Saturday, 29 June 2019

Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set Review

Lily is soon to be coming up to 5 years old and so her understanding of STEM (Science, technology, engineering and maths) is already expanding greatly.

When Learning Resources offered me to review Botley the coding robot. I thought this would be a great opportunity for Lily to learn something new. 


I wasn't 100% what Lily would think and wether it would be something that would interest her but I was so pleased to find out that she absolutely loved him.

So a little bit about Botley.


Botley is the cutest little robot, and his job is to follow instructions that are coded by you. 

You can make Botley - 

Move Forward (one step at a time)
Turn Left

Turn Right
Reverse (one step at a time)
Detect Object
Avoid Object

Make a Sound
And replay a sequence

Learning Resources sent us 2 sets. One was The Botley The Coding Robot Activity Set and the other was the action challenge accessory set set. 


Lily's first reaction to Botley was "Awwww how cute". she was super excited to get him out to play. 

The Activity Set comes with 77 pieces in total. It includes - 

Botley himself
A remote programmer
Detachable Robot Arms
40 Coding Cards
6 Double sided Tiles
27 Obstacle Building Pieces
Starter Guide with Coding Challenges 


The first thing we had to do was put batteries into Botley and the Remote control. The robot takes 3 AAA batteries and the remote takes 2 AAA. You will need a little screwdriver to open up the battery compartments. 

Then Botley was ready to be played with. You then need to switch him on and choose which mode you want him in. Underneath him there is a little switch with off, code and line. 


We decided to try the Line mode first. 

For this mode you can use the line side of the 6 tiles that are provided. You put them together like a jigsaw and place Botley at the start of the line. He will detect the line and start to follow it. Lily was so impressed with it and she kept saying things like "good boy" as he managed to complete the task. Botley will follow any bold black line so you could even draw out your own paths for Botley to follow.


After this we switched to code mode. We flipped the tiles over to the colourful side and made a path which we was going to direct Botley to go. This is where the remote comes in. Botley is quite simple to use. The remote has the 4 direction buttons which are also coloured differently. Lily doesn't understand left or right so I had to instruct her to press the colours rather than directions.
To make Botley complete a corse of instructions you simple press what you would like him to do. So for example, Forward, Forward, Left, Forward, Right, Forward. you then press the giant green button on the top and Botley will move in the way you have told him too. 





Lily was fascinated and cheered loudly when he got to the end of the corse. 

We did this for a little while before we decided to try something else. You can make it so then if Botley spots something in his path then he will move and change corse. For this you programme an original code, and then a secondary code to which Botley takes on when he spots something in his way. He makes cute noises when something blocks him which Lily thought was adorable. 


The set comes with some great obstacles which Botley can move around. You can attach 2 arms to him and he can use these to move things around. We actually played a fun game of football with the balls using the cones from the Activity Set and some balls from the Action Challenge Accessory Set.

The Action Challenge Accessory Set has  40 pieces in total. It includes


A Swinging Hammer,
Rotating Gate
Ramp

2 Balls
Large Domino
Cup
Medium Domino
30 Small Dominoes
Botley Arms
an Activity Guide 



With this set you can create your very own style of assault corse for Botley to run. For example you could make it so he can move forward to push into the dominoes which then hits a large domino and hits the ball on the ramp that falls into the cup. There are so many different ideas of things you could make. 

For this you need quite a hard surface for it to work best. A lot of the dominoes wont stand up on a carpet we found. 



Lily has learn't so much with this toy and is really starting to get the idea of programming. It has so many learning features like understanding the coding, problem solving and really helps a child thought process and concentration. 

Lily has really enjoyed Botley and has taken so much more interest in him than I thought she would. Lily is only 4 and this toy is recommended for children aged 5, so I am looking forward to see how well she does with this toy when she is older. 

The Botley Activity Set is £79.00 and is well worth the money for the amount he does. The Accessory Set is £15 and is a great add on for when your child is developing their programming skills. 

Head to the Learning Resource Website to see more about Botley. 

What do you like about Botley the Coding Robot? 

4 comments:

  1. Such an Awesome Blog.
    Very useful information.
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  2. This as described must be a very good educational tool.

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  3. These are fab ! Great for learning and fun too

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  4. Seems like a fun way to learn. An early introduction to technology, etc. Technology has advanced at a fast pace, meanwhile I believe that there are great expectations for the future. Computers are very much a part of life nowadays, used in many workplaces, homes, libraries, etc. Robots / Robotics may well be more advanced and accessible and acceptable in the future. They may be being used in factory storerooms ( probably Amazon, etc), media reported they will soon be being used to deliver items from shops / storerooms, etc to people's homes.

    Future :- Maybe Robots will be cooking, serving refreshments, etc. Who knows the extent of their capabilities. This generation and future generations will be the ones to experiment, build, enable these future technological beings, and other inventions. Hopefully they will improve the quality of life for human kind, allow time for leisure, recreation, recuperation, re-energising, etc. As well as caring, sharing, compassion, empathy, building positive memories through good positive, nurturing experiences, etc.

    Rachel Craig

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