Children Robot Kits Aid in Fine Motor Skill Development
Children Robot Kits Aid in Fine Motor Skill Development
When we think about the science and technology geniuses of the world, we think about their intuition and unparalleled intellect that has lead them to uncover grand phenomena and hidden truths. Although sometimes hard to grasp exactly how these great minds work, we picture them filling pages and pages of notebooks with careful notations and precise equations.
But many of the greatest in the STEM world are not only intellectually gifted, but also gifted with fine motor skills that help execute even the most detailed design plans.
Think about a surgeon performing an organ transplant or an engineer building a suspended bridge. Accuracy is paramount. One wrong move could change the stability, precision, or outcome completely. The bridge becomes insecure, or the patient on the operating table suffers trauma. The ability to work with your hands in such a precise manner may come naturally to some more than others. Nevertheless, developing fine motor skills also requires a great deal of practice to strengthen muscles and improve muscle memory.
In particular, children robot kits aid in fine motor skill development. Robotic engineers, medical professionals, and scientists must call on these fine motor skills to connect each limb, gear, or switch with the utmost care.
Perfecting motor skills is not a task reserved only for the professionals either. Robotics students from a young age can also learn how to use their dexterity in a controlled, accurate manner after much patience and persistence.
From as young as 4 months old, children are already beginning to experiment and explore the full range of their motion—from the first voluntary grasp of an object, to stacking blocks one on top of another, to feeding themselves a bowl of cereal, to taking their first steps.
As we develop, we master certain kinds of dexterity. Naturally, the motions we do routinely throughout the day, every day, like eating, walking, and turning on the television become the motions we’ve perfected. However, other motions we don’t use on a regular basis need to be reinforced in body muscles memory, as if we’re teaching ourselves how to walk as adults all over again.
When students are introduced to the children robot kits, they’ll not only begin to develop fine motor skills that serve in building robots—but also those that could benefit a mechanic, a neurosurgeon, or an electrician.
Conversely, they’ll also learn about advancements the science world is making to replicate those motor skills themselves, for people with limited mobility or limb function, for example. As the worlds of medicine, science, and technology collide, professionals are making big changes in the lives of ordinary people.
Young kids don’t master motor skills all at once. At 9 months old, they’re just starting to hit toys together. At a year old, they’ll begin to hold a crayon with a tight enough grasp to scribble on a piece of paper. At 2 years, they’re building block towers, and at about 5 years old, they start to identify and draw basic shapes.
At each age increment, children begin to master gross motor skills crucial for daily functions, like walking, running and other sports. But if that was the only range of motion young kids developed, there would be many precise tasks they still could not do. That’s why, as children continue to mature, they also develop fine motor skills, which call on the strength of the smallest hand muscles, for example. These fine motor skills are what help kids to zipper a coat, write their name, or button a pair of pants.
In the same manner, robotics students will get the chance to mimic the fine motor skills robotics scientists must execute with children robot kits. Students will experiment in a trial and error method until they’re able to fine-tune the most specific and smallest components of their robot. They’ll practice with tasks like tightening small screws, connecting cables, and securing their robot in place that require care and precision.
Like many skills trained while working on robots, use of fine motor skills can be transferred to a wide range of other tasks and career paths. Think of a mechanic tuning wires or a seamstress sewing intricate patterns. Practicing with robots doesn’t necessarily mean that students will choose a career in robotics, but rather that their mind will be opened up to new academic and career pursuits.
Limited Motor Skills
Some students are met with pre-existing physical challenges which can mean limited motor function.
Just as students and professionals interact with robot technology to improve their motor skills, people with limited mobility can in some cases, re-learn basic movements taught by a robot.
In fact, many scientists that focus on the convergence of the medical and robot world work with individuals who have been injured and experience temporary motor function limitation. In many cases, these motor skill limitations can be overcome or reduced with the help of robot capabilities. They’re able to first watch the action, and then attempt to recreate it on their own bodies.
Robotics Meets Medicine
Working with children robot kits is not the only way people with limited motion benefit from robots. Scientists are always working to devise cutting edge, innovative apparatuses which can assist in daily movements.
Take for instance strides in medical technology to develop robot hands for patients missing a limb. Bionic technology is reaching new heights every year, with developments in E-Skin and bionic limbs controlled by the mind. With more accuracy than ever before, many of these prototypes not only look more real but can perform actions close to that of an actual human hand. Five flexible fingers and a twisting wrist gives patients more freedom to go about their daily lives and complete simple tasks like brushing teeth or calling a friend on the phone.
A Future with Fine Motor Skills
New technological advances like the robotic hand give us hope that the next generation will develop even more advanced prototypes for robots, especially in the medical field, that affect the larger global community in a positive way.
Students who may never have previously considered a future in science or technology can, through children robot kits, discover new passion related to fine motor skills—be it in medicine, computer science, engineering, or wherever their passions take them next.