The world’s first-ever coding robot for girls is one of the hottest new dolls to hit the toy scene. SmartGurlz, a Danish company at the forefront of high-tech gadgets targeting 6 to 12-year-old girls across the globe, is focused on teaching girls to code while engaging in imaginative play that’s fun and strengthens self-confidence. Educational and cool, these adventure-seeking dolls maneuver around on Siggy Robots, colorful segways with lights, sensors and sounds, all controlled by the free SugarCoded app and the limitless bounds of every girl’s imagination.
Founded in 2014 by Sharmi Albrechtsen, a former executive for the not-for-profit foundation of Oticon, and her engineer husband, Jesper Nissen, SmartGurlz aims to fill a void in the toy market by offering a thoughtful merging of technology-inspired fun with traditional, fashion-forward doll play while also promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educational pursuits for aspiring young girls.
Recently chosen by AdWeek as one of the top 37 women “Who Are Disrupting the Status Quo and Championing Gender Diversity in Advertising and Tech,” Albrechtsen began her journey as an entrepreneur when she discovered that the toy market lacked options that combined girls’ affinity for dolls with science and technology learning. The result was SmartGurlz, a game-changing toy company that encourages girls to be leaders. As featured in articles by the BBC, Forbes and Huffington Post, the mission of SmartGurlz is to “inspire the female leaders of tomorrow, today,” not to mention capture a share of the hugely successful drone market that has failed to gain the interest of women and girls worldwide.
SmartGurlz teaches young girls programming skills, challenging them intellectually while also encouraging imaginative, interactive play. With four different self-balancing robots to choose from, these educational fashionistas appeal to a broad range of ethnicities and budding personalities. Let’s meet these fun-loving characters who are shaking up the world of toys: Maria, the math whiz who’s into the arts and caring for animals; Zara, the techie “genius” who’s full of spunk and likes the electric guitar; Jun, the science buff keen on martial arts and rock music; and Jen, the budding inventor and engineering student who likes to tool around. Each doll comes with her own Siggy Robot, which is designed to accommodate most 11” dolls on the market, like Barbie.
Girls can program their Bluetooth-powered Siggy Robots on compatible smartphones and tablets, manipulating their movements using a smart joystick and sending them on obstacle courses around the house and even outside. With one-of-a-kind coding block software created by MIT, girls can come up with more than 100 different coding combinations for their dolls and then share their inventive ideas with friends so they can join in on the same missions and adventures. The sky’s the limit with these smart dolls that are reenergizing the doll market and changing the game, so to speak.