Meet Botley, the brand new next generation, screen-free coding robot which will help kids as young as five take their first steps into coding whilst having lots of fun.
We were kindly sent Botley to review by learning Resources, here’s what happened when Holly from our team met the big eyed robot which is set to top children’s Christmas lists.
“When the box first arrived, I was instantly hit with big gooey eyes staring back at me, already I couldn’t wait to see what it could do. Opening the box and lifting out, Botley was bright, bold and super cute, I can see how this will appeal to young children.
Setting up the robot was easy and hassle free as most of this was already done, simply pop in the 5 AAA batteries (2 for the remote, 3 for the robot which are not included) and you’re more or less done, perfect for getting going on Christmas morning.
Botley already has his big grey round wheels attached and if you want even more tricks you can add the detachable Robot arms so he could hit into different build-able pieces included piece in the 77-piece activity set. Putting into IR Programming mode (easily done by moving the switch at the back) I was ready to Botley some coding commands
Using the remote was fun as it had 8 different commands which included a green arrow for going forward, yellow for turning left and blue for right. Transmit was a big green button with three lines, reverse was a red arrow, clear had a blue trash icon, object detection had a blue object image, loop had two blue arrows going in a circle and sound had a blue volume icon.
Starting with a pretty simple command, I placed the robot on the floor (as I found this worked best) and pressed forward on the remote followed by the transmit button and Botley did exactly what I had asked. Trying something a little harder I coded in forward, right, backward, left and then forward again and Botley followed the commands, it was brilliant to see him rolling around plus you can also add in loops so he would repeat a sequence of steps.
I wanted to see just how well this intellectual robot coped with added in obstacles as per the instructions, so after clearing the old program and placing the included cones around the room I put on the object detection, gave a sequence and transmitted, I was honestly surprised at how easy Botley found the whole thing making me then just wanted to keep adding in more bigger and bolder moves.
The robot also has a special sensor so it can follow a black line, obviously I wanted to put this to the test, so after switching POWER to LINE, placing Botley on the path,and pressing the centre button he softly said “Ah-ha” as he had found the black line and started following.
The coding cards included are all color-coordinated to match with the buttons on the remote making this easy to follow. Each sequence can get harder and harder as your little one becomes more experienced and parents don’t fear as you can also turn the noises off if they become a little too much.
There is also some hidden tricks that Botley can do but I won’t spoil these and once you find out how to do them they are a lot of fun to watch!
Overall I loved that Botley was 100% screen free (breath of fresh air if your little one is already addicted to the iPad.) easy to use and set up and so interactive that it would keep children busy for hours. It helped me understand coding a little better especially as it wasn’t over complicated with too many commands and kids will develop better planning, concentration and organisation skills. Although £79 I think this would make a great Christmas gift as you can start the fun instantly all while learning.
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