In 2013 an English video was broadcast highlighting the importance of learning to code and program. Various personalities whose creators of Facebook and Twitter testified. They strengthened my desire to pass on my skills to my children.
My son has just celebrated his sixth birthday, and we have offered him the Dash robot from Wonder Workshop which seemed to us much more than any manual.
But since for now, the textbooks are brand new, that the teachers have not received specific training, I think it important to take charge of this part of my son’s education. Because I am convinced that today it is more interesting to know how to program than to draw beautiful cursive letters.
Dash, educational robot to learn the basics of programming
Video of the Dash Wonder Workshop
The Dash robot is recommended for children from 5 years old, but we discovered after the purchase that the learning of the programming is advised to the children from 8 years. The difference between these two ages: the mastery of reading.
So as long as the child does not really know how to read, Dash is a playful but not very educational robot. Then, it is possible to fully exploit the applications that make it work.
There are currently five applications:
Go is the basic app, the first one to test
It allows easy and fast handling. The app transforms the tablet into a remote control and the robot starts, makes funny noises, emits lights of various colors. It’s funny and there’s plenty to enjoy.
Xylo is a music app
However, you have to buy an additional accessory, a xylophone to be installed on the robot to be able to create music. So we could not test it.
Path is the first reflection on programming
On the tablet, the child moves the robot forward. There are levels to validate and unlock. The difficulty lies in the fact that the robot evolves in the levels. Difficult to remember the location … Only fault, children accustomed to playing may end the circuit quickly.
Blocky is recommended from 8 years
We used it several times with my son since it is in this app that lies the reason for my purchase. The child learns to code through blocks of colors. It’s simple and easy to use. You just need to know how to read.
Wonder is the adult version of Blocky
That is, the child is invited to do programming in a very visual style. It is better to know how to read, but the child can also try and see what it gives. My son is still shy with this app and prefers that I am with him.
A robot to entertain children
When we received Dash, it was technically possible to use it immediately. I preferred to make sure and so I downloaded everything loaded on the eve of my son’s birthday.
Then is easy to use. And since this robot is equipped with a sensor, there is no need to worry about seeing it crash against a wall. It deviates course and avoids accidents.
This robot is visually very sympathetic. It is installed on three wheels which gives it a rather nice gait. And he has a microphone and speakers. Some messages can be recorded.
On the other hand in view of the price, I find it unfortunate that it is not sold with its accessories.
It is better to control Dash with a tablet, although it is also possible with a Smartphone.
For information, it is possible to download applications on iPad, Kindle and with Android.
Here are the formats compatible with the apps:
- On Apple iOS (iOS 8.1+) : iPad 3, 4; iPad Mini 1, 2, 3, 4; iPad Air 1, 2; iPhone 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus; iPod touch 5
- On Android (Android 4.4.2+ KitKat) : Galaxy Note 10.1; Galaxy Note Pro 12.2; Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, 10.1; Galaxy Tab 4 7.0, 8.0, 10.1; Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4; Galaxy Tab S 8.4, 10.5; Nexus 7(2013)*, Nexus 9; Galaxy S4, S5
If you have two children, it is almost more profitable to immediately buy the pack with Dash and Dot (kind of little brother of Dash), including all accessories for 300 USD.
In our current society, programming is an indispensable knowledge and it is always easier and exciting to learn by playing.
So this robot seems to me to be ideal for children today. Moreover it is robust and really easy to use.
The pros and cons
Easy to handle
Introduction to programming
| Its price
Few apps to evolve
The Wonder Workshop Dash Robot is fun to use. It intended to both – parents and children, and I do not doubt that the whole family will better understand the functioning of computers and all the robots that surround us every day.