When I was contacted by Wonder Workshop last month to test Dash and Dot (robots that help kids learn to code) I was skeptical at first.  Before unboxing I looked on YouTube at the Wonder Workshop channel to see videos on the product, and then went to the Wonder Workshop website to click on `Apps’ and download the apps for use with my iPad 3 and iPad mini, both using iOS 8.3 at the time of this writing.

dash Robot photo
Photo by diane horvath

The Sunnyvale, CA startup (formerly known as Play-i) founded by former Apple, Google and Frog Design employees made a splash in 2014 when they raised over $1.4 million in a Kickstarter campaign for programmable robots, Dash (the explorer”) and its sidekick, Dot (the storyteller”). Make sure to catch Dash and Dot videos on Youtube.

Bragi solves this problem by including a charging case with an internal battery that can quickly charge the Dash up to five times on the go. The case is about the size of an old iPod classic, and comes with an impressively sturdy anodized metal cover.

I programmed Dash to watch for movement from my office door, and when one of my Cats walked towards the door and came close enough, Dash would turn on the sirens, flash red and blue and chase after them, after Dash had completed the chase, Dash would return to the same spot Dash started at, and that would be the end of the sequence I programmed.

Dash alone costs $149.99 which is a real robot while Dot is the brain of Dash that can be purchased separately for just $49.99. You can purchase the Wonder pack which includes both Dash and Dot robots, Xylophone, building brick connectors and various accessories for just $279.99. They also have holiday pack, launcