Xylo for Dash Robot

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
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Fun music + coding concept but slightly off-key.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn and practice the step-by-step logic of programming as well as use one octave of a scale to make music. There's no direct instruction about music or notes, but kids can easily pick up on the tunes. The programming involved is more limited than some of the other Wonder Workshop apps. Curious kids who have both robots may enjoy experimenting to see how Dot responds to Xylo's music. Though not perfect, Xylo for Dash Robot is a fun way to combine music and robotics for young kids.

Ease of Play

Young kids will need help connecting the xylophone and mallet to the robot, and the pieces will need adjusting as kids play.

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Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Xylo for Dash Robot is a free app but requires the robot Dash and the xylophone addition, which retail for $149.99 for the robot and $39.99 for the xylophone pack. A suite of five apps can be used with the robot, teaching kids robotics and programming. The robot requires a device with a Bluetooth connection and must be connected to the app each time kids play. Kids can program moves for the robot to complete as it bangs out a song on the attached xylophone. If kids also have the robot pair, Dot gives a light show as the music plays. The long but easy-to-read privacy policy details the kinds of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

XYLO FOR DASH ROBOT features Dash as a one-man band with the addition of the xylophone and mallet. Use the existing songs, which include selections such as "Twinkle Twinkle," "Mary Had a Little Lamb," "Row Your Boat," and "Frère Jacques." Then program the moves that Dash makes (forward, backward, turn left, turn right, or no motion). Kids can also create original songs on the xylophone with moves to go with it. The robot follows the commands programmed, playing the notes and moving as directed.

Is it any good?

A xylophone, a robot, and a tablet is a winning combination; unfortunately, the instrument moves and goes out of tune, and the robot pauses between moves which changes the rhythms of the songs. Kids will appreciate the nice selection of songs included and the option to add their own notes to those or to create their own original songs, but the limited moves and painfully off notes may cause kids to quickly tire of making robot music. 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 favorite songs and try to figure out the notes together.

  • Show kids a piece of sheet music and point out how the notes are written.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music and coding

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