I love it when there are educational toys which bring the physical world and the digital one together. Wonder Workshop makes the robot duo of Dash & Dot. These fantastic robots for kids (ages 5 and up) encourage creativity while providing a not-so-obvious introduction to code and programming. The giant eyeball shape, bright lights, and silly sounds go a long way in making it fun as well.
Dash & Dot – Robot Fun Plus Intro to Programming and Coding
The main robot is Dash. This spherical robot is affixed upon a base with three wheels. We were glad to see that Dash had no problems at all rolling around on carpet, much to the dismay of Speckles who could not seem to get away. The free mobility of Dash allows for some entertaining actions such as playing a xylophone or taking video via attached smartphone.
Dash contains three microphones and three distance sensors. That means some great interactive surprises with your kids or pets. Munchkin tried audio commands but couldn’t quite get the robot to respond. The distance sensors works fine as Dash detects any objects in front of it, exclaims “Oh-oh!” and stops to go around them.
Then there’s Dot. Dot is a stationary robot and doesn’t really do much aside from lighting up and making sounds. It’s more of an extra “thing” and just another item for Dash to interact with. Kids may get a kick out of Dash having a friend but don’t set your expectations too high. The stand can be removed but Dot still doesn’t move or anything.
Mobile Control & Added Playtime Fun
Children can control Dash using one of several iOS apps: Go, Path, Blockly, and Xylo. So far, only Blockly is available on Android devices. Go makes Dash move, play sounds, and light up. Blockly is for programming and allows users to drag and drop actions. Xylo is specifically for playing the xylophone accessory (not included in base package). Path ties a virtual game together with how Dash moves in reality. These are all free and my daughter was able to figure them all out on her own.
To add another dimension of play to Dash & Dot, a number of accessories are available. You can choose from a tow hook, a smartphone mount, a bulldozer bar, building brick extensions (for legos, two come with Dash), a xylophone (needed for the Xylo app), and bunny ears and tail (just for looks). These can also be purchased together for $39 or in the Wonder Pack.
Dash & Dot – Programmable Robots for Kids Ages 5+
The graphics and bright colors presented in the apps will mostly appeal to children 12 and under. Tweens and young teens will find some interest in playing with Dash (and Dot) but may get bored after a few hours, that is unless they are into robotics and want to delve deeper in coding. Munchkin doesn’t really lean toward technical creativity so her time playing with the set was short-lived.
Dash is $199, the Dash and Dot Pack is $259, the Wonder Pack is $349, the Building Brick Connectors are $19, Dash’s Xylophone is $39, and the Accessories pack is $39. Everything can be purchased online at WonderWorkshop.com. There you will also be able to find activity ideas and sign up for the bi-weekly newsletter with more ways of enjoying Dash & Dot.
I was provided with an item for review. All opinions are my own.