★★★ Open House ★★★
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Botley the Coding Robot
© 2018 Learning Resources

CTR Review
For ages 5-12
For grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
$60, Smart Toy
Teaches: spatial reasoning, Mathematics
Tagged for: Coding, Robots
There are no apps, tablet or iPhone required to use this $60 rolling robot that is powered by 3 AAA batteries. Instead, you drive it around (or send it commands) with a custom remote control. An optical sensor on the bottom lets Botley follow black lines, and a front IR sensor lets you avoid collisions. Programs are created by pressing a sequence of direction commands, and then executing the batch with a big green go button. There are sounds associated with each command, which you have to keep in your mind as you count out each number of steps. That makes this robot hard to use, but it also is a good memory exercise. A set of jigsaw puzzle shaped tiles let you create courses. See also Code & Go mouse.
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For educators, looking for a non-screen based robotics tool this could be a good option to get started with in a classroom with young children. You should compare it Bee Bot or Blue Bot from Terrapin and Learning Resources Code ‘n Go Robot Mouse before purchasing if you are looking for a non-screen based early childhood robotics tool. If you go with this option consider making a set of directional arrow cards with your students to reinforce early coding concepts before the robot. Then children can use the directional cards to lay out their code in small groups. -TKaldor