Are you trying to get your kids into STEM?
Everybody’s doing it. And so should you, if you’re not already.
From toys that help children code to technologically advanced LEGO sets, STEM toys are now everywhere – and they probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
One of the most popular STEM toys out there is the programmable robot. The idea goes that children typically love electronics, especially those that move and have flashy colors. So why not give them a robot to teach them programming?
Of course, children are not going to be learning complex coding at this age, but these robots are an excellent way to spark a child’s interest in programming and introduce them to some of the basics.
Out of all the programmable robots out there, Ozobot and Sphero are two of the most popular ones.
Related Post: Sphero BOLT Review
Ozobot Evo vs. Sphero BOLT – Key Points:
What are the Differences Between Ozobot and Sphero?
The primary purpose of these robots is to teach programming, but they approach this very differently. Ozobot uses a unique coding language called Ozoblockly, which is similar to Scratch. However, this language does not extend past this brand’s small family of robots.
Sphero uses Scratch as its coding language.
Need credentials, anyone? Scratch was made at MIT.
Both robots require you to charge them. However, their charging methods and runtime are different. Ozobot’s products are charged with a micro-USB connector, and both the Bit and Evo take about an hour to charge. When fully charged, both robots last for about an hour.
The more massive Sphero BOLT lasts for two hours when fully charged, while the smaller Sphero Mini only lasts for one. The BOLT is charged with a wireless charger, which is particularly suitable for children who tend to break wires. The Mini has a micro USB. Both take about 6 hours to charge.
Ozobot and Sphero both have apps that extend the uses of their robots.
However, they are incredibly different. Ozobot has separate apps for each of their robots. The Bit app is mostly games that have varying degrees of difficulty. The Evo is compatible with a much larger app; however, that allows you to control the robot and program it completely.
The Sphero app is similar in that you can directly control the robot or program it to perform certain maneuvers. However, Sphero also has a web-based app that allows you to write code on a computer just like you would when programing something in the real world. Sphero’s app also works with nearly every type of device, while Ozobot is more limited.
How to Choose Between Ozobot and Sphero
Sphero is also about the same cost as Ozobot, so there is hardly a reason to consider price-related reasons when choosing between them.
The only real downside to Sphero is its atrocious charging time. You can only use it for a couple of hours once per day realistically.
Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing and charging is very easily achieved by simply placing it on the charging cradle. If you’re worried about your child’s electronic usage or are trying to stay within the AAP’s screen time suggestion, giving your child an electronic device that only works for a couple of hours a day can be a godsend!
Which One Would You Pick: Ozobot or Sphero?
Both of these robots are quality toys that can get your child into programming. Overall, we prefer the Sphero. Its programming language just carries over more to more advanced programming, and the app is high-quality.
We particularly love that you can program the Sphero on a computer, which eliminates the need for a smartphone to be involved. Oh, and watching it roll around on the floor is almost magical!
Ozobot Vs. Sphero — Frequently Asked Questions
What age are Ozobot Bit and Evo appropriate for?
The Ozobot Bit and Evo are aimed at children aged 8 years and over.
What age is Sphero BOLT appropriate for?
The Sphero BOLT is recommended for kids from 8 years onwards.
What is OzoBlockly?
OzoBlockly is a block-based coding environment used to program the Ozobot Bit and Evo. It can be used in a web browser on most operating systems.
What programming languages does Sphero support?
Sphero robot balls can be programmed using:
- Draw – a drawing environment, where users can simply draw the path they wish the robot to take,
Does Ozobot work with any markers?
Ozobot has washable markers for use with their robot toys, however, you can also use Crayola markers or even wide chisel style tipped markers (eg. Sharpie) in black, blue, green, and red.