Monday, 11 April 2016

Craft and Tech with the Ozobot

We love the idea of combining craft and tech here at Tech Age Kids.  Ozobots are brilliant little line following robots, lending themselves perfectly toward Tech Craft and Robot Games.

Really all you need is a bit of paper, felt tips pens, crafting supplies and a whole lot of creativity to enjoy a fun afternoon activity crafting with kids and tech.

Drawing a Picture

Because Ozobots are line following robots, you can have a lot of fun drawing pictures which the robots can then trace, by following the lines. Unless you add specific codes, the Ozobots will randomly select whether it goes left or right at a line junction.

Get the kids to write their name, or draw a maze or just doodle on a large sheet of paper.

My boys had a lot of fun one rainy afternoon drawing doodles for Ozobot to follow. (Perfact activity to keep a sad boy in arm cast happy).

Tech Age Tricks

There are some tips to make this fun for the kids. Give them large tip felt-tip pens to draw their picture. The Ozobots will follow most lines with enough contrast between the line and the paper. It's best to stick to white paper or card. We found a chisel edge sharpie pen to create a nice thick black line works the best.

The Ozobot did follow other coloured lines, so don't be afraid to let the kids experiment and have fun.

Get the kids to try write their name in cursive writing and watch the Ozobot follow the line.

We added some Ozocodes using stickers to tell the Ozobot to turn around when it reached an end point.

Add Some Code

Ozobots are programmable robots. When using the robots on paper, you can programme a variety of outputs using red, blue and green coloured sequences. A full list of the different codes are available on the Ozobot website.

Tech Age Tricks

We are found choosing the right colours for your codes is very important. The lighter green and blue Sharpie pens work well.

Our best trick is to use red, blue and green stickers. This means you don't need to plan ahead of time where you want to add your codes. You can simply add the codes over your lines after you completed your drawing. This can work well for younger kids and help remove the frustration of wanting to add a code retrospectively.

Decorate the Ozobot

Ozobots are tiny robots and can't carry too much weight. Papercraft is a perfect way to create a costume or decorate your Ozobot. I cut out a simple template for my kids and they drew characters and we placed the costume over the Ozobot.

Tech Age Tricks

At first we decorated the silicon covers that came with the Ozobots. The weight of the pompoms and sequins really slowed our bots down.

By using paper, you're adding very little weight to the Ozobot. This means the bot responds the same as it would without a decorative costume. As long as you think light decorations, you can get creative and make awesome costumes for the cute Ozobots.

My boys obviously had a bit of a Ninja theme going. They spent a good couple of hours drawing several different Ninja costumes, which formed part of their imaginary robot game. The Ninjas had to find they home on a maze they drew.

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