Hands down the most fun anyone can have learning to code just got even more fun with the Ozobot Black Widow Skin
I started playing with robots in middle school as part of MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement), and it was nowhere near as fun as the Ozobot. You had to manually type lines and lines of code to get it to do even the most mundane things, then it got even way more complicated when you had to incorporate the sensors, and the sensors never really worked that well. The robot itself was thus hulking brick that had two wheels on one end, a single-centered wheel on the other, and two bent close hanger wires as antennas that were the sensors. The sensors didn’t work very well, as it would take essentially a crash in order for it to actually sense anything… It was a frustratingly boring experience that took hours to see a robot go five feet and make a left turn, or days to get the robot to sense it was about to run into a book and turn around. I will admit it was kind of cool seeing it actually work, but the payoff exceeded the investment by too much for me to continue.
If I had an Ozobot instead of the slow loading brick, I might still be in robotics. The Ozobot is extremely simple to begin using and playing with. With the app installed, you can control it like you would a remote control car or video game using a digital d-pad and have access to all the sounds and functions via a button layout. With the app, you are also able to program controls and functions and visually see them in a simple to understand layout. It is extremely intuitive and allows for instantaneous interactions. So no waiting or loading from inputting commands to executing. This allows for fast and consistent testing of your code instead of your patience.
I could go on, but my main focus is to talk about the Ozobot Black Widow Skin. One of the greatest things about Ozobot, which is a hard list to narrow down because Ozobots are among the greatest learning toys ever created, is that Ozobots can be altered/upgraded with skins. These skins add new capabilities, functions, and a new look to the Ozobot. Ozobot launched with a Marvel partnership that included Iron Man, Hulk, and Captain America Skins. Now we have the Ultron and Black Widow Skins that add countless possibilities.
The Ozobot Black Widow Skin adds numerous capabilities and functions to Ozobot. First, if you don’t have other Marvel Skins, it grants access to the Marvel Avengers Zone. This is basically like the standard Ozobot UI, but specific to functions and features to the Skin you are using. It automatically features the connected Skin in the opening image, which is a small detail, but one that shows the depth in which the creators have gone and also a nice reminder in case you have multiple skins. In the Marvel Avengers Zone, the different sound bytes, patterns, and modes specific to the Black Widow Skin is accessible. Another nice feature is the easy access record button, that lets you begin a code sequence or record your inputs. The first thing I did was have Black Widow run around the table and say a witty line every time she turns. There are also different modes: Stealth, Punch, Zig Zag, that alter her movements.
There are a number of functions and voice lines you don’t have access too because they correspond to other skins. So I can’t say much on that at the moment, but from the videos I’ve seen it seems like preprogrammed actions that have the Ozobots act in unison. You would be able to recreate the actions yourself through coding/programming, but they are definitely more advanced and it’s best to have them easily accessible and executable for less savvy users. Then there are also to STEAM activities to really help you develop your skills, and likely even code your own programs that make the pre-programmed ones look basic.
The one thing I don’t like about the Ozobot Black Widow Skin is that her eyes light up. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but considering the character is human, it feels weird to have her eyes light up. Also because I had the lights colored red, it looked particularly scary and I would hate to wake up and see something with glowing red eyes.
The Ozobot Black Widow Skin is a great addition to your Ozobot. It opens up a unique array of functions, a whole new set of voice lines, and a whole bunch of interactive features with other Marvel Skins. The brilliance of the Ozobot Skins, in my opinion, is how the possibilities compound the more Ozobot/Skins you have. Being able to code and program your own Avengers fight scene is ridiculously fun. Honestly, it’s a little too much fun and looks weird when the 6′ 4″ guy is giggling at his desk with markers and a 3-inch toy running around pieces of paper. But hey, not only am I having a giggle-inducing good time, I’m learning how to code. I’ve been able to learn and execute more in the few days playing with Ozobot than I got to do in the 4 months I had with the really expansive and boring robot I had to program in middle school. The Black Widow Ozobot Skin is one of the best ways to enjoyably teach an increasingly sought after professional skill. If you’re worried about your kids wasting time playing with a phone/tablet and toys, get the Black Widow Ozobot Skin, or any other skin, and Ozobot and watch those playtime hours turn into origin story of a master coder. I give the Black Widow Ozobo Skin a 5/5
Head over to Ozobots Site to pick up you Black Widow Ozobot Skin