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Smart toy inventor receives £500,000 in funding for BinaryBots

A smart toy inventor has received a £500,000 investment to bring his new line of robots that teach children to code to the toy retail market.

BinaryBots is the brain child of software developer Chris Burgess and is based at the York Innovation Centre.

Burgess’ company, CBIS has been supplying educational kits to schools since 2012, but BinaryBots is its first venture in the consumer market. More than 6,000 kits have already been sold and the company has signed up resellers in Europe and North America.

The funding will now be used to build a supply of stock to enable CBIS to take on larger orders.

“Our mission is to make coding accessible and affordable for everyone,” said Burgess.

“We believe robots are the best way to engage children in learning how digital stuff really works. A parents, being able to play with our children, have fun and teach them key skills in a digital age is a win-win.”

The range features characters including Binary, the robot inventor from Planet Hex, his best friend Dimm and the Super Saucer UFO.

Children build their own robot from a kit and learn to write code to control its actions.

The investment was sourced via NPIF.

“BinaryBots have so far been sold to distributors in small volumes to trial the products and have been well received,” said investment director, Graham Davies.

“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.”

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