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Augie Augmented Reality Robot Review by Audrey TollePai Technologies
My kids love coding, however they have had very little hands-on experience getting to play around with their budding coding knowledge, with the exception of a few websites that provide some simple coding games. This product brought the fun of coding to a whole new level. The Augie Augmented Reality Robot, by Pai Technologies, is a robot that kids can control from their device while learning the coding language and while also getting hands-on practice with it in 3-D form. It is recommended for ages 5 and up, with parent supervision and retails for $199.99.
The Augie Augmented Robot comes with instructions on how to set it up to both your internet and to your device. First you will need to charge it completely and then connect it. It was a slightly more complicated process than we originally thought it would be, but the directions were straightforward and comprehensible, and we figured it out, with no complications. Once you have it set up and connected, you can open the app and begin the fun. I was searching for the instruction booklet and realized that the box did not come with instructions detailing how to use the Augie AR Robot, just with instructions on how to set it up. However, I was able to find the instruction booklet on the Pai Technology website and print it out. The instructions are helpful, though my kids don’t seem to need them, just their less technological parents.
My kids enjoyed the “free play” mode at first, simply making the robot move where they wanted it to by using the remote control on the screen. Then they discovered that they can make the robot make animal noises and other fun sounds such as music, vehicles sounds, emotions and even record their own voice for the robot to repeat. Once they were ready to actually play around with the coding portion, they were able to figure out a lot of the steps on their own. There is a Trailblazer section, where you basically map out with your finger where the robot goes, and you can add special cues in as well. Then there is the Coding Classroom and the Coding Control Center where they learn more about the coding logistics and is similar to other coding programs we have used.
The Augmented Reality piece of this robot is incredibly cool. They have a built in AR game where Augie blasting monsters. There is also the ability for the kids get to set up courses for the robot on their screen with monsters for them to avoid and coins for them to collect. Then when they set the robot to go through the course, on the screen it looks like a video game, while in reality, the robot is moving across the floor according to the design they had set up on the app.
While my younger 5 and 7-year-old love the Augie Robot in free play mode, my 9, 10, and 12-year-old kids spend hours with this robot making courses and dealing more with the coding aspect of this “toy.” The battery can last a good two hours while being played with continuously. It can last up to 180 in stand-by mode.
Overall, I think this is the coolest way to teach coding to students. It is astoundingly fun and the learning possibilities are endless. I don’t see my kids losing interest in this phenomenal toy any time soon.
-Product review by Audrey Tolle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2018