Friday, August 12, 2016

Summer Intrigue: Small Robots

This summer I saw this video on twitter.  

It got me thinking about how I might be able to use small, durable, classroom robots in my high school math classroom.  I could easily do something like this to make the geometry lessons where you find missing angles and sides of polygons more interesting.

Luckily, while I was searching, I came across a content to win one robot.  I was chosen and should be receiving the bot shortly.  That will give me first hand experience with at least one of the choices.

My plan is to finish up some research and choose a robot.  Then I'll be applying for a grant to get a class set of these cuties.

Here are the robots that I've researched so far.  If you have used any of them and have feedback, please let me know.

Dash and Dot

These bots get great reviews online.  They look sturdy and there is a good k-5 curriculum ($60/year).  There is no high school curriculum, but I could make it work.  They are the most expensive and use block style coding.


This is my leading contender so far.  You get a set of 18 bots for $1200.  There are two ways to program the bots (color or block code).  This company has k-12 lessons where you can download a program so that students can see demonstrations of concepts if you want to concentrate on the concept rather than the programming.  My one concern is that they may be delicate.  I need something durable to stand-up to regular classroom use.


Edison is very durable.  The promotional video shows it getting run over by a car and then driving away.  You can snap on regular building blocks to make a fun creation.  The programming is still drag and drop, but not block style.  It is the least expensive robot on my list.  You can get a set of 30 for $990.  However, the only curriculum available is focused on actual programming.  I just have no idea what you can do with it.


This is my second runner up right now.  It seems durable and is even waterproof.

I like the block style programming and the price is reasonable.  You can get 12 bots for $1199.99.  There are few provided lessons, but there is also a teacher community where teachers post lessons.

So, I'm excited to choose one of these products and hopefully win a grant to bring them into my classroom.  If you know anything about them, please comment.

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