I’ve always had a minor fear that robots will one day take over the earth, mostly thanks to Hollywood movies. So, when I was first introduced to Ozobots, I was a little skeptical about their seemingly innocent exterior. I was then told that these bots are used to help teach people the basics of coding — naturally, this increased my level of concern. But all of that aside, after hours using the Ozobot with my son, I’ve warmed up to it.
The package comes with an Ozobot, a micro-USB adapter to charge it, a skin, a hard plastic carrying case, a calibration card, a maze and stickers. The unit itself is a little tough to remove from the packaging, but other than that, there are no surprises here. These little guys are generally well constructed, and don’t seem to break easily.
The Ozobot Android App
The Ozobot app has a lot of features, but it lacks some basic usage concepts typical of Android apps. For example, you can’t press the standard back button that’s at the bottom of every Android device (in some form or another) to go back to the previous page on the app. Instead, you’re forced to tap the back button within the app. This can be confusing to new users that are used to the ways of typical Android apps (Download the Ozobot apps for iOS or Android here.), even though it obviously isn’t enough of a pain to turn us away from the awesome Ozobot. Also, if you’re browsing the Ozobot app and happen to see the page advertising OzoGroove, and you want to download it, the Ozobot app opens an internal webpage that requires you to log into Google Play services, instead of opening it externally on your Android (where you’re already logged in and ready to download).
But as far as functionality and “things to do” are concerned, there are more than enough to keep you and your child busy for hours. There is OzoDraw, which in itself has three different modes: Freedraw, Playground and Challenge. There’s also OzoPath — my personal favorite — which allows you to try and find a way from A to B using the provided chunks of path in the allotted amount of time. And, there’s GameZone, which provides printable and online games, tracks and mazes for the Ozobot.
Drawing for the Ozobot
Sure, the apps bring all of the flash for the Ozobot, but the real fun starts when you unplug, so-to-speak. Using markers, creating your own boards for the Ozobot to traverse is when the Ozobot is at its best. My son enjoyed this aspect of the Ozobot way more than he did using the apps. My son really loved when the top of the Ozobot turned the color that he drew and when it changed speeds. You can draw your own mazes or puzzles, and there are many more available from the Ozobot website. There is added fun as you add more Ozobots into the mix as well, so that you and your child can race.
The Ozobot’s battery will definitely outlast playtime, as it lasts for over 5 hours without any problems, and charges quickly, to boot. The Ozobots are cute, and your kids will be amused for hours. Not only will they have fun, but they’ll also learn basic logic and coding while playing with these micro wonders.
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