Botley the coding robot teaches children the fundamentals of coding without needing a screen!
This activity set is great for STEM learning, helping children develop their logic and planning skills, all while having fun. Programming is taught in schools and it’s widely acknowledged that coding skill are needed for the future. The activities and challenges in this kit will help kids learn how to code with confidence.
It’s simple enough for a 5 year old to use, but has the capacity to code up to 80 different steps, so there’s lots of scope for an older child to send this friendly little robot off on a complex mission! Children can visualise the path Botley needs to take by laying out the coding cards first, to work out the order they need to input Botley’s program. This makes ‘de-bugging’ their sequence easy, if their program isn’t quite right!
Children can easily program Botley using the remote to perform a variety of actions, each a ‘step’. The steps available are: move forward, turn left, turn right, reverse, detect object, avoid object, make a sound and loop (to repeat a step or sequence). Once a sequence has been programmed, press the green transmit button and watch Botley go!
Botley features LED lights on the top that show the direction of each step, so children can see what it’ll do next. It also makes adorable noises as it performs it’s functions. There are even hidden noises for children to discover. This little robot even has has object detection, which means it can be programmed to preform a chain of actions upon encountering an obstacle. Whether it’s to push past it, dodge around it, or just stop. Detachable arms are also supplied that enable Botley to move objects. Why not program Botley to move a ball into the goal, have an egg and spoon race or just give it a flag to carry?
With each step Botley takes forward, sideways or back, it travels 20cm. The activity set comes with tiles that are also 20cm, to help children how learn how far Botley will travel and make their first programs easy to understand. Botley’s chunky wheels let him manoeuvre on a variety of surfaces, so it can be used off the tiles. With 27 obstacle pieces included in the activity set, it’s super easy to set up your own obstacle course anywhere, bringing coding into the play environment!
Botley also comes with a black line mode, just lay out a path with the double-sided tiles and watch as it navigates across them, tracing the line with a special sensor mounted underneath. You can also draw a line with a marker pen on a large sheet of paper and Botley will follow it!
Once children are feeling confident with Botley’s capabilities they can experiment with making their own freeform programs! Learning Resources even has made videos to help you learn how to use Botley’s different features. See our ‘How to use Botley tab’
To use Botley and the remote you’ll need 5 x AAA batteries. (Not included)
If you are looking for a more focused introduction to the basics of coding why not have a look at the Coding Mouse from Learning Resources.