App review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2012
Robots For IPad
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Robots for iPad

Get to know cutting-edge robots with engaging photos, videos, and text

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 2 reviews
Privacy rating
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Grades
6–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Science, Creativity

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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.

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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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.

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."

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

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 Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

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 Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

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.


Common Sense reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Julie C. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Falcon Creek Middle School
Aurora, United States
Robots Are Cool!
This isn't really a teaching tool, but rather a tool for teaching. I am so excited to add it to the curriculum. I am going to show one robot a day as a bell starter and have students write what they think the robot does and then show them what it does. I will edit this review after I use it.
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