REDONDO BEACH, CA — Who’s that tiny dancer in the aisles of the Consumer Electronics Show? It’s Ozobot, the world’s smallest programmable robot with an intuitive color-based language. Ozobot’s capacity for fun and learning is designed to bridge the physical and digital divide, and the “smart game piece” glides seamlessly from paper to digital tablet. Playing with the robot introduces kids and young adults to simple coding basics, while expanding their imaginations and encouraging life skills.
As Ozobot heads to its second CES, it was selected for a Kids at Play Interactive (KAPi) Award for the Best Robot. KAPi Awards are given at the start of each year during Kids @ Play Summit at CES. They honor children’s technology products that “raise the bar for innovation and excellence and make the world a better place for children.” Winners are selected by a panel of jurors, consisting of publishers, editors and analysts from various media outlets
Ozobot stands just one-inch tall, making it highly portable. It learns its smooth moves from OzoGroove, one of four IOS- and Android-compatible free Apps, created for the robot.
Ozobot Bit, with enhanced programming and educational features, will be coming in the second quarter 2015. This one-inch robot will sense colored lines, detect patterns such as intersections, read flashing light codes and play back up to 500 commands. It’s mostly based on the hardware design of the original Ozobot, but Bit is programmable via both color-based code language and a block-based programming editor based on Blockly. It can move at speeds up to 3.5 inches/sec (8.5 cm/sec), and it operates on physical surfaces, such as paper and game boards, as well as digital screens, such as tablets and mobile phones.
“We are establishing Ozobot as a platform built around programmable robots that fuse together learning and playing,” explains Evollve’s CTO, Armen Kroyan, Ph.D. “Ozobot’s small size, intelligence and versatility make it into the ultimate smart game piece that plays in both physical and digital worlds.”
Kroyan continues, “On the STEM learning and programming side, children at a young age get an introduction to basic programming concepts, logic and deductive reasoning using Ozobot’s intuitive and easy-to-grasp color-based code language. Older kids and adults can learn programming and access Ozobot’s more advanced capabilities using our block-based programming editor based on Google’s Blockly.”
The Ozobot team will expand with smart games, fun lessons, DIY projects and active social media content. “Simply put, we want to engage today’s digital generation with products like Ozobot,” explains Evollve VP, Marketing Anouk Zisa. “Through smart interactive games that entertain and educate, we can encourage girls and boys to excel in math, science, engineering and computer programming.”
Since making its entrance in January 2014 at CES, Ozobot has amassed 10 industry awards culminating with a Toy of the Year (TOTY) finalist in the Most Innovative Toy category in the Toy Industry Association’s “Oscars,” to be announced in February 2015.
About the KAPi Awards
The Kids at Play Interactive (KAPi) Awards are peer-recognition awards designed to recognize innovation and excellence in design in commercial children’s interactive media. This is an annual award that considers commercial United States products. All interactive media products for children are considered, from any publisher of any size.
Evollve is a company built around an idea that blends physical and digital technologies to provide social, educational and competitive applications with a core foundation of instilling valuable life skills. Through game-based applications and creative curriculum, the company’s focus is on designing interactive robots to entertain in the family room and educate in the classroom.