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Shape Robotics
Programming and electronics
Modular robotics set for building and programming.

Fable is a modular construction system, which enables students to assemble modules together in many different configurations. They can build custom robot bodies, use the inbuilt sensors and program the robot’s movement. Fable comes with plenty of high quality sensors and motors. It also includes a phone app for programming emotions and visual expressions to your robot.

Depending on experience level, it's possible to program Fable robots using visual blocks (Blockly) or a programming language (Python). Fable is appropriate for primary school (8+), secondary and higher education. Shape Robotics offers several example project and tutorial videos for Fable, as well as lesson plans in which students solve multidisciplinary real world problems.

Age groups 
Middle school
High School
Tertiary Education
Professional education
Desktop Windows
Desktop Mac
Not required
Offline play 
Internet required
Educational Quality
Learning Goals

The pedagogical analysis covers how the product supports learning of the identified skills. The student’s role is assessed by four contrary pair parameters, which are selected to cover the most essential aspects on the use of the product.

Fable offers several options on what to do and how to learn. The modular robot can be used for a variety of purposes, and Fable offer a wide variety of examples, projects and lesson plans. The project videos are of great quality and it is easy to browse them to find an interesting one. Since learning is based on active making, it always requires active engagement and acquiring and using new information.
Although Shape Robotics offers plenty of ready made projects, learning doesn't happen through observation and repeating instructions but through making. Both the activities and the lesson plans include plenty of creative tasks and utilising learned in open-ended problem solving, which requires prior skills or knowledge to be used in conjunction with new. Many of them are based on students setting up problems they need to solve and using cross-curricular knowledge to create solutions using Fable.
Fable offers an open learning environment, where it is easy to select projects and lessons which suit your class, and the students can also independently browse the material to find interesting activities to execute. The Getting Started guide is easy to use for set up and introduces also the basic programming commands. Later on, the materials allow for both free exploration and creative projects as well as downloading ready made code and examining it.
Fable supports both individual and collaborative learning; If the learner has their own robot, they can learn programming and robotics just by browsing the available material. Shape Robotics Youtube channel also offers a community, where to discuss about the projects. The users are guided to help and support other users as some lesson plans encourage collaboration and the suggested teaching methods are based on discussion and group work.

The following are the high educational quality aspects in this product.

Fable offers an innovative way to learn through robotics and programming, robots blocks are excellent and very versatile.
There's plenty of example projects with cross-curricular approach which use the possibilities of Fable in a great manner.
It is easy to get started, and Fable caters for beginners and more advanced users.
Modularity and abundance of high quality sensors makes the usage long lasting and scalable.

The supported learning goals are identified by matching the product with several relevant curricula descriptions on this subject area. The soft skills are definitions of learning goals most relevant for the 21st century. They are formed by taking a reference from different definitions of 21st century skills and Finnish curriculum.

Subject based learning goals

Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
Understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions.
Create and debug simple programs.
Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.
Use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output.
MS-PS2-2. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
4-PS3-1. Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.
Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Create programs that use variables to store and modify data.
Design and develop computational artifacts working in team roles using collaborative tools.
Develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills.
Develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science, digital media and information technology.
Debug (identify and fix) errors in an algorithm or program that includes sequences and simple loops.
Design and iteratively develop programs that combine control structures, including nested loops and compound conditionals.
Develop plans that describe a program’s sequence of events, goals, and expected outcomes.
Develop programs with sequences and simple loops, to express ideas or address a problem.
Take on varying roles, with teacher guidance, when collaborating with peers during the design, implementation, and review stages of program development.
Systematically test and refine programs using a range of test cases.
Create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals.
Test and debug (identify and fix errors) a program or algorithm to ensure it runs as intended.
Select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics explore and evaluate a range of existing products.
Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups.
Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design.
Select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities.
Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology.
Understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages].
Understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors].
Apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
Investigate new and emerging technologies.
Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
Recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.
Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.
Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs.
Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.
Learn to analyse problems in computational terms
Design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions.
Design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems.
Use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem.
Use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems.

Soft skills learning goals

Practicing to notice causal connections
Learning to build information on top of previously learned
Encouraging to build new information and visions
Learning to combine information to find new innovations
Practicing to notice links between subjects learned
Learning to plan and organize work processes
Practicing decision making
Connecting subjects learned at school to skills needed at worklife
Building common knowledge of technological solutions and their meaning in everyday life
Using technology resources for problem solving
Understanding technological system operations through making
Using technology as a part of explorative and creative process
Using technological resources for finding and applying information
Understanding and practicing safe and responsible uses of technology
Practicing logical reasoning, algorithms and programming through making
Using technology for interaction and collaboration
Using technology as a part of explorative process
Practicing memorizing skills
Practicing fine motor skills
Learning to notice causal connections
Practicing persistent working
Practicing to find ways of working that are best for oneself
Practicing to take responsibility of one's own learning
Practicing to set one's own learning goals
Practicing to evaluate one's own learning
Learning to find the joy of learning and new challenges
Creating requirements for creative thinking
Practicing creative thinking
Practicing to improvise
Encouraging students to be innovative and express new ideas
Practicing to use imagination and to be innovative
Practicing to use imagination and to be innovative
Practicing to use arts as a way to express
Developing problem solving skills
Practicing strategic thinking
Practicing to work with others
Practicing to argument clearly own opinions and reasonings
Learning to listen other people’s opinions
Learning decision-making, influencing and accountability
Practicing to express own thoughts and feelings
Practicing to give, get and reflect feedback
Encouraging positive attitude towards work life
Practicing versatile ways of working
Practicing logical reasoning to understand and interpret information in different forms
Practising to understand visual concepts and shapes and observe their qualities
Learning to understand people, surroundings and phenomenons around us

The Finnish Educational Quality Certificate

Our Quality Evaluation Method is an academically sound approach to evaluating a product’s pedagogical design from the viewpoint of educational psychology.

The method has been developed with university researchers and all evaluators are carefully selected Finnish teachers with a master's degree in education.

More about the evaluation