This episode of KidsLab Podcast is with Amir Baradaran, the CEO and Co-Founder of Foldio. Foldio creates foldable educational toys that work with the well-known Calliope Mini board.
Amir is part of the founding team of Foldio, a company that has its roots at the University of Saarland, Germany. A small team of student researchers took on the challenge to create an educational system that includes paper-based printed circuit boards.
Printed circuit boards are essential for modern day electronics and computers, but normally these are quite stiff and non-flexible boards. The team at Foldio researched how these electric circuits can be printed onto normal paper, which has the benefit that you can fold it and thereby create stunning 3d shapes with a bit of hand-crafting.
Images: (c) Foldio – used with permission
Paper is obviously quite cheap, but more importantly it’s a material that kids are very familiar with. Foldio is combining a well-known material, paper, with circuits and sensors to teach kids computer science. Their products work in combination with the Calliope Mini educational board, which is well-known here in Germany and by now sold globally as well.
Their first product – the foldio starter kit – includes instructions for several so-called missions for the kids and also some information for the parents. Also included are of course the colorful paper-based circuit boards. To attach these crafts to the Calliope Mini, the kit also includes a few screws and some paper elements can be hold in place via some magnets.