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and will be used to support the York company’s growth.

BinaryBots are the brainchild of software developer, Chris Burgess. Featuring a range of characters, children build their own robot from kit and learn to write code to control its actions.

“Our mission is to make coding accessible and affordable for everyone. We believe robots are the best way to engage children in learning how digital stuff really works. As parents, being able to play with our children, have fun and teach them key skills in a digital age is a win win!” said Burgess.

While the company has been supplying educational kits to schools for a number of years, this is its first venture into the retail toy market.

The robots are powered by BBC Micro:bit and Raspberry Pi computers. 

“BinaryBots have so far been sold to distributors in small volumes to trial the products and have been well received. This investment will allow the company to fulfil larger orders and give it the opportunity to build a strong position in the growing market for ‘smart toys’,” added Graham Davies, investment director at Mercia Fund Managers which manages NPIF.