In the Spring of 2012, a tech-gadget company called Evollve Inc. was founded with the goal of creating innovative ways for tech-savvy youngsters to play, learn and interact in a digitally expanding world. There's absolutely nothing wrong with learning while having fun in our opinion. In fact, it's probably one of the best ways to keep young minds interested with the task at hand. Evollve Inc. released Ozobots to accomplish this goal!
Our Ozobots Review and Educational Tips
Hi guys, Aidan here from Core Electronics and today we’re going to take a look at an exciting new product from Evollve Incorporated over in the USA. That product is Ozobot, now what Ozobots are is they’re tiny little smart robots that we can use color coded markers and codes to program. The way it works is there’s some little color sensors on the bottom of our Ozobots and they’ll read the colors they driving over and perform action due to the color codes.
So lets just jump into it and show you how easy Ozobots are to use, now the idea behind them is any kid from anywhere with no knowledge of electronics or programming or anything like that should be able to jump in to some Ozobot play and in no time at all they’ll start understanding the ideas behind programming and coding.
So the first thing we need to do is calibrate our Ozobots color sensor, when it starts flashing white we’ll whack him on the black circle. Now he’s flashed green which means he’s ready to be programmed. Now the Ozobot just drives straight forward, all we need to do is draw a nice straight black line. What he’s going to do is read it and if it’s black he’ll just keep driving forward. So we’re just going to make this one nice and thick so he doesn’t get off course too easily. Now we just press the button on the side of the Ozobot and place him down and he’s going to go ahead and follow that path all the way along - now that’s pretty cool!
We can draw any sort of pattern or maze we want but the real value here is to be able to program them. So lets take a look actually programming an Ozobot. So lets just use the first code here, the Snail Doze it’s called, so that is what it’s going to do, just slow our Ozobot right down. So every single code that we draw with Ozobots must start with black and end with black and in between we just draw about a cm2 will work as a color code (see update on screen at 01:48) so, this one is a red, green, blue one, I’ve just got some textas here that I’m going to do that with, so red, green and a blue, that should do it. Like I said we need to terminate that one with a black code. So what we should see is our Ozobot should follow this and slow down when it gets to that code.
Alright, so we’ve covered some speed stuff now let’s have a look at a directional code. So I can see the ‘U’ Turn code here, so let’s give that a go. So, what we might do is, we’ll draw a black line, just like that, and then we’ll draw a U turn code on either side of that black line. So hopefully if we’ve done it right our Ozobot will just turn around once it gets to the end and then turn around again. Remember we’ve got to make them quite defined on our squares so blue, red, blue, blue red blue and remember every code has to start and finish with black. So what should happen here is he’ll read that code, do a U Turn and go back, and if we place him in the middle, he’ll read the code do a U Turn and go back.
So that’s the basics of Ozobot and how much fun it is. You can imagine that having a class full of kids, each with their own little Ozobot, you could draw up a ton of mazes that kids get really used to programming these things, There’s some cool moves that you can also do like Spin, Zig Zags and you can start counting and even do exit conditions for your track and stuff like that. So there is no limit to what you can do with just a pack of texts and Ozobot. The good thing is they use rechargeable batteries on the inside and come with a small charging cable which is just a micro USB plug that plugs into the side of your Ozobot. But if you wanted to extend yourself just a little bit further with your Ozobot what you can do is jump on the Ozo Blockly site. Now if you’ve ever seen Blockly before you’ll know what it is and how it works but the basic idea of it is it’s visual block based programming. So instead of having to type out and maybe getting caught up in the syntax to do with programming you can just drag and drop simple programming blocks that tell you exactly what they’re going to do and they’ve got a few variable that you can change, for example, I’ve got this one here. Now we just did that U Turn code there and what I might do is just change this one to be something similar. So what we can see is this is going to repeat this statement this statement for ever, so it’s going to repeat for ever, and its going to do this, its going to move forward 10 steps really quickly do a U Turn to the left, then move forward 10 steps really quickly and do a U Turn to the right.
SO you can imagine this is very simple for a young student to pick up and the idea is that they can just jump into it with little to no guidance, it doesn’t really need to be there, they can just read the screen and see what’s happening. Now to get this working we put our Ozobot up against the screen, theres a little white dot, so I’ve got my Ozobot against it and when I press load it’s going to flash, but nothings happening and what I need to do is hold in our Ozobot, so turn him on. So you turn on your Ozobot, put him up against the screen and press load. So if he’s flicking green which my one is that means he’s been uploaded with his instructions so that’s all well and good. He’s just got this nice green glow now and the instructions on the screen tell you just double press the button so now I can take away that text drawn artwork there and we double press the power button and we can see how it works. So that Ozobot is just following the code that I’ve written. See, that’s the idea behind Ozobot and this is the Ozobot Bit. If you need to extend yourself even further past this there’s an application for iPad and idealisers that you can download and put songs in to and you can make your Ozobot Bit dance to the beat of a song alternatively you can follow the challenges and the lessons that are online for Ozobots, they’ve got a ton of educational content on their Educational Resources List. So that is pretty much the basics of what an Ozobot is, I hope you guys have really enjoyed this little demonstration of what it is. If you want any more information about Ozobots or anything educational please jump on our website, core-electronics.com.au we’ll be happy to help you out and answer any questions you have. Thanks for watching guys and have a great day :-)