Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set, Homeschool, Coding Robot for Kids, STEM Toy, Programming for Kids, Ages 5+
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- EARLY STEM SKILLS: Botley helps your child learn early STEM skills while playing and having fun. He teaches kids to code with active, screen-free play that's perfect for promoting critical thinking and problem solving skills
- READY RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX: Botley is ready to code right out of the box! Have 5 AAA batteries and a Phillips screwdriver nearby and this coding robot will have your kid coding in minutes with code games, creativity and fun (3 AAA batteries for Botley and 2 AAA for the remote programmer)
- SCREEN-FREE: Botley features completely screen-free coding: no phone or tablet required. Botley's easy-to-use remote programmer sends commands and gets him rolling. Coding for kids has never been easier
- SMART LOGIC: Botley has the ability to detect objects in front of him and avoid them. He can also follow looping commands, take on obstacle courses, and follow black-line paths. He even has hidden features to unlock
- 77-PIECE ACTIVITY SET: Coding robots are great at learning new things, so Botley comes with a remote programmer, detachable robot arms, 40 coding cards, 6 double-sided tiles, 27 obstacle building pieces and a starter guide with coding challenges
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From the manufacturer
Meet Botley, the Coding Robot!
Botley is here to introduce coding in an easy, friendly way. Children as young as 5 can learn to code with Botley, and with his advanced features, he’ll grow with them for many play filled years to come. Botley is ready to use right out of the box, he’ll have kids coding in minutes! Botley’s 45-piece activity set comes with a remote programmer, detachable robot arms, 42 coding cards. Botley the Coding Robot can grow with your child by adding the 77-piece set as their skills advance.
Learning Is Where We Play!
Our mission is to help kids love to learn... and get ready to take on the world. To turn "I think I can" to "I know I can."
"'What we love about their toys is that the kids don't realize when they're playing with them, we're actually teaching them,' [Danielle Busby] says."
"Learning Resources produces a variety of toys that straddle the line of education & entertainment for toddlers, fifth graders & every age in between"
“Learning Resources shares our [Bill & Guiliana Rancic] commitment to learning through play and believes in the importance of STEM education."
"Learning Resources is one of the leaders in educational and STEM-related toys."
Meet Botley, the code to fun! As the newest member of the Learning Resources Family, Botley the Coding robot is here to introduce coding in an easy, friendly way. Children as young as 5 can learn to code with Botley, and with his advanced features, he can grow with them for many years to come. Botley is ready to use right out of the box, so he will have kids coding in minutes (plan ahead: Botley requires 5 AAA batteries, not included). Botley is also 100% screen free; no phone or tablet required. Explore Botley's advanced features and code him for up to 80 steps, with 40 more you can discover. He can also follow looping commands or be programmed to go around objects with If/then logic. Turn on the black-line follow mode and set up a path for Botley to travel. Botley even has hidden features to unlock! Botley includes a one-piece activity set, which includes coding cards, detachable arms, interactive obstacles, and code games that are ready for endless hours of fun and learning. Learning coding With Botley helps kids foster creativity and develop problem solving and critical thinking skills!
Choking Hazard - Small Parts
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Those are the buzzwords to sell toys today. What Botley is, is a form of R/C car. While kids are used to immediate left/right forward/back control, Botley just takes those in "batch" form and then performs the left/right/forward back.
Your child will not learn anything about coding here (despite "coding cards") as the interface is too primitive. The "coding necessities" were overlooked when it was designed where more emphasis was on the "cute sounds", "look" and marketing of this being something to improve STEM skills.
The good: nice color schemes, powers down automatically, good on batteries, no LCD/LED based video screen. It may help a child's memory in remembering how many forwards or left turns if they don't use the coding cards.
The bad: There is no coding or STEM education here. The "car" named botley will drive forward, left, right and back by issuing commands just like an R/C car but delayed. There is a "loop" feature but it is primitive. There is no method to increment/decrement a a counter for the loop or loop "until", like loop "until object detected". Child can "bracket" a set of L/R/F/B commands with a Loop and end it with loop, pressing loop the number of times the child wants it to loop. That's not really programming or allowing any autonomy one would expect of a robot. Similary, the "if/then" is very primitive, it only works with the "object detection". There is no if/then/else and no "bracketing", or ability to use more than one. You can do something like "Fwd, Fwd, Fwd, If object detect Rev once. That's it. There is no method to do:
if object detect
There's no method to indicate the end of your "if" or do anything which would allow the "robot" to behave like a robot, for instance travel autonomously and then do something like turn if it sees an object.
Loop until object detect
You can't have it run continuously and take action based on an object. So a lot on the looks/cute responses and then they ran out of time to actually design a programming remote (with a 0-9 keys) and END IF, ELSE and LOOPCOUNT buttons. Would have made a great product.
What you end up doing is putting a ball in a fixed spot and a circle in a fixed spot and then use the controller to move Botley to move two squares forward to ball then tell it to turn and take two steps to push ball into the circle.
If you call that programming then great, you will love Botley. You can buy a $20 R/C car and do the same thing though and the car will respond immediately to your commands and therefore your create/debug-test loop is going to have a lot faster feedback.
7th and 8th graders (maybe younger?) can program in BASIC (with variables and if/then/else, and loops etc). That might be a better way to teach actual coding and promote STEM skills in your child.
Set up was fairly easy, and required 5 AA batteries (2 for the remote, 3 for the robot). Our 5-year old enjoyed putting the stickers on some of the activity set pieces while the 8-year old read some of the instruction booklet (he was excited to code).
We started Botley on the "Line" feature where he can follow a thick black line on the included cardboard play space (like a 2-sided puzzle that can be assembled many different ways). It was pretty fun and the younger kids thought it was great. You can draw your own thick black line on white paper and Botley will supposedly follow it, but we haven't tried this yet.
The 8-year old was itching to code so we flipped the board over and tried to follow the coding challenges from the booklet. He jumped right to Challenge 6 and it took him a few minutes to get the hang of it, but once he got started he really enjoyed it. He spent 45 minutes working coding and playing with Botley, trying to get him to do different things.
The 5-year old wanted a turn to code next and was very excited. She is a "do it myself" girl so once I explained the steps she really got into it. We used the deck of cards to keep track of the moves she wanted Botley to make, then coding them into the remote. She was so pleased with herself when Botley did the things she "told" him to do! She seemed really satisfied with it. She played with Botley for about an hour the first day, though with adult assistance.
The 3-year old was obviously too young for the "ages 5+" recommendation, and with good reason. He liked rolling the balls, LOVED pushing the buttons on the remote, and trying to steal Botley and/or the remote from his siblings the entire day.
- Easy to set up.
- Adorable, endearing beeps and noises (uh-oh!, oooooh!).
- Remote beeps and lights up to indicate that the button was pushed (when coding), which is very helpful.
- Comes with a set of cards so kids can put the "moves" in order to help with the coding.
- Booklet has 10 coding activities (in increasing difficulty) to get kids started on coding.
- Hard to share, not a great toy for multiple children to play at once
I highly recommend a Botley for the 5-9 year old in your life, but if you have more than one child, I recommend you buy two!