App review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2015
Xylo For Dash Robot
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Xylo for Dash Robot

Musical robot’s limitations make it a near miss for STEAM

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Arts, Creativity, Critical Thinking
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Pros: Easy to program so kids get almost-immediate gratification.

Cons: Xylophone gets out of tune very easily, so songs sound off.

Bottom Line: A cool concept that unfortunately wears thin due to wonky design and some creative constraints.

Teachers can subscribe to get access to lesson plans using Dash and Dot and the xylophone attachment. Early elementary teachers could offer time with Dash and the xylophone as an enrichment activity in a station, though it is a noisy activity that requires some space for Dash to move about. Music teachers could teach the notes of a scale using the xylophone and the app, though they'd want to notice the tuning of the instrument.

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Xylo for Dash Robot is a free app but requires the robot Dash ($149.99) and the xylophone addition ($39.99). 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. With Xylo, kids can program moves for the robot to complete as it bangs out a song on the attached xylophone. Kids can also program their own original songs for Dash to perform. If kids have the robot pair, Dot gives a light show as the music plays.

Dash the robot becomes a one-man band with the addition of the xylophone and mallet. Use the existing songs ("Twinkle Twinkle"; "Mary Had a Little Lamb"; "Row Your Boat"; "Frère Jacques"; "London Bridge"; "This Old Man"; "Old MacDonald"; "Three Blind Mice"; "Jingle Bells"; "Up On the House Top"; or "Hail to the Chief") and program the moves Dash makes (forward, backward, turn left, turn right, or no motion) or 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.

A kid-friendly instrument, an endearing robot, and a tablet is pretty much a guaranteed hit. And it will be, for a little while. Unfortunately, the instrument gets off-kilter and out of tune pretty easily, so favorite songs don't sound quite right, and the robot pauses playing songs just a bit between moves, changing the rhythms of the songs as a result. 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. The limited moves and options for creativity for those along with the painfully off notes may cause kids to quickly tire of making robot music.

Overall Rating


Dash is adorable and human-like. The xylophone is brightly colored, and the songs are familiar. It's all really fun until the xylophone gets off-balance and out of tune.


Preloaded songs show kids how notes combine to make a tune, and they can extend learning by writing their own songs. The simple commands show how robots follow step-by-step commands.


Teachers can subscribe (at a cost) to get lesson plans and access an online community to connect with other educators using Dash in the classroom.

Common Sense reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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