Teach Coding with Screen Free Botley 2.0

Botley 2.0 is a STEM educational screen free coding toy from Learning Resources. I first saw Botley at Toy Fair 2019. STEM has been a hot topic at Toy Fair the past couple years and will probably continue to be on for several years. I love to see all the advances that are coming in toys that would never been around when I was young. I studied engineering in college, but I wish I had had more engineering type stuff when I was a kid. I always wanted a remoted control car, but never got one. And now there are robots that code. I would have been in heaven.

This blog post contains affiliate links. Botley 2.0 was provided in exchange for an honest review.
What's In the Box
There are a few different ways to buy Botley 2.0. The robot can be sold individually by itself with the controller and the coding cards. Or there are sets that can be purchased with Botley 2.0. The set below is called an Activity set. There is also a construction set and an action challenge set.

This activity set comes with Botley, remote programmer, 2 sets of detachable arms, 2 headgears, 40 coding cards, 6 coding boards, 8 sticks, 12 cubes, 2 cones, 2 flags, 2 balls, 1 goal, and 1 glow in the dark sticker sheet.
Here is my daughter putting the stickers on the parts.
How Does It Work?
Botley has two settings, code or line. When the code is marked he will follow the instructions from the remote programmer. When the line is turned on he will follow lines as seen above. 

The codes on the programmer include: forward, turn right and left 45 degrees, turn right and left 90 degrees, object detection, light, back, loop, forward and backward. The transmit button will send the code that is entered to Botley. There are 3 sound settings high, low and off. Lastly clear is hit to clear the current code. To stop the transmission the white button can be pressed on top.

Botley 2.0 comes with coding cards. At first I thought these were cards he drove over, but these cards are made so kids programming Botley can remember what they entered. 
Botley 2.0 can wear headgear or as my two year old likes to say his mask. This will cover Botley's light sensor on top and his eyes will stay lit up. When Botley has his arms on he does not detect objects. If he does not have the arms on we will wait until the object that is in his way clears up.
My kids had fun driving Botley into the cubes.

Here he is knocking them over.

And then they set them up like this.

And all knocked over.
Botley will also carry objects in his arms. He carried these cubes around forever.

Here is my daughter trying to get Botley home. My daughter has to enter the right codes to make sure he can get in his home.

There are a ton of games that can be activated with certain codes. It is almost like the old gaming systems back in the day where pressing certain buttons on the controller made Sonic or Mario do tricks. Here Botley is doing a shark attack on the cube. 
There are lots of other codes for Botley such as dinosaur, dizzy, ghost, "all aboard", etc...He makes cute noises when doing all of them.

What Did We Think?
I see kids using Botley 2.0 in basically two different ways, free play and educational. Here is the little hint, the free play is also instructional. Free play consists of using Botley 2.0 to basically play, the kids entering codes both secret and straightforward, building obstacles, playing with him in the dark and so on. Instructional includes setting up learning activities for the kids to complete with Botley. This is where he becomes very open ended and a great tool for the classroom. I could see a teacher having a Botley for the class and setting up different weekly activities for the kids to accomplish with Botley. For example one week the teacher could set up an obstacle course and Botley would need to be programmed to go through the obstacle course. The next week the teacher could set up another course where Botley had to complete certain tasks 2 or 3 times, ie looping. Another challenge could be the kids have to draw lines to get Botley from one end of the room to another. Botley will follow any black lines. The possibilities are endless. And while they complete each task they are learning to code.

The box says 5+ but my two year old loved it and I know some savvy 3 or 4 year old children that would probably like this toy too.

I would definitely recommend Botley 2.0 for parents and teachers wanting to explore STEM with their kids. The screen free programming is ideal and he can be played with in so many open ended ways. 

Here is the packaging information.

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