Robots are wonderful tools to use to introduce kids to programming. The key is to make them friendly for young students while allowing them to graduate to more advanced concepts at the right time. Marty the Robot fits the bill. It is an interactive, cute robot that can walk, dance, kick, and move in all directions. It comes with a speaker built-in and a bunch of sensors for programming.
The good folks at Robotical were kind enough to send us a Marty to review. Our Marty V2 came fully assembled and ready to go. We simply had to connect the battery to get started. The robot has a screenless mode that you can activate by pushing a button in the back. In this mode, you can command the robot to do various moves by using the included command cards. Marty executes them as soon as it walks over them.
Marty the Robot V2 combines with your smartphone for graphical programming (Scratch). Using its app, you can create complex actions via drag & drop. Marty comes with an IR obstacle sensor and color sensor. You can attach additional sensors or even a Raspberry Pi for more advanced projects. LED feet, Eyes, and various sensors are available for purchase on Robotical’s website.
Marty has a speaker, so it can play sounds. You can change what it plays using the sound effects included in the app. As you can see in the video, Marty is quite a dancer too. It is great for beginners but more advanced users can teach it to play football autonomously or even 3D print custom parts. A bunch of stickers are included for basic customization.
Overall, we found Marty to be very easy to use, even for those who have limited programming experience. The app is user friendly and helps users learn coding at a pace they are comfortable with. Marty can grow with your children as they learn more concepts. More advanced users can always take the robot apart and add more components. You can find out about this coding robot here.