by Brendan Oldman

Ozobot1So cool!!

Okay… we say this about all the gadgets and devices we get into the lab, but this one we truly mean it. From portraits drawn on paper with markers, to digital portraits on mobile devices, to coding race tracks and dance moves, this little programmable robot can do it all!

Although this device is fairly new to the market, it is being introduced to students as a means for not only computational thinking, but also as a way to write and theme stories, draw games and puzzles and personalize learning in new ways. This two-inch robot is quite sophisticated, and is able to move thanks to numerous sensors, micro-motors and driven by a USB lithium battery. This device operates on its own language and interacts with 4 basic colours (Black, Red, Green, Blue) and also digital block codes that you connect together. Any marker or ‘hue’ of the following colour will work, the Ozobot is a very smart character. Their website has several ideas and multiple resources, pre-created kits, as well as concepts setup in puzzle, maze and code format. It has blank slates also which allow for students to think outside the box, creating boundaries, brain teasers, obstacles and ‘turbo boosts’ of their choice.

You can control the speed, direction, and set dozens of motion ‘codes’ which can be drawn on paper or directly onto the screen of your mobile device. The robot can be programmed to follow the codes laid out by you and can really bring your art, puzzle, game or racetrack to life. The sequence of the colour codes dictates how the robot reacts and influences the speed, turns, lights, jumping moves, etc. This little robot is even programmable with the TickleApp and its own line of interactive tools! The applications and interactive tools that Ozobot have launched leave lots to be desired. It would be great to have a resource bank and online community network similar to what Scratch has created, fingers crossed!

An update on Ozobot will certainly be happening in the near future!


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