Monday, 8 January 2018

Learning Resources: Botley the Coding Robot

Learning Resources have announced Botly: the coding robot, a new floor robot with accessories for young children.

Botley is aimed at children aged 5 and up and is available to pre-order for $79.99 with accessories. Botley will be released on January 28th in the US and on February 15th in the UK.

This week is CES the big Consumer Electronics Show where lots of new products get announced. Usually, we have to wait a long time before the products are available and sometimes they don't end up getting released at all.

It's great to have a new coding robot that is available at the beginning of the year. 

UPDATE: Read our full hands-on review of Botley The Coding Robot.
Botley is programmed via a handheld remote. No screen is needed. Obviously there's a lot of interest in screen-free toys for younger children, but to us, the benefit is actually that you don't have to mess around with apps and connectivity which can get in the way of quickly getting to the fun stuff. 

We're very familiar with the Code & Go Mouse products from Learning Resources which are affordable and well thought out. 

We're hoping that the higher price point of Botly means that the motors will be more accurate and more robust (we had to superglue the wheel back on to the motor of our mouse over Christmas, to be fair it has had a lot of use at events!)

We love that Botley comes with lots of accessories. This will help to give kids ideas of what to do with robot. Botley has collision detection and line following and when kids get advanced enough they can use if/else logic and repeat loops.

We do have to mention that Botley's main colour is blue. Why? There are lots of other colours to choose from. Since we started noticing we've been wondering why the majority of robots for kids are blue.

We really like that Botley brings coding into a child's play environment. They can use coding to get Botley to do things that make sense in the context of their play. In our experience, this offers much better longevity than approaches where a child is just doing coding. LEGO Boost also brings coding into play but there the focus is on building and using an app and the price point is higher.

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