If you’re worried about your kids staring at screens all day long but want to generate interest in future skills such as coding and robotics, you’ll want to find a coding toy that will keep them engaged and entertained, just without and apps!
Botley 2.0 is an open-ended coding robot that teaches sequential thought and problem-solving skills without the need for a screen! With 78 pieces in its activity set, kids can design their own fun with this toy.
So let’s take a close in our Botley Coding Robot 2.0 review and see if it is the toy that will help your child learn valuable STEM skills while having endless hours of fun!
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At a glance
Last update on 2022-05-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Botley the coding robot 2.0 is an educative, interactive, screen-free toy perfect for introducing kids between the ages of 5 – 8 to the basics of coding. With Botley 2.0, children can begin understanding coding concepts such as loops, if-then logic, and many more by playing several fun-filled interactive games.
Having fun with Botley is a great way to keep your kids engaged without having to worry about all the disadvantages that accompany prolonged screen time. Botley provides screen-free coding challenges for your kids to learn much needed coding skills.
The original version of Botley the coding robot was named the ‘Toy of the year’ at the 2019 international Toy fair. Botley 2.0 comes with several new features that guarantee a richer and more engaging learning experience for your kids.
- Completely screen-free coding challenges
- Easy to use
- Access to free online lessons
- Comes with visual coding cards
- Hidden features that allow Botley to turn into a ghost, train, or police car
- Doesn’t come with batteries
- The infra-red signal can easily be blocked by obstacles
- Keeping track of code with coding cards can be challenging
- Line following mode not perfect
Last update on 2022-05-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Botley The Coding Robot 2.0 Review
Let’s take a closer look – how it works
Coding requires an understanding of basic concepts such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and logical reasoning. Botley the coding robot is a great STEM toy for getting your kids aged 5-8 to pick up new coding skills.
Botley has a remote programmer with different arrow buttons that you can use to direct its movements. The remote programmer also has buttons for initiating loops, making sounds, and resetting your code when you make mistakes.
You can program a sequence with as many as 150 steps in six different directions. Botley 2.0 can make 45° turns, allowing you to perform more complex movements than with the previous version.
You can set up an obstacle course and code Botley to navigate around it. You can keep increasing the complexity as you go on, making your kid’s coding experience a lot more exciting. Purchasing add-ons such as the action challenge accessory set or the coding robot activity set gives you access to more tools for you to use your Botley with.
Botley also has the ability to follow lines drawn on a surface. The Botley kit comes with pieces with black lines already drawn on them for your Botley to follow. However, you can also draw your own lines and create a path for your robot to trace.
Your Botley kit comes with coding cards for you to keep track of your code and visualize how your code will play out when you run it.
As far as coding robots go, Botley is easily one of the best performing toys you can find at the moment. Because Botley was designed for kids aged 5-8, Learning Resources, the manufacturers put in a lot of effort to guarantee that the product is durable. Botley is strong enough to withstand the inevitable falls and scrapes that will occur during its use.
Botley 2.0’s built-in light sensor can detect objects both during the day and at night effectively, meaning that your kids can have so much fun while learning at any time of the day. Botley also responds very quickly to commands and offers a seamless programming experience.
Learning programming concepts such as if-then logic, loops, and others, is extremely easy with Botley 2.0. Most children do not have a hard time understanding how to use the remote control to program their robots. Children with no-coding knowledge can begin using Botley in just a matter of minutes.
Botley the coding robot easily outperforms many other similar toys within its price range. However, there are still a few drawbacks with this product.
A common complaint among many people who purchase the Botley 2.0 is that it does not come with batteries. You would have to buy batteries separately before you can begin using the robot. For most people, this is seen as an inconvenience.
Problems with the line-following mode
One of the attractions of the Botley 2.0 is its line following mode that lets the robot trace its way along dark lines drawn on a surface. However, this feature is not yet at its best, as Botley has navigation problems when the lines are not very thick. It also performs poorly when the contrast between the lines and the surface isn’t clearly defined.
Being a completely screen-free coding robot comes with several challenges. One of which is the inability to edit code easily. Botley users can’t revisit the middle of their code to make changes. You may have to erase your entire code and start all over if you realize that you made a mistake during programming.
Infra-red remote programmer
Botley’s remote programmer works with infra-red technology, meaning that the signal between the programmer and the robot can easily be blocked by household items or any other objects. This can make the entire programming experience a lot less smooth for users.
