Airblock, a modular, programmable drone from Chinese robotics startup Makeblock, was honored with a Red Dot Award for Product Design. Makeblock made the announcement at CeBIT, a high tech conference in Germany that highlights developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality.
Makeblock is a STEM education and DIY robotics company that successfully raised over $800K for the educational drone on a Kickstarter campaign last fall. They also announced that they received a second Red Dot award for their Neuron, a programmable building blocks platform that teaches kids gadget-building.
“We are thrilled to have not one, but two, of our products chosen for this prestigious award,” said founder & CEO of Makeblock, Jasen Wang. “With our design, our goal was to create a product that inspired open-ended creation without overwhelming the user. This recognition is especially an honor as the European market is key for us – these countries are some of the earliest adopters of new STEM education practices – which is why we decided to announce this at CeBIT this year. We’ve seen great traction in Europe already, with more than 6,000 schools integrating course materials based on Makeblock’s popular product, mBot. Makeblock kits into their curriculums. We are excited to continue expanding our business and creating more products geared towards STEM education to fulfill our ultimate vision of democratizing robotics and coding for all ages.”
The Red Dot Awards program receive submissions from around the world in 47 categories. A jury of experts choose the best products of the year. Makeblock’s Airblock was chosen as a winner in the Drones & Action Cameras category. The winners will be formally announced at the Red Dot Gala on July 3, 2017 in Essen, Germany.
Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Award stated, “The Red Dot winners are pursuing the right design strategy. They have recognised that good design and economic success go hand in hand. The award by the critical Red Dot jury documents their high design quality and is indicative of their successful design policy.”
Airblock began shipping to Kickstarter backers earlier this month.
The timing of the announcement is great news for Makeblock which received a $30M Series B round of funding earlier this month. The firm said the funds would be applied to international expansion and product development. The investment round was led by Evolution Media China and Shenzhen Capital Group.
Makeblock is exhibiting on the main show floor in Hall 17, stand number A24 of CeBIT where they will be showcasing a suite of products including Airblock, Neuron, and other DIY robotics kits.
Here is a video of the Airblock courtesy of Makeblock.