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An Exciting and Affordable Way to Introduce Kids to Robotics and Coding

Edison 2.0 review. Finally, a robot kids can program that families can afford! It’s an impressively versatile little robot, too!

Meet Edison, a brilliant, affordable introduction to robotics and coding for kids! #STEMed #homeschool

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I’ve reviewed a few robotics programming toys for kids on this blog, but Edison 2.0 is the first one that I can truly call affordable! Timberdoodle sent us this robot to review; it’s part of their fourth grade curriculum kit. The price point is even more impressive when you consider all the things this little robot can do.

Meet Edison 2.0: An Exciting and Affordable Way to Introduce Kids to Robotics and Coding

Edison 2.0 review. Finally, a robot kids can program that families can afford! It's an impressively versatile little robot, too!

Edison 2.0 may be small, but it is a powerful little robot. It has intelligent sensors that react to light, sound, and even TV remote commands. Kids can play with Edison’s line following and obstacle avoiding features right out of the box. My five-year-old finds that aspect of the robot highly entertaining, but my 8, 9, and 11-year-old kids are ready for more.

Edison 2.0 review. This little robot can do so many cool things!

Teaching Edison new skills is easy thanks to the free Edblocks curriculum. We printed it off, and all three older kids got to work. The curriculum starts off simply, with Edison scanning bar codes and then executing the pre-programmed codes. The kids taught Edison to follow a line, and then my son Johnny drew a custom path for Edison:

Soon they were using the EdBlocks app to program Edison to do all sorts of cool things! Composing songs for Edison to play is a current favorite with my musical kids.

One quick note: we had trouble connecting Edison to my daughter’s laptop, but it connected instantly to the kids’ Kindle Fires.

Edison 2.0 review. Finally, a robot kids can program that families can afford! It's an impressively versatile little robot, too! #STEMed #homeschool

For now, the kids are content using the drag and drop block visual programming system, but I plan to switch them over to EdPy soon. This text based programming feature teaches kids to use Python. Python is the programming language my computer scientist husband recommends as his top pick if you’re looking for a first programming language to learn.

Do We Recommend Edison as a Way to Introduce Kids to Robotics and Coding?

Yes, we recommend Edison 2.0 as an introduction to robotics and programming for elementary school aged children particularly starting in third or fourth grade. I recommend non-screen-based programming toys for younger children. This is a toy that can grow with your child. My eleven-year-old sixth grader Emma started learning the Python programming language this summer, and there is still plenty that Edison can teach her.

11-year-old Emma and 9-year-old Johnny each wrote their own reviews for Edison.

Emma’s Edison 2.0 Review

I really like Edison. He is really durable, and you can put Legos on him. You can see through the top of him to see like all of the computer stuff inside that makes him work, and that is really cool. His wheels are really good and they can roll on Lego boards or on a even on a  bed! He is really smart. He has infrared light, so if he bumps into something then he can just go in a different direction. Infrared light is invisible to humans. He can also answer your claps, but if he doesn’t hear your claps then you can just tap on his back. He is little but not really little, like just the right size, and that is really nice so that you can just pick him up. He can do lots more things like following light and you can code him.

Johnny’s Edison 2.0 Review

Edison is a fun robot. It’s so cool how it uses infared light to avoid objects. It can also scan barcodes and when you clap, it can move. I like having Edison lessons.

Thank you, Timberdoodle, for sending this fantastic educational tool for us to test!

Have you tried using Edison to teach kids robotics and programming? What did you think? Please share in the comments. You can also drop a note on my Facebook page, or tag me on Twitter or Instagram. We would love to see any peg doll fairies you make!

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

7 thoughts on “An Exciting and Affordable Way to Introduce Kids to Robotics and Coding”

  1. This looks awesome! Thank you for posting this! How did you get the app to go on their kindles? Did you download it from the company or from the app store. If it is on the app store what is it called? I cannot find it when I search for it.

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