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Here's where you'll find all the latest news about technology for children. We love to follow cool new inventions on Kickstarter and we hunt out all the latest announcements about tech toys and gadgets for the coming Christmas holidays. You'll also get our take on children's technology stories in the media.

REVIEWS$show=/search/label/review

Our kids technology product reviews are intended to help you work out whether a toy, gadget or kit is a good fit for your child or family. There's lots of cool stuff available, but is it the right choice for the child or teenager that you are buying for? We'll help you make the right choices and get the best value for money.

GIFT GUIDES$show=/search/label/gift%20guide

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends assemble. We create gift lists to help you make good choices for kids technology which helps them develop the right skills for the future. We research the best in Coding Toys and Games, Making / Craft Tools and Kits, STEM/STEAM related gifts, Programmable Robots, Electronics Kits and Gadgets for Tech Age Kids and Teens.

PROJECTS$show=/search/label/project

Get crafty with technology. Here we'll post all our ideas and projects using technology to get creative and making with kids. You'll find anything from making a lemon battery to a glow-in-the-dark Minecraft sword. Our projects are tried and tested on our own kids or at events we run, so we are sure you can have a go at home with your kids. Some of our projects use specific tech gadgets which we provide links for you to purchase.

STEM$show=/search/label/stem

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In recent years there is an increased focus in these areas of study. We like to include Art and Design too, so we often talk about STEAM (A stands for Art). At Tech Age Kids we believe Coding is a new literacy and children need to understand how technology works, practice making skills and grow in their curiosity to make a better future for us all.

CODING$show=/search/label/coding

Coding is increasingly being recognised as an important skill for children to learn. Some will learn to code at school or at a coding club, but it's brilliant if they get support at home too.

ELECTRONICS$show=/search/label/electronics

We think it's really important for kids to get hands-on with electronics and learn how to make circuits and write code to control hardware. Younger kids can start with conductive playdough. For kids who like to combine craft and tech, littleBits are fab. And we love SAM Labs wireless electronics components for making it easy for kids to make Internet of Things inventions. Lots of electronics kits for kids have support for the Arduino microprocessor environment. The DuinoKit Jr is one of our favourites. Arduino is a fab skill for older kids and teens to develop.

ROBOTICS$show=/search/label/robotics

We love robots at Tech Age Kids, especially programmable ones. We've got lots of them and write reviews and projects that use them. Our programmable robots for kids buying guide is a good place to start if you're not sure what's available. Roby the mBot Meccano robot dog is one of our popular projects and has been with us to lots of events. Our Ozobot LEGO trailer is fab for kids who love LEGO and robots.

MAKING AND CRAFT$show=/search/label/making

We're advocates of the creative use of technology, but this needs to be balanced with developing physical skills such as papercraft, woodwork, clay modelling, technical drawing and soldering. If children don't develop these skills as they grow up then physical making projects can become frustrating rather than fun. The Maker Community uses the term 'making' as a broad term to include all sorts of artisan skills or craft activities. Being able to make things can lead to life-long hobbies or even careers. It's a great feeling to be able to take a project from an idea in your head to a real object that does something. We're particularly interested to explore products that combine maker skills with tech skills such as electronics but others focus purely on the physical making skills that are still important to modern making.

πŸ€– Loti Bot Educational Robot for Kids Age 7+

TTS Loti bot app with blocks to turn on the side LED lights and draw a square.
The well-respected UK education brand TTS has released Loti Bot, a new floor robot for kids aged 7+ which is available internationally. Loti is controlled from a block-based app (with progression between two different levels), for it can create accurate drawings on paper and it's packed with sensors. Loti is is the next step after the enormously popular TTS Bee-bot for younger children. I've used many TTS products in the classroom, let's take a look at what Loti bot can offer at home or school.

Loti is for age 7+

Loti=Bot is designed for children aged 7+, Key Stage 2 or KS2 in the UK or grades 2-5 in the US. Loti progresses from the features of the Bee-bot which is designed for younger children and users of the Blue-bot app will be at home with Level 1 of the Loti Bot app. TTS have done a great job of creating a floor robot that visually appeals to a wide age range. It doesn't look too grown up for little ones and even tweens and teens will Loti appealing. 

Programmable from an app

The Loti app is available for Android and iOS (Apple) devices and designed to be used with tablets.

The app for Loti Bot has been really well thought out (we've reviewed a lot of apps like this!). There are two levels for different experience levels. The app builds on Blockly and Scratch blocks which means it will be very familiar to children and TTS are benefit of the huge amount of effort and experience that has gone into these kid-friendly coding technologies. 

Level 1 uses Scratch Jr style chunky horizontal blocks with pictures:

TTS Loti bot App Level 1 screenshot with blocks to move and turn the light on.



Level 2 uses Scratch style blocks with familiar categories and blocks where appropriate:

TTS Loti bot app with blocks to turn on the side LED lights and draw a square.


You can create and test code in the app without connecting to a Loti Bot which is really useful for practicing and predicting, and helpful when children need to share an actual Loti Bot. 

When you run your code in the app, Loti leaves a trail so you can see where the bot has been and you can see the light turning on and sounds being played. This is a brilliant feature. 

The blocks also light up as they run which strengthens the link between the code blocks and the actions Loti performs. 

You can even load and save programs which means that children can work on longer projects over multiple sessions. 

Accurate drawing

I spent a lot of time in the classroom using Loti's predecessor, the TTS Probot. While I loved the Probot, it's drawing capability wasn't very accurate and I don't want to remember how much time I spent removing stuck pens from the device! Luckily technology has moved on and TTS have put their previous experience into coming up with a drawing robot that meets the needs of the math and computing curriculums. 

The really important feature for drawing is that Loti is accurate so the robot can be used for the math as well as for coding. This helps to justify the cost of purchase. Loti can also be programmed using real units of measurement. This addresses a real source of confusion with some floor robots that just move an unspecified amount, it also provides a meaningful context for learning these concepts. Children will work so hard to get a floor robot to draw their name!

Outputs -  Motors and Light

The motors that Loti uses to move forward and backwards and to turn left and right are the main outputs. Adding a pen allows you to create a physical output on paper. 

Loti also has 'headlights' at the front which can be turned on and off and the brightness can be controlled. Children will love the coloured LED sidelights which can be individually programmed by specifying the amount of red, green and blue.

Loti also has a speaker with a choice of preset sounds. 

These outputs give you lots of options for including Loti in other lessons such as art (drawing and colour), math (drawing and measurement), geography (movement and history), English (movement, lights and sounds for storytelling). And we're sure children will come up with lots more ideas. 

Sensors - Inputs

Loti is packed with sensors. I loved the bumper sensor on the Probot but there are a limit to what you could do with it. 

Loti does have a handy bumper sensor, but there's also sensor to stop the robot falling off a table (TTS understand kids and classrooms!), proximity (distance), compass heading, light level, sound level, temperature and battery level. You can also also find out if Loti is moving, the speaker is playing or the headlight it on. This gives you so many options. 

There's plenty here to cover physical computing topics in detail. 

Charging

Loti has a rechargeable battery and comes with a USB cable for charging. 

Summary

Loti-Bot is a really well thought-out programmable robot for children aged 7-11. It offers a lot of value to school or home school classrooms across a range of curriculum subjects, not just computing. 

Loti is also worth considering as a sturdy educational toy for kids to encourage children's interest in coding. The app will be familiar to children from similar coding tools they have used at school. There's plenty here to interest children of different aged in a family. 

The name and overall design of Loti mean that it's more likely that children will give the robot she/her pronouns. 7-11 is a crucial age for developing childrens identities as coders and 'computer people'. This is a refreshing change from floor robots that appeal more to boys. This is really important as girls are significantly under-represented in technical subjects as they progress through education.  
24 days of Scratch coding book cover and cute penguin
Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: πŸ€– Loti Bot Educational Robot for Kids Age 7+
πŸ€– Loti Bot Educational Robot for Kids Age 7+
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