Coding Lab for Kids: Sphero Robot Obstacle Challenge

July 17, 2019

This is a gifted partnership / This post contains affiliate links

Help a Sphero BOLT robot navigate obstacles using code in the Sphero Edu app on iPad. Explore block-based coding by programming simple movements, changing colours and more. Set up obstacles and use the iPad to program a path for the Sphero BOLT robot to navigate.

When it comes to figuring out how things work and why they work the way that they do, Tigger wants to know it all. He has a very logical brain and loves the challenge that gaming and coding bring him. With games such as Minecraft providing a learning aspect, rather than just fun and a way to pass the day. He has been fortunate to have his thirst for technology-based knowledge aided at school. With a host of coding clubs, science and technology sessions. All helping to encourage him to learn more.

We have been looking at ways in which we can help encourage him at home. Both through gaming and coding based technology. He was recently sent the Sphero BOLT to unlock play and coding patterns at home. Providing endless opportunities to be creative and have fun whilst learning to code.

Sphero BOLT

Designed to inspire curiosity, creativity and invention through connected play and coding, Sphero BOLT is far more than just a robot. Powered by the Sphero Edu and Sphero Play apps, you can easily learn programming, complete hands-on activities and share creations with the community. Race against another BOLT, weave your way through a maze or even have a disco! There really are no limits to the fun that can be had with BOLT! Advanced sensors keep tabs on its speed and direction, the 8×8 LED matrix animates and displays real-time data, while infrared communication enables new games and advanced coding tactics from BOLT to BOLT.

Sphero BOLT what’s included?

  • Sphero BOLT
  • Inductive charging base
  • USB charging cable
  • Instruction booklet

Sphero BOLT Educational features

  • LED Matrix – Programme the matrix to display characters and vector graphics, or play games on the matrix itself. We dare you to take your eyes off it.
  • Programme 3 Ways – From draw and drive commands to Scratch blocks or even JavaScript text programming, Sphero Edu focuses on learner progression.
  • STEAM Activities – Foster creativity through discovery and play with BOLT and the Sphero Edu app, all while laying the foundation for computer science.

Where can you buy the Sphero BOLT?

The Sphero BOLT is available to buy from Amazon with the coordinating Sphero Edu app available to download free on iOS, Android, Kindle, Mac, Windows and Chrome.

Test driving the Sphero BOLT

Having downloaded the free Sphero Edu app on Tigger’s tablet at home he had been making good progress with the different challenges available. However, we were looking to expand his knowledge and luckily our local Apple store offers free Today at Apple sessions, one of which is dedicated to the Sphero BOLT.

Coding Lab for Kids: Sphero Robot Obstacle Challenge

Coding Lab for Kids: Sphero Robot Obstacle Challenge, offers kids the chance to enter the fun-filled world of coding, by learning to program their very own Sphero BOLT robot. They’ll partner up for fun activities to program their Sphero BOLT to change colours, create sounds, complete challenges, and even apply their coding skills to tell their own story.

Attending our local Apple Chapelfield store at the weekend Tigger was invited into a special roped off area which featured a host of iPads, Sphero BOLTs and lots of coloured tape on the floor in funky patterns. After getting set up with the basics, Sean the Apple Advisor walked Tigger through the different coding elements that he would need for the session. Having fun seeing how fast the Sphero BOLT could go on their tiled floor.

With Tigger learning what the funky tape patterns were for as he needed to guide his Sphero BOLT around. Creating a bespoke coding programme based on speed, direction and time take to travel. Adding in commands to turn the BOLT in order to make the corners and weave its way along with the pattern. Tigger took this all in his stride with him mastering the basics and managing to complete the different courses (patterns) set out. Adding another level of difficulty, Sean asked Tigger to add in colour and pattern commands for the LED matrix as it makes its way along the course.

The 60-minute session was a great introduction into coding the Sphero BOLT and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who has a child with a coding interest. Whether you are looking to purchase the Sphero BOLT or not, I do feel that they would still take away knowledge from the session.

Coding Fundamentals and Programming Robots

Today at Apple also host a number of summer camp sessions called Coding Fundamentals and Programming Robots, which is a series of three 90 minute sessions dedicated to starting with coding fundamentals like commands, loops and functions, then use blocks of code to create a program using the Sphero Edu app for iPad. On the final day, Campers will program lights, sounds and animations to tell their own story starring Sphero.

How do I book sessions from Today at Apple?

There are a wide variety of sessions available from Today at Apple. From coding and technology-based sessions for both adults and children. To photography, video and music sessions too. Today at Apple sessions can be booked online by selecting your local store and browsing the sessions available.

2 Comments

  • Rhian westbury January 28, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    This is such a great skill to start kids learning, I wish I’d learnt more about coding, IT and tech when I was younger x

  • Yaya January 28, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    This is incredible! I am a proponent of tech and digital stuff if it’s used the right way for kids and this is definitely constructive. I learnt some coding at school when I was 14 and I get to use that in my work life now so it does open a lot of doors!

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