In the growing digital age, some of us find that our children are spending an increased amount of time in front of a screen between TV, gaming consoles, tablets, and more. Electronics company Evollve is looking to make at least some of that screen time more educational with the introduction of Ozobot – a small robot that “moves kids from augmented reality back to physical play.”
The Ozobot is programmed to follow black, red, green, and blue paths that control it’s movement and speed in different directions. The interesting thing about the Ozobot is that it functions atop smartphones and tablets as well as traditional physical surfaces like paper. Check out the video below for a preview of how the Ozobot functions and what it can do. Evollve hopes that the Ozobot will introduce kids to simple coding and, at the same time, teach skills such as deductive reasoning while expanding their imaginations.
The Ozobot is compatible with both Android and iOS devices and currently three apps are available on both the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.
- OzoLuck – a game of chance where the Ozobot travels through a maze and randomly chooses it’s outcome
- OzoPath – a game where you try to outmaneuver your opponent to get your Ozobot to home base
- OzoDraw – a drawing and exploration app that tests your Ozobot’s intelligence
If you hurry, you can still get the pre-order pricing and save 10% for about 2 more weeks until they hit stores, when they will go up to $49.99 and $99.99 (Competitive 2-Pack).
Check back soon as we’ll be reviewing the Ozobot here at TECHAERIS in the very near future. Let us know what you think about this educational robot from Evollve in the comments below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter!
FULL PRESS RELEASE
TINY OZOBOT IS FIRST AUGMENTED REALITY TOY FOR THE SMARTPHONE GENERATION
Kids Program This One-Inch Wonder Game Piece To Move Itself (!) Bridging The Gap Between Virtual and Digital Play
Redondo Beach, CA (October 20, 14) – Observe a kid afterschool and he’ll probably be “playing” with an assortment of digital devices from tablets and smart phones to wireless controllers and Apps. Technology is their norm and augments everything they do from homework to family game night. What’s next? A board game where the pieces move themselves a la The Jetsons? Actually, yes! Introducing Ozobot, the one-inch robot that moves kids from augmented reality back to physical play.
Launched this year at both the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the American International Toy Fair, tiny Ozobot charmed the geeks and the toy masters. Dr. Toy placed Ozobot on her 10 Best Technology list for 2014. USA Today and Popular Science immediately named it to their Best Tech Toys of Toy Fair. The bot’s futuristic design landed the hold-in-your-palm toy inside NY’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Design Store.
Designed by electronics company Evollve, the robot’s capacity for fun and learning are endless. Playing with this tiny bot introduces kids to simple (or complex) coding, expands their imaginations and encourages life skills such as deductive reasoning.
Like Dorothy following the yellow brick road to Oz, kids use color — black, red, green and blue — to program Ozobot to follow a path forward, backwards, fast, slow, right, left and more. So clever is the technology that the bot can move on physical surfaces like paper and digital planes like an smart phone or tablets. As long as there is a colored line or digital flash codes of red, blue, green or black, Ozobot will move at the command of the color or pattern of colors.
Electronic industry experts gushed over its ability to “see” colored lines and know the difference between them. Wrote one blogger from the
CES show, “The robot is able to follow the lines with pinpoint accuracy, and can even be commanded to speed up, reverse, change direction, or do a variety of other commands through the color of the line itself.” Another noticed, “when Ozobot sees certain combinations of colors (red-black-red, green-blue-green, and so on), it recognizes them as a code that translates into a specific action such as slow down, speed up, turn left or stop. Now we’re getting into programming.”
And simple coding or programming is exactly what today’s STEM curriculum encourages. As everyday tools in the workplace or at home generate another layer of technology kids will need to be at ease with robotics. “This small robot offers kids and techies,” Dr. Toy writes in her review, “an expressive way to learn and play with robotics in a variety of social and interactive settings.”
Kids and grownups will find Ozobot’s free downloadable games like OzoPath and OzoLuck creative, strategic and competitive. Kids in middle school are captivated by Ozobot and high schoolers are attracted to its ability to navigate through multi- dimensional environments.
“The Ozobot swivels, pivots and oscillates along whatever playing surface it’s on, whether that’s a game board, paper, or a smartphone or tablet screen,” describes the Popular Mechanic reviewer. “It can detect automatically if the surface it’s perched atop is physical or digital and it can transition seamlessly between the one and the other without missing a beat.”
Watch the introductory video of little Ozobot’s amazing possibilities at www.Ozobot.com.
Ozobot • Ages 13+ • $49.99
Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Technology
Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products of 2014
This tiny customizable robot comes to life when you create mazes, tracks and playgrounds on paper, game boards and digital screens. With astonishing color sensing technology, this little bot uses a micro USB based rechargeable LiPoly battery — 90 minutes of continuous operation on a single charge.
OzoLuck App • Free
available at both Apple Store and Google Play, a social game of chance in which Ozobot travels on a maze and randomly chooses lucky outcomes
OzoPath App • Free
a strategic game to try to out maneuver your opponent to get Ozobot to home base
OzoDraw App • Free
a drawing and exploration app to test Ozobot’s intelligence
Once stocked on shelves, the MSRP will be $49.99 each, or $99.99 for the competitive series (dual packs). Online shoppers can find these tiny robots in time for the holidays at Ozobot.com, brookstone.com, momastore.org and amazon.com (visit Ozobot.com for complete retail listing.)
ABOUT EVOLLVE, INC.
Evollve Inc. is a company built around the philosophy that blends physical and digital technologies to entertain, educate and socially interact while focusing on instilling valuable life skills. Through game applications and creative curriculum, our focus is to introduce interactive robots to entertain in the family room and educate in the classroom.