I’m not certain if there is a word for these educational building kits, but they usual follow this particular mold of having different pieces, a big brick that serves as a CPU, and a lot of programming. I have talked about LEGO MINDSTORMS and Jimu Robots, and I have written books about them. It was at CES last January where I discovered Pai Technology and their Botzees, and I finally got a chance to test them out.
I will start by saying that most of these programmable building toys, which I’m going to call them from now on, the bricks are usually pretty small. The MINDSTORMS are basically the LEGO Technic Bricks, and the ones for Jimu Robots are even smaller. The Botzees blocks are very large, and I believe that they are comparable with Duplo. I don’t know if they are compatible with LEGO Duplo or otherwise, and the website doesn’t brag about it like the ones for Circuit Blox.
I believe the bigness of these blocks makes them perfect for smaller hands, and it is made for ages 4 and up, which I believe is the youngest I have seen a toy like these targeted for. The Botzees kit comes with about 130 pieces, and they include a CPU kit that has motors on the sides. It also includes these weird pair of eyes as well as another motor brick.
The Botzees came without any instructions, and it just told me to download the app. It was very similar to the Jimu Robots, and it allowed me to view instructions for 6 models. I built about two of them, and I will have to say that there was one that was a truck that was really great. Once it was built, I could control it with my smartphone so it can go forward and backward, and then turn left and right.
Now, I didn’t really create any models of my own, and I’m not certain if I have the ability to go as far as I could with my MINDSTORMS and JIMU ROBOTS creations. I definitely want to try if I had more time, but realistically, I can only give reviews a certain amount of hours. I was pleased with the playtime that I had with the Botzees, and what is interesting is how there is some augmented reality element, not that I had a chance to really get into it.
I also didn’t have a chance to figure out the coding element, but it looked something related to Blocky where you link pieces together to create a puzzle that does…something. I always felt that augmented reality is something that really needs to take over.
You should be able to purchase the Botzees kit from Pai Technology from Amazon at about $99.99