Common Sense Review
Updated December 2012

Robots for iPad

Get to know cutting-edge robots with engaging photos, videos, and text
Common Sense Rating 3
  • Tap on a robot's image and view its specifications.
  • Select robot by type, country, date, size, random selection, and more.
  • Help kids learn the basics by reading the Learn section and watching the videos together.
  • Vote on robot-related questions in the “Face Off” game.
  • Excellent details, related articles, beautiful visuals, and smart critical thinking questions for each robot.
Pros
Kids learn about revolutionary new robots in visual, detailed, and interactive ways.
Cons
The robots' specifics and some content may be above the comprehension level of all but the most tech-minded kids.
Bottom Line
High-quality, challenging app for kids to learn and think critically about the future role of robots in their daily lives.
Dana Villamagna
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 5

This interactive app presents more than 100 ingenious robots from 19 countries and includes engaging video, surprising photos, fun opinion polls, and detailed specs.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Kids are empowered to choose which robots they want to learn more about by simply tapping on an image and then interacting with the app by rating the robot, viewing related articles, and more.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 2

Starting with the Learn page provides kids with the very basics ("What Is a Robot"). There's a Glossary of Terms and a robotics timeline, both of which can help put robots into context for kids new to robotics.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

In the classroom, Robots for iPad may be a helpful launch point for a social studies lesson about the future role of technology in daily life. It also touches on a vast array of science, technology, and design-related topics, so there are a few ways to work it into a curriculum. There's no doubt this generation's kids will interact with robotics in their lives, and this app is a good place for them to start learning about these fascinating tools.

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What's It Like?

Robots for iPad is an app created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers that includes photos, videos, animations, and specs of more than 100 robots from 19 countries. These robots can do everything –- from a self-driving car to a robotic dog that helps carry heavy loads –- and this app can help kids learn the hows and whys of robotics.

For a quick start, kids simply tap on the image of the robot that interests them and dive into learning all the specs of that robot through written content, images, and video. The app is organized by categories: Robots, Ratings, News, Play, Learn, About. The main page includes featured robots with images of each that kids can tap to open and see its full page. The Play feature includes a “Face Off” game, with a question such as "Which robot dog would you rather take for a walk?" and two images of robots that kids can tap to vote; the percentage of users who agreed with that choice then appears. The Learn section includes articles that describe robots in detail, although the articles are probably above reading level for most kids.

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Is It Good For Learning?

The Learn section is a great place for newbies to start learning about robots. A glossary, timeline, and basic descriptions in this section help explain terms (with a parent or teacher's reading help for younger kids). For tech-savvy kids who know a bit about robotics, jumping right into learning about the individual robots that interest them may be the most fun.

Some articles are very technical, but even young kids can enjoy the amazing visuals and interactive features, such as rating robots' appearances on a sliding scale between "creepy" and "nice."

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