While I feel I need to point these out, I think you’ll agree, nothing here will ultimately be a huge drawback in your child’s enjoyment of Botley 2.0.
Ease of set up and use
Although Botley is a highly functional robot that teaches complex coding fundamentals, it comes in a pre-assembled form with a simple instruction guide. Unlike many other interactive toys, Botley saves you the time spent assembling your robot from the ground up.
Botley 2.0 comes with a remote programmer, 42 coding cards, a pair of removable arms, and 27 obstacles. Getting started with Botley 2.0 is very easy. Kids can begin learning with their Botleys right away with little or no adult supervision. All you need to do is unbox your Botley, put in a couple of batteries, and you are ready to go.
Botley 2.0 vs Botley the original
Botley 2.0 is a massive upgrade on the original version of Botley that was released in January 2018. Compared to the first version, Botley 2.0 comes with several advanced features that the original Botley lacks. These include:
Night use – Botley the coding robot now comes with a built-in light sensor that allows it to detect obstacles even at night. It also comes with light-up eyes that can glow in different colors, making the experience of using Botley at night a lot more interesting.
Improved memory and movement – The original Botley was limited because you could only program up to 130 coding sequences in 4 different directions. With Botley 2.0, users can perform even more advanced sequences with their Botleys thanks to its capacity to store up to 150 coding sequences in 6 different directions. This new Botley can also make both 90° and 45° turns.
Use up to four Botley’s in one room – You can now use up to four Botleys in the same room without having to worry about interference.
Hidden features and codes – Botley 2.0 is definitely going to keep you more engaged with its hidden features and secret codes. This new Botley has secret codes that allow it to turn into a train, police car, or even a ghost.
Extra Purchases and ongoing costs
The activity set contains everything you need to get up and coding with Botley 2.0, but there are plenty of add-ons you can buy. These add an extra layer of depth to the robot and can extend the longevity of the programming toy.
Here are a few examples of what you can buy for Botley:
- Botley action challenge accessory set
- Botley costume party kit
- Botley crashin’ construction challenge accessory set
A couple of alternatives to consider
Botley 2.0, with its several features and activities, is one of the most affordable, high-quality STEM toys available on the market. However, if you have a large budget, there are some other coding robots you can consider.
One of such is the ‘Kids first coding and robotics‘ STEM experiment kit from Thames and Kosmos. This screen-free, device-free coding robot comes with several features that make it a highly suitable choice. It comes with 30 coding lessons and 6 interactive stories, each with its own coding exercises designed to make your kids coding fun. It also has many other fun-filled STEM challenges, including a special math mode that allows children to test their math skills.
If you are looking to get a good option at a much lower price range, then the ‘Coding critters mumble and rumble’ is a great pick. Created by Learning Resources, the manufacturers of the Botley 2.0, this completely screen-free toy also provides children with the opportunity to learn early stem skills. ‘Coding critters mumble and rumble’ comes with interactive play mode features such as ‘hide-and-seek,’ ‘fetch,’ and much more.
Does Botley 2.0 come with batteries?
No, it doesn’t.
How many batteries does Botley 2.0 need?
Botley uses 3 AAA batteries, while the remote programmer uses 2 AAA batteries.
Can I use more than one Botley in the same room?
Botley 2.0 allows you to use up to four Botley’s in the same room without worrying about interference. All you need to do is pair your Botley to the remote programmer.
Are rechargeable batteries safe to use with Botley 2.0?
Yes, they are. However, it is advisable not to combine different types of batteries.
Can you use Botley without the accessory set?
Yes, you can. The accessory set only provides you the opportunity to engage in extra activities with your Botley.
Where is Botley 2.0 manufactured?
Botley is manufactured in China.
If you are looking for an affordable but highly functional screen-free toy for your kids to learn coding, Botley 2.0 stands out as a perfect choice. Although this coding robot comes with a few drawbacks, they don’t compare to the several advanced features offered by this product. I’d gladly recommend this product to anyone.
Emma Marie is a valued writer at the Little Robot Shop. She studied robotics and deeply understands technology, which shows in her writing. She consistently produces high-quality content, making her a perfect fit for the Little Robot Shop team.
While not writing, Emma works in a popular electronics retail chain. Emma also enjoys running and has two dogs with whom she loves spending time.