I was so excited to be a part of Tryazon’s Ozobot Home Party. I homeschool my youngest, so I am always eager to get my hands on new tech. The Ozobot is a very simple and fun way to experience the world of coding hands on. The thought of coding for most people, equals boredom and the feeling of being defeated, before you even try it. My youngest is a computer attic. He loves everything that has to do with computers, and gaming. Since this is a hands-on method to inspire and teach, it is perfect for him. This little robot has been tested for ages 8+.
The Ozobot is part of the Stem Learning Practice, which is a big part of today’s education. What is Stem? Stem is: “STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.” It’s a feel-good moment for a parent to introduce this to their child. It definitely was for me. I feel that this is also great for older people, that are newer to computers. It’s a fun way to keep the brain stimulated, as well as keeping your motor dexterity up. It will also be a great generation gap filler for some grandparents to interact with their grandchildren. A win, win overall, for everyone.
You can get Ozobot Evo in a starter package. It includes the Ozobot Evo, a 9 piece playing field which is double sided, 1 micro USB cord, 1 carrying pouch, and 4 colored markers. The playing field has a green banded side and a blue banded side. There is a Quick Start Guide in the kit as well. You can go to http://ozobot.com/manuals to download the actual manual. That is what I did. You can check out their website for all the information you will need. (http://ozobot.com/) They even have all the different codes this little guy knows, clearly displayed there. Ozobot can remember up to 500 codes at one time. The website also teaches you how to draw lines, and add code. You can print games for your Ozobot, as well as print out the codes, too. There is a free app to download. “The Ozobot app is designed for tablets with 9 inch screens or larger, camera availability and iOS 6.0 and Android 2.3 (or newer).” I only have Android products, so I was only able to test out the app for Android. I downloaded one app: Ozobot Evo. Other Ozobot apps will come up in the search, but this is the newest version of the Ozobot, and only this app will work for it. There are sections on the app that state coming soon: Ozo Tunes and Maze Runner. We can’t wait for them to be ready. The app is free to download. There is an Ozoblockly section on the app. This is the website for that: http://ozoblockly.com/. Unfortunately, “the Ozobot Evo video tutorial is coming soon”. More to look forward too, lol. I printed out multiple pages of each printable game, and code sheet. That way, I have a folder ready to go for playtime. Now, there are online games on the www.ozobot.com website as well. There are three main sections on the website: Products, Play, and Education. So, it is pretty quick and simple to find what you are looking for.
The Quick Start Guide has you set up the playing mat, green side up. The pieces are a thick laminated cardboard, and fit together like a puzzle. Then you press and hold the button on the Evo, until it flashes white, then release and place it on the starting spot. It takes over from there. It’s a great way to get started hands on with it. It will keep going on the board until you hold and press the button and it turns off. The Evo makes the cutest little sounds and flashes multiple colors. My son love it. The app can be finicky, and sometimes the Ozobot doesn’t want to pay attention, lol. In other words, it’s just like a child, lol. They do state that it is important to calibrate your Evo each time, before you play with it. You can draw a black circle on a piece of paper, or white board. I drew some on paper , and then laminated it, for future uses. Then press and hold the power button on the Evo for approx.. 2 seconds. It will start to flash white. Quickly place it on the black dot, until it flashes green. It is now calibrated. Now, on the video it flashes white for a good bit, as well as green. My Evo barely flashes white or green, but it does calibrate, so don’t panic if yours is like mine. I had emailed support, and they were fantastic at getting back to me and answering my questions. That was a huge relief for me. I hate companies that refuse to help out.
The Education section is packed full of information to use as a family, or as a classroom set up. There are many sections to go through: Teacher’s Guide, Ozobot Tips, OzoCode Reference, OzoBlockly Getting Started, Calibration Tips, Log Sheet, and so much more. The amount that you can do and learn from this little guy, is really up to you, and how much you plan to follow and learn from this website. It is definitely worth delving into. Even though I laminated everything, it did not interfere at all with the Ozobot Evo being able to pick up the lines and codes.
They describe it as a three-tier system. First you need to draw the lines for the Ozobot to follow. Second, you drag and drop blocks of code (their OzoBlocky System) within the lines. The third thing is to take what you have learned, and create your own actions, and “world” to play in. To add another twist to the Ozobot, on their webpage, they even offer Marvel skins, that take on lights on sounds of the characters. For a reluctant learner, this might really help to inspire them.
I initially had a lot of trouble getting my Evo to connect to my app. There is a little trick to it. When you are loading your app, make sure you give it permission to use your Bluetooth. Then whenever you are accessing the app, turn on the Evo next to the device, at the same time. That way it is able to connect. Since I have started turning the app and the Evo on at the same time, I haven’t had an issue at all. This robot has become one of my son’s favorite “toys”. I hate calling it a toy since it is robotic based. It really is so much more than a toy.
We had so much fun at our Ozobot Tryazon Party. People were amazed at how interactive it was. They could not believe all the different ways you can interact with it too. We all had to agree that the lights and sounds that this little robot makes, is what really brings it alive to people. It gives it so much personality. I loved seeing all ages play with it. One is now giving one to her grandson for his birthday in June. She loves that he can learn with it, and she can interact with it, with him too. We had an older teacher there, that just fell in love with it, and everything the Evo can do. She was so impressed. This overall experience has been so much fun! I truly recommend the Ozobot Evo for all ages over 8.
You can follow Ozobot and be a party of their community on Facebook, here: https://www.facebook.com/ozobot/
There are even Ironman and Captain America Smart Skins available. We love that type of thing in my household, lol. This website has the packages available here: https://shop.ozobot.com/collections/all-new-ozobots. My son has officially put them on his wish list, since both Easter and his birthday are coming soon.
I received the Ozobots Evo to present the party, and share my experience. All opinions are solely my own and 100% honest.