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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn tons of information (visual, text, and audio) about robotics, including about the people who make them. Robotics touches on a lot of science-related topics, including engineering, electricity, motion, and physics, and Robots for iPad presents that information alongside fun stuff for kids, like rating how "creepy" a robot looks, or choosing which robot you'd like to be friends with. Kids can also learn about the process of innovation and creativity. Robots for iPad is likely to make most kids more curious about robots, and those who already are can really dig in and learn the details for each one.
Ease of Play
The app is organized by categories: Robots, Ratings, News, Play, Learn, About. The main page includes featured robots, images of each that users can tap to open and see its full page. The Play feature includes a Face Off game, with a question like: "Which robot would you rather hug?" and two images of robots that users can tap on. Then the percentage of users who agreed with that choice appears. The Learn section includes articles that describe robots in detail, probably above reading level for most kids.
Products & Purchases
Some of the robots are linked to the websites for their developers, and at least one is for sale. But you have to dig into the robot's page to find this information -- it's not prominent. Also, the organization that developed this app pushes for membership a bit.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Robots for iPad is a comprehensive source for all things robots. Created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, kids and adults can see photos, videos, animations, and read the specs of more than 100 robots from 19 countries (at the time of this review). These robots can do everything from land on the moon to help you stick to a healthy diet, and this app can help explain the hows and whys of robotics. Some of the information and articles are likely well above most kids' reading and comprehension levels, geared more toward tech-oriented adults and teens. Still, even young kids can learn a lot through the amazing visuals and interactive features (such as rating robots' appearances on a sliding scale between "creepy" and "nice"). Robots can be brought to life in the minds of kids who explore Robots for iPad.
Is It Any Good?
ROBOTS FOR IPAD takes the complex topic of robotics and packages in an interactive, fun way. Some of the information (especially the updated news and articles) is decidedly for teens or adults who lean toward wanting to know the high-minded engineering behind the images of the smiling, helpful robots. Thus, it might make the information more accessible if they included a section (or companion app) especially for kids. Still, just the photos and videos alone will help kids start to explore the world of robots that could pique a lifelong interest.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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