If you’re looking for something unique to give your child for their next birthday, look no further than Botzees, a charming and stimulating new toy from Pai Technology. My six-year-old son, Asher, and I had the opportunity to play with Botzees, and while it was sometimes a frustrating experience for me, Asher had an absolute blast.
What the heck are Botzees?
As you might have guessed from the name, it’s a robot. Not just any robot. It’s one that your child builds from the bottom up, programs himself, and controls via Bluetooth. That’s a pretty basic summary for a fairly complex toy.
When Asher and I opened the box, we were greeted by two pieces of paper informing us that the instructions for setting up Bluetooth functionality were not included. We would have to download them from the Pai Technology website. That’s a big no-no. For the cost of those two pieces of paper, the compnay could have simply included the instructions.
That said, the instructions were easy to follow, and we had Bluetooth set up in no time. We also downloaded the Botzee app, which is required in order to access step-by-step instructions for how to build the robot, and in order to control it. We used my cell phone, but any mobile device will do.
From there, we grabbed the large bag of pieces we needed to build our robot. I would describe them as similar to Lego blocks. I was disappointed that all of the pieces came in one bag, instead of being sorted by type or size. This presented a problem when trying to locate the pieces we needed. It took some digging, but I admit it was a lot more difficult for me than it was for Asher.
The Botzees App
The app was fun. It provided us with cute animated instructions for how to build one of six pre-designed robots (or Botzees). I liked that there was a meter showing us how close we were to finishing. You also have the option of designing your own Botzee.
I would have liked some 3D animation that showed the pieces from all sides, because some of them were difficult to identify. Also, a refresh button would have been nice, so that we could have easily reloaded each animated step if we needed to see it again.
But none of that was a big deal for Asher. He easily found the pieces he needed, and he understood the instructions without issue. In fact, about halfway through building our robot, Asher smiled and said, “This is already looking super cool.”
Are you starting to get the sense that my son is much more intuitive and patient than I am?
Anyhow, we finished our Botzee and I’ve gotta say it did look super cool. I could tell Asher was excited to see what it could do.
Controlling the Botzees
The thing that makes Botzee special is that you don’t just build the robot, you actually build the code that the robot then follows in order to perform a variety of movements, tricks, and so on. Asher and I were unable to locate instructions for how to program the bot, but once again Asher figured it out pretty quickly. Within seconds, my six-year-old was coding the Botzee to do all kinds of things, from simply moving in various directions, to flashing lights and playing catchy music. The Botzee even talks. We weren’t always sure what it was saying, but it talks.
To be clear, you don’t have to program Botzee yourself if you don’t want to. You can simply use your mobile device as a remote control. Asher particularly enjoyed the coding aspect because it was something he hadn’t experienced before, and because it presented him with a challenge that he was eager to tackle.
Just keep in mind that this is an addictive toy. If you’re going to give up your phone or tablet so your child can use the Botzees, you might not see it for a while. And it might mess with any plans you have to limit your child’s screen time.