When I was a young girl, about age 7, I caused Momma a lot of grief. It seems like there was a period where my parents were requested for progress reports and teacher meetings almost monthly. Then, my 2nd grade teacher suggested I be tested for G.A.T.E-I was taken to a large auditorium with several other children of varied ages and given a large booklet of a test (similar to benchmark testing.) Much like my schoolwork and home studies, I finished it at an accelerated pace and was found tapping my pencil on the desk to a rhythm inside my head. I had no idea what the test was for, and no explanation was given at the time; I simply remember being told about the results. My parents were relieved that I had been identified for an accelerated learning program, since my trouble making behavior was then attributed to boredom in the classroom, rather than disobedience, but I had a long uphill battle ahead of me in schooling.
So, what exactly does one do with this small half globe shaped robot? Well, he has a single button operation, and anyone who can press that button, and place him on the provided calibrating pad, can use him. We first tested him out on some printed maps and grids designed by the Ozobot team, indoors, ins fairly mild natural lighting. He worked without a hitch, following the lines and reading color coded bars to respond to commands. All initial 'coding' is done through pre-programmed responses to various types, colors, and sequences of lines.
We have several personalities and learning levels in our group- while some of the older kids actually needed to master the concept of connecting the track lines, and drawing with a broader edge, for Ozbot to scan and follow, Lynsey the 4 year old immediately latched on to the programming concepts like a sponge. I was not only impressed with how Oz followed her somewhat rough drawn track, but how she lit up and hungered for the change to add more intersections, turns, and even color based commands to her next track.
Not only does Oz have the potential for advanced programming in the form of calculated mazes and even 'dances' through FREE applications and programs, kids can complete activity sheets with problem solving when they drawn in the color code (for example, green-red-green) to help instruct Oz through a maze or obstacle. There are dozens of configured color coding combinations this tiny robot knows, from 'speed up' and 'cyclone' to 'turn around' and color recognition. That's right, he'll even light up to help convey the color of the track he's currently following- check out our video!
What Daughter Says: Challenge idle minds with the exciting concept of robotics.