Lower Age: 4
Upper Age: 7
Price: $99.00
Year Added: 2021
Amazon URL:
Indi contents
Indi, by Sphero, is an endearing, car-like programming robot intended for children ages 4+.

The surprisingly sturdy carrying case holds Indi itself, a charger, rubbery rainbow tiles, and programming challenge cards. Also included are brief instructions for setting up Indi and connecting it to the programming terminal. To use Indi, you will need to download the free Sphero Edu Jr app, available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, as well as iOS 12.0 or newer device or Android 5.0 or newer device. Indi will also need an ample flat space to drive on.

Indi is a fun and intuitive introduction to programming where users place colorful tiles for Indi to move over that instruct it to move in specific ways and navigate around its space. The Sphero Edu Jr application allows users to change each tile's command using block programming when simply placing tiles and watching Indi move around becomes second nature. Indi is a fantastic toy for children with little exposure to programming; the block programming style combined with the representation of commands by symbolism instead of words also makes this app accessible for younger users. The included challenge cards encourage users to do different things with Indi, including driving it around various tracks and exploring how combining various tiles can move Indi in new ways. 

Indi is an excellent choice for younger users, but older users or more experienced programmers may find the block language and symbolism rudimentary. However, Indi's sweet demeanor and the number of different things you can try with the tiles make up for the lack of advanced programming languages. The use of challenge cards and the ability to change what each tile does encourages even advanced users to use iterative design. Indi also teaches perseverance and logical thinking, as it is often challenging to complete each maze perfectly on a first attempt. Indi can also help develop spatial reasoning skills: because of the limitations of its movement, users must also consider the spacing of each tile and how the robot will maneuver through each new maze. Indi by Sphero is a fantastic introduction to programming, design, and logical thinking skills and makes even the most challenging programming problems seem fun. 

Framework Categories

Engineering Thinking (EThink)
Computational Thinking

Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.

Dasgupta, A., Rynearson, A., Purzer, S., Ehsan, H., & Cardella, M. (2017). Computational Thinking in K-2 Classrooms: Evidence from Student Artifacts (Fundamental). 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings.