Ozobot Review: The Programmable Robot

ozobot review

The Ozobot Starter Pack, manufactured by Ozobot, is an amazing, educational and programmable robot.  A lot of promise and potential in a very tiny package, which is why we decided to make this Ozobot review!

It’s the world’s smallest, fully programmable game piece robot available on the market, and it is the perfect toy for young minds to experiment with, while enabling them to perfect their coding skills.

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It’s an entertaining, creative and educational toy all rolled into one tiny plastic bot.  This toy will enable children and adults alike to learn the coding mysteries of computers through the use of games and applications available and compatible to their device.  It enhances problem solving, critical thinking and introduction to basic computer science.

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Items Included:

  • Ozobot – you have the option of choosing the red or blue packaged Ozobot.
  • 2 x customizable skins or hats for protecting and decorating your bot.
  • Charging cables with micro USB connection enabling easy access to the USB port on your PC or laptop for optimal charging capabilities.
  • Stickers to decorate and customize to your heart’s content.
  • 4 Markers in black, blue, red and green. You’ll use these to draw your own unique codes for your Ozobot.
  • Instruction pamphlet
  • Calibration card for calibrating your little friend whenever the need arises.
  • Prewritten activities and coded tracks with games, mazes and races for your Ozobot.

Ozobot Specs

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Length: 1 inchHeight: 1 inch
Weight: 1.1 poundsMaterial: Plastic
Works With: Both iOS and AndroidRecommended Age: 6+

Calibrating your Ozobot

It’s important to know that before using your Ozobot for the first time, you should take the time to calibrate the bot.  It’s a quick and simple task and will enable the bot to work at its optimal capabilities.  Calibration should be done often, especially when you see your bot acting strange or refusing to follow codes.  Eliminate problems and delete all previous programmed codes by calibrating your Ozobot and enabling it to re-code to default mode.

To calibrate the Ozobot, you simply press the power button for two seconds until it starts flashing white.  You place the Ozobot inside the black dot of your calibration card.  Your Ozobot will turn green as soon as calibration is completed.

First Thoughts

The Ozobot is parceled securely in a bright and protected package with little or no chance of damage in the delivery process.  It’s simple and easy to unpack.

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Ozobot Video

Watch the video below to check out the Ozobot!

ProsCons
- Learn how to program
- User friendly
- Charges quickly
- Great price
- Ozoblockly must be purchased separately

Design

This cute robot is made of state of the art, durable plastic, and comes with a variety of skins for you to decorate and customize, making your bot truly unique.  There are numerous stickers and pop outs included in the starter pack, which you then simply adhere to the skin of the Ozobot, giving him any look you would like.

Your Ozobot is capable of attaining a full charge in a 30-40 minute time frame.  A single battery charge should be sufficient for you to enjoy 90 minutes of continuous use before needing to recharge.  There is a convenient blinking LED for you to ascertain the charging status.

You’ll need to clean your bot’s wheels on a regular basis to ensure proper function and durability. Buildup of dirt and grease on the wheels will cause the bot to lose traction and encounter other maneuverability problems.  Roll your bot a few times on a clean, white paper to absorb any buildup on the wheels.

Ozobot is not waterproof, so please apply caution in humid environments and close to water sources.

There is a tune-up function available on the app, which enables you to fix any wheel alignment problems.  Just click on Ozobot TuneUp and follow the on screen instructions.

The toy does not operate at its prime under stringent and harsh lights – sunlight and bright environments confuse the bot.  Rather operate it in a shady or indoor area.

Features

Make use of the available activity cards included in your starter pack or download the Ozobot app for hours of educational fun.  For the creative individuals out there, try your hand at drawing your own codes for your bot to obey.

The robot won’t move unless at least one of the five bottom sensors pick up a color.  So it will stand motionless on a white paper, but will immediately begin exploring and searching if you place it on a colored surface.

To register your Ozobot, simply download the app to a compatible device, create an account and follow the on screen instructions.  Your bot’s serial number is included in your quick guide.

Teachers can also make use of the Ozobot in the class environment and incorporate fun while teaching.  You can add lesson plans and educational materials by simply downloading what you need here.  For more information regarding Classroom kits, please contact ozoedu@ozobot.com

How to code and program your Ozobot

Let’s first explain what color coding means.  Combine different colors together to form a code for the Ozobot to recognize and then to perform according to the codes lain out for it.  Different color combinations deliver different instructions to the Ozobot.  So essentially, you program your Ozobot to race or slow down, to turn left or turn right, and to make U-turns or spins.  You can even program him to dance! If you want your bot to turn left draw the following color combo – black, green, black, red, black.

To go straight – black, blue, red, black.

Jump left – black, green, red, green, black

Jump straight – black, green, blue, green, black.

For more numerous alternative codes please refer to your activity cards included in your starter pack.

When drawing intersections remember that Ozobot will randomly choose its own path unless otherwise instructed by a color code.

So to summarize, draw a black line and insert the color sequence corresponding with the command you wish the Ozobot to perform, put your bot on the line and off he goes, doing exactly what you expect of him.

Ozobot works best with wide lines or paths of about 5mm thick.  The chisel tip or wide markers work best.  If possible, stick to the markers supplied by Ozobot.  It will work with other brands but may not read all the colors consistently if the colors are too dark or too light.

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App

The Ozobot is only supported on selected iOS and Android devices.  Please note that the Ozobot needs a 9” or bigger screen to operate on with the app.  The app is supported on all iPads except the 1st generation device (iOS 6.0 or newer).  Android devices need a 9” or larger screen, camera availability and a 3.2 or higher operating system.  Without these features you may not be able to download the app to your device.  While you may be able to download the app to an iPad mini, the screen is too small for the Ozobot to operate on and it’s thus pointless to download the app to this device.

Your device’s screen brightness should always be set to 100% for the optimal performance of the bot while using the app.

OzoGroove is the universal iOS and Android app.  Download the app at App Store or Goolge Play.  The app includes three games: OzoDraw, OzoLuck and OzoPath.  The choice is then between drawing digital mazes with color codes or playing games of luck or solving puzzles.

Upgrades

To upgrade your Ozobot that you received in your starter pack to work with OzoBlockly, please visit ozoblockly.com and choose the upgrade option.  Create a user account, login to your profile page and purchase the upgrade.  There is an option available for a free 14-day trial before purchasing.  Your account will now enable you to use the OzoBlocky editor with your bot.

Accessories

You can purchase extra or new markers should you need to.  There is also a Construction Accessory Kit available which essentially changes your robot into a miniature bulldozer of forklift for move building blocks and dynamite crates.

Our Final Verdict

That concludes our Ozobot review! Although older and computer savvy kids might quickly master all the bot’s tricks and become bored with the toy, this is still definitely a must buy for a fun and simple way of teaching younger kids the basic rules of computer coding and programming while having hours of fun.

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