Build Your Own Robot… (mostly) for Kids
You can build your own robot! How far we have come since lego blocks.
I want one of these for myself. It says kids, but meh! There are a few variations (more bits, more cost) but we found that the Wonder Workshop Wonder Set: Dash, Dot & Launcher looked the most fun.
The concept is simple. Designed for 6-11-year-olds (a few people have said 8 is a better starting point) to teach them to code in kids speak. You get the quirky little Dash Robot, his trusty sidekick Dot Robot, 2 LEGO connectors, 1 launcher, 3 balls, 6 targets and 2 USB charging cables.
The idea of all of this is, of course, making coding fun. Using an Ipad, Android Tablet or Kindle Fire the user can experiment with Dash using constructed code. With a bundle of different lights, sensors, movements and interactions the combination of different robot personalities is vast.
The app uses coding blocks and comes with tutorials and projects. Kids can learn at their own pace or just play and experiment. It’s designed as a STEM tool to start coding at an early age – and for my 2 cents – it’s vastly more entertaining than coding in command line on an old BBC Basic back in the 80’s.
Did I mention reacts to different voices (when coded)? Well, he does.
Did you say there’s a launcher?!
Yes, we noticed that too. One of the functions is a catapult that can be attached to Dash to lob small balls throughout the room. If that’s not for you there’s a cheaper version of Dash without the accessories (or you could accidentally lose this piece…)
In summary, Dash is a good way to teach your child not only to code but to build your own robot. It doesn’t need batteries (they last about 90 mins according to the reviews). It’s fun if your child is interested in coding and gadgets. It’s educational and it has a wide range of experimentation.