Ozobot

Ozobot

Ozobot is something like a 1-inch sized R2-D2 that talks in colored light. It follows the path you draw for it and is programmed by codes – sequences of colors that you include in the path.

If you have a tablet, there’s even more to play with. Much more.

ozobot drawingBefore you get into tableting, we recommend that you provide for all the time your Oozboticist might require to fully appreciate the Ozobot’s path-following capabilities. The pre-made paths that you can print out introduce yet further path-making possibilities.  Included in the selection is a complete illustration of all the various programming codes – and these will become very useful after  the joys of path-making grow thin. But we highly recommend that you start with making your own tracks (markers not included) – it gives your junior roboticist the most immediate understanding of how Ozobot works and provides her with hours to create her own, hand-drawn works of Ozobot-enhanced amazement.

After path-making comes code-enhancing. By adOzobot on Tabletding brief sequences of color to the path, you can make your Ozobot speed up and slow down, turn, spin, and, once you’ve reached the necessary mastery, dance. The two included “skins” (plastic shells) allow the player to further personalize their Ozobot. With these, plus the addition of various found-object costume-like elements taped to the top of the Ozobot, it becomes possible to introduce a welcome element of fantasy play.

Though the toy is recommended for older children, our almost-nine-year-old genius grandson was immediately engaged, and spent several hours mastering the rudiments of Ozobotics before we dared expose him to splendiferously computer-enhanced wonders of  Ozobotting on the tablet. And splendiferous these wonders truly are – redefining the experience of tablet-play and introducing the limitless possibilities of creating hybrid (encompassing both tablet and table-top environs) Ozobot playgrounds.

01 AwardOzobots are beautifully packaged in thick, museum-quality transparent cubes. They’re the same price per unit whether you buy them in their single or double pack. One is great fun. Two is twice as much, not only in cost, but also in play potential. With two, you can make them race (when an Ozobot comes to an intersection, it randomly selects one of the possible branches, adding just that element of luck that makes racing so much fun), dance a pas de deux, or just enjoy the visual complexity as they navigate their randomly chosen paths through the path. And, yes, one could most definitely conclude that the more Ozbots, the more the potential fun. But even one is major enough to produce significant glee.

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