Robots for iPad App Poster Image

Robots for iPad

(i)

 

Interactive app best for tweens, teens interested in robots.

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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What's it about?

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 dog would you rather take for a walk?" and two images of robots that users can tap to vote, 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.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

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.  

Families can talk about...

  • Take some of the fun polls with your kid to find out what you both think robots should look like and do.

  • Read the more difficult information about robots for kids and put the scientific information into kid-friendly terms.

App details

Device:iPad
Subjects:Science: engineering, electricity, motion, physics
Skills:Creativity: innovation
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:December 5, 2012
Category:Education
Topics:Robots
Size:410.00 MB
Publisher:Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers Inc
Version:1.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

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