Event Report: Google Lead Kids AI Programming Competition in Japan 2020

In the last article, I wrote about the age tech founders started programming. The truth is many of them began to code around 10 years old. Some are only interested in gaming but gradually get interested in the computer itself. Parents are doing a significant role there. Make their kids e interested in coding.

You may wonder what children can code in their teens or younger. Today, I’m going to introduce 6 amazing projects accomplished by kids ages  10 to 13. Those projects are from the AI programming competition in Japan lead by Google. In the competition, kids use a visual programming language called Scratch, developed by MIT Media Lab, and Teachable Machine, a machine learning tool developed by Google.

I was amazed by the ideas of those kids and how they implemented their ideas. So, below are the projects. If you are interested, you can watch the presentations of the contestants here. Although they are speaking in Japanese, you can see how the projects work.

1. An AI robot for stopping grandpa from drinking too much alcohol

Original Title: おじいちゃんのお酒飲みすぎ防止システムⅡ

Creator: mebumebu

Age: 11 years old

This project wins the competition. A 6th-grade boy created an AI robot for his grandpa. In the interview, he said he got the idea from his grandma, who was worrying about his grandpa drinking too many beer cans. Here’s the screenshot of the presentation.

As you see, he created a robot with Lego blocks and Arduino. The program calculates the amount of alcohol contained inside the beer and if it exceeds a certain amount. Show warnings on the screen. If the grandpa tries to drink the 4th can of beer. Instead of giving the beer, the robot will provide a grass of water by turning the board 180 degrees – there’s a grass of water behind the wall behind the beer can.

2. Heart-warming Reading

Original Title: 感動読書

Creator: tontoko

Age: 13 or 14 years old

An 8th-grade girl created an AI that will distinguish the post-it color on the book and play music related to the scene in the book. In the interview, she said she loves reading books and got the idea when she went to a Japanese comics museum. There was an excellent background there, and she was talking with her father that it would make the experience of reading comics better. She is now attempting to add facial recognition to the system.

3. A system for saving Gallirallus Okinawa

Original Title: ヤンバルクイナ危機一髪

Creator: Ririka

Age: 11 years old

A girl in Okinawa created a solution for saving Gallirallus Okinawa, birds only inhabit Okinawa, Japan, from hitting by cars. She uses machine learning to recognize the sound produced by the bird. She also created some hardware showing red signals when a car approaches the bird.


4. Dancing and Play Music

Original Title: ドレミダンス

Creator: Karin

Age: 11 or 12 years old

A girl in her 6th-grade created a system making sound according to your movement and poses. She uses machine learning to make the system to learn many poses.

5. Mask Detecter

Original Title: マスクディテクター

Creator: Rintaro

Age: 10 years old

Rintaro started to code at the age of 6. He loves Minecraft, and he already knows how to code in JavaScript and Python. In this project, he created an AI camera app which detects whether people in front of the camera wears a mask or not. He said he got the idea because school teachers need to stand in front of the school gate on a hot summer day to check whether they are wearing masks. To make people get close enough to the camera. He uses a drawing in the photo below.


6. An AI system warn you while riding a bicycle

Original Title: Birds AI ぴーちゃん scratch ver.

Creator: Shunsuke

Age: 12 or 13 years old

Shunsuke created a system that will warn you with bird song sound when you get close to dangerous zones while you are on a bicycle. He got the idea from his experience, which he fell down from a bike and broke his tooth. He uses machine learning and 2000 photos of road signs to make the system recognizing road signs and warn you.



I was so amazed to see the kids presenting their projects. I think you are amazed, too. They already know how to think creatively and implement the ideas by their own hands.

I’m looking forward to seeing kids learning at CodeGrit Jr would create amazing things!

At CodeGrit Jr, we are offering 1:1 online coding classes for kids. We hand-picked the instructors through a multi-step hiring process. If you are interested in coding classes for kids, you can request a free trial session today on our website.

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