The Ozobot is a tiny robot–almost as big as a golf ball. While the Ozobot is tiny, the collection of education material designed for it is huge. I’m going to start with initial impressions, list the types of activities (to be explored later), and give a wish list.
The two pack came with a white/clear and a black Ozobot, 2 USB charging cables (no batteries to buy), 2 mini carrying cases, 4 plastic helmets, an instruction pamphlet, and some cards. All of that is contained in a clear box about the size of a recipe card box so that it stores nicely when not in use.
The included cards are small, starter tracks for the line-following feature of the Ozobot. The Ozobot website has additional maps (make sure to choose landscape) for printing. The included pamphlet contains the line-following codes, but they can also be printed from the website if needed. More line maps can be printed from the education section of the website as well.
One simple activity is to start the Ozobots on identical maps. The first to reach the finish wins. The Ozobot can be controlled with the line codes to speed up or slow down, turn right or left, and other actions. Line code stickers can be purchased, or address labels can be used to draw your own. Winning just changed from random chance to giving the robot directions.
It takes a little practice to get the line width right when drawing on paper, but once you get a feel for it, you can fit a fairly complex maze on a sheet of paper. Ozobot will change colors with the color of the line, and line codes are given with a series of colored marks. Huge paper makes creating maps much more fun.
What Can I Do With It?
- Line following: draw mazes, download mazes
- line codes: modify how Ozobot travels the maze-both drawn and printed, learning to control the path develops thinking skills.
- Ozobot app (iPad and Android)
- line drawing on tablet
- static and flash codes for controlling Ozobot
- playground: preexisting mazes that can be modified
- challenges: maze with a start and finish, use codes to get there
- OzoGroove App
- programmed dance with music
- dance editor: design a sequence of moves and adjust timing to go with music
- move editor
- dance editor
- printable materials
- instructional videos
- web games
- educational lessons and activities
- classroom applications
- 2 existing games
- visual programming editor to control Ozobot (without lines)
These little robots have a lot to offer. The small size and easy charging make them great for an academic environment. They aren’t the most exciting of the robot options, but that’s a good thing for school.
I did some looking before I decided on the 2.0 version. The starter kit costs slightly less and comes with more stuff. The starter kit can be upgraded, for a cost, to run the programming software, but I’ve read unhappy reviews that users have to do extra steps to make it work after the upgrade. This rules out the starter kit. It would be nice to be able to purchase the starter kit extras to go with the 2.0. The only way to get the extras is to buy the older robot. I’ve also read that it doesn’t take much to weigh the little guys down when making costumes. One user suggested only using a paper costume instead of sequins and feathers that her kids were enjoying. It might be worth designing a template sheet.