how can we re-position technology as a learning tool to support pre-school children's education?

Pomelo is an interactive educational robot that aims to encourage pre-school children to use technology as an learning tool, instead of a platform for aimless entertainment. In the classroom, Pomelo assists the teacher/s create a cooperative and social classroom environment.

Nowadays children are exposed to technology from a very young age, but lack the education of how to properly use this self-driven learning tool. Teachers in elementary school classrooms are responsible for tens of students. This results in an overwhelming amount of unanswered questions in which kids aren’t able to receive the attention required. Technology has the utility of dealing with simple matters, enabling the teacher to focus on overall class goals.


In this scientific project we wanted to help enhance education through interactive and collaborative learning. We aim to reposition technology as an educative interactive tool that simultaneously induces social interaction among peers.

‘Pomelo’ is positioned for a younger audience that may not know how to operate a computer. Thus the user experience had to be suitable for primary school classrooms. We designed our robot to be programmable through physical blocks rather than software-based code blocks.


Teachers can design and assign any type of puzzle and assignments for the students to solve using a block-by-block methodology. This interaction teaches students the bases of programming and algorithmic thinking at an early age. Aim here is to inspire a balance between classroom learning and self-driven learning. In addition to increasing the efficiency of the classroom, Pomelo also creates a learning opportunity for break-time and after-school environments through collaborative and interactive programming exercises which teach the basic STEM skills.


From our observations we concluded that positive reinforcement through visual and audio outputs increases the interest of younger users and creates a clearer system of communication. As a result we designed ‘Pomelo’ to communicate with students via visuals on its built-in screen and speech.


We wanted every member of our young audience to be able to sympthaise with ‘Pomelo’.

Its overall form takes inspiration from a dog, which has been proven to be an appropriate design decision in our field interviews. In addition, it’s widely documented most children are still under the influence of gender-oriented colors. We chose a gender neutral color palette to address the increasing concerns that gender stereotypes affect children’s play preferences.


We aspire to inspire with our achievements and to unveil the full potential of tomorrow’s young students.

Pomelo is an interactive robot that teaches children basic algorithmic skills and enhances classroom collaboration through games. Teachers can create and assign puzzles and mazes for the students to solve. Such tasks will improve the algorithmic skills of the children and provoke participation through creating a challenge.


‘Pomelo’ reinforces interaction between technology and children by encouraging mental and physical activity. It can sing karaoke or challenge dance-offs between kids. Appealing to a young age group that is in-line with the modern world’s qualities: ‘Pomelo’ gives feedback through its visual and audio outputs, to which students interact with the robot through physical block-based programming.


At March 2019, Our team has won the “Delegates’ Choice” award at the “International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction” in South Korea. During our time at the conference we received constructive and positive feedback from participating research groups. We’re honored to receive collaboration opportunities from prestigious American universities. Moreover, at July 2019, our project was honored among “European Product Design Award” winners. “European Product Design Award” recognizes the efforts of designers and share their innovative and ground-breaking products in their corresponding category with the world.





Team consisted of current/past students from different backgrounds and expertise. Main development phase completed in 2018. Involvement continued until 2021 in the form of mentorship and holistic product strategy guidance.



Rapid prototyping, user testing, component design, CMF design, visual design, product vision, visual language,

Children are using personal smart devices in every part of their daily lives. Irresponsible use of technology is having a detrimental impact on children's early development. Design thinking can intervene to find ways in which products can encourage children to use technology in a constructive way. How should we position technology in classrooms to support pre-school education?



Building a product that delivers platform capabilities to assist children in using technology as an additive tool. Ensuring the mental model is understood by pre-school students. Site observations and user tests are conducted to determine which means of communication is needed, and how to enhance classroom collaboration through games.

Appealing to a young age group that is in-line with the modern world’s qualities, students interact with the robot through physical block- based programming, and Pomelo gives feedback through its visual and audio outputs. Pomelo introduces the basis of algorithmic thinking from a young age and encourages children to be mentally and physically active. This project is a two-time award winner after receiving international recognition as an “Honorable Mention” in the “European Product Design Award”. Previously earning the “Delegates’ Choice” award at the “International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction” in South Korea.

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based in London, UK