Path for Dash Robot

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Path for Dash Robot App Poster Image
Make robot zip, moo, honk, and blink with logical commands.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn programming logic and basic robotics. Drawing the path with their fingers gives them a visual representation of the order in which the events occur. The biggest challenge for kids is predicting how the robot will move in the actual room as they complete the path on a screen, but even that is forgiving. If the robot encounters an obstacle, kids can move it and continue the program or start over. After they follow the prescribed paths, kids can create their own, igniting creativity and problem solving. Path for Dash Robot makes an excellent introduction to programming and robotics for kids.

Ease of Play

Kids don't actually have to stay on the track, and robots can be repositioned if they hit an obstacle.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Path for Dash Robot is a free app that requires the Wonder Workshop robot Dash and lets kids program a path for the robot to follow. Dot, the companion robot, does not work with this app, though it does with other apps in the suite. Dash requires a device with a Bluetooth connection and must be connected to the app each time kids play, often needing a few minutes for an update as well. As kids complete the activities in the three scenes, they'll unlock special effects that they can then use in their original programs for Dash. Read the app's privacy policy to learn about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

With PATH FOR DASH ROBOT kids work through three scenes -- a racetrack, a farm, and a city -- completing puzzles that unlock different special effects. Dash follows the path drawn on the screen and makes effects as instructed. Kids program Dash to complete the given path to unlock the next one; programming only involves dragging an icon into the correct order on the path. Once unlocked, special effects such as siren and animal sounds, spinning out in an oil slick, flashing lights, and dozens more can be used in original programs kids write for Dash.

Is it any good?

Programming logic is fun and tangible for kids as they program paths for a robot to follow while showcasing special light and sound effects. Kids can quickly and easily progress through the scenes, unlocking dozens of special effects they can then use to create their own programs. Though each scene has tracks, roads, or trails visible on the screen, kids don't have to stay on those paths when they draw lines for Dash. The actual path on the ground that Dash follows may have obstacles that aren't on the path on the device, but that's not a problem: If Dash gets stuck, kids can choose to push through the obstacle or reset the path and start again. Kids can actually pick Dash up and move him and then select Push to continue as well. Eventually, kids can program their own paths and use all the effects they've unlocked. Though the robots are prohibitively expensive for many families, the potential for learning and fun is great, and perhaps the prices will fall over time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different sounds Dash makes. Which sound realistic? Which don't? Why?

  • Practice the logic of programming by playing games that require following instructions such as "Simon says" or "Mother, may I." Explain to kids that the program has to follow their instructions exactly, so they have to give it good directions.

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