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Wireless Thymio Robot

Lower Age: 5+
Website: https://www.techykids.com/product/thymio-ii-2/
Price: $189.00-$235.00
Year Added: 2017

The Thymio Wireless Robot is a simple and accessible robot that manages to also be very versatile and capable. The Thymio robot has many sensors, such as an accelerometer, a sound sensor, and many infrared sensors to detect its distance from various objects. These sensors allow it to be coded for many different purposes. Thymio can also interface with Lego bricks and Lego Technic parts, which allows it to take practically any shape and to utilize a wide array of complicated motions, despite having only two motors. Thymio can be programmed with an intuitive visual programming language, which allows code to be generated by snapping code blocks to create simple if-then pairs. The distributor, Techykids, has pages on their website with useful introductions to the coding language. Thymio can also be controlled by written code and even code in Scratch, a simple block-based coding platform similar to Thymio’s own visual programming language. Additionally, any programs created in the visual programming language can be translated real-time into written code. On its own, Thymio is a great introduction to robotics and programming, but if Thymio is used with Techykids’s online courses, Thymio also becomes a great tool for teaching engineering and design. Techykids’s online courses take the participant through the engineering process, encouraging them to generate ideas for solutions to a problem, to test the solution live with the Thymio robot or online with a simulated Thymio robot, to redesign their solution, and even to communicate their solution and report about it on the Techykids website. The online courses are included when Thymio is purchased through Techykids, and without them Thymio's engineering value is not as great unless parents choose to use Thymio specifically as a tool for teaching engineering on their own. The Techykids website does have information about teaching resources (including a sample curriculum) for parents and teachers who want to use Thymio as a tool for education. And for educators it is possible to enroll entire classrooms and track student progress through a dashboard.

 
 

Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Define a problem, generate ideas, plan and test a solution, improve and optimize the solution


Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: NA


Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: Coding, computational thinking, critical thinking, programming, evidence-based reasoning, problem solving, perseverance

 

Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews

    • Rating:  NA

    • Feedback: NA

  • Parents Reviews

    • Rating: NA

    • Feedback: NA

  • Engineering & STEM Expert Reviews

    • Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

    • Feedback:

      • “The Thymio robot, along with the Techykids online Thymio courses, is a wonderful tool for teaching and learning engineering thinking and design. The Thymio robot is remarkably versatile, especially thanks to its ability to interface with Lego pieces for more complex structures and motions.”

      • “I think it is cool that Thymio has its own intuitive visual programming language that helps teach kids about programming.”