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Ozobot, the Fun Micro-Robot for Kids

Photo Credit: Ozobot website

“Hello, I am Ozobot. I make decisions. I follow directions. I read colors. I move. I groove . . . we play.”
 
Ozobot is a new micro-robot that incorporates patterns, colors, and sensors. It comes with a carrying pod, a USB cord, a small color-coded pattern to try, some basic directions, and a calibration card. The Ozobot is small and easily fits in the palm of your hand. It has won many awards like “Best Robot” at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.
 
Ozobot has a battery (that lasts about an hour), so it will need to be charged. A USB cable is included, so you can charge it from a computer or a wall socket. It takes about 30 minutes to charge. It is not waterproof, and the optical sensors need to stay clean in order to work.
 
Going to the Ozobot website and downloading their app is crucial to having fun with this toy. For example, the website has printable maps and mazes. The app allows you to choose premade maps or make up your own on the fly.
 
One of the things that you need to know about Ozobot is that it needs to be calibrated every so often in order to work correctly. The process is simple but important. Use the calibration card (included), or use the Ozobot app on a tablet or smartphone (Apple or Android based only).
 
Playing with the Ozobot on a tablet or large printed sheet is best as this gives you more room. It can move at different speeds, turn, and change color. The Ozobot can also move to music, whether your own or from the website. Customizing the playgrounds on the website was a lot of fun.
 
I recommend this toy for ages 8+, but the older you are, the more advanced things that you will be able to do with it. It is a great STEM toy to introduce kids to the fun world of micro-robots and basic coding.

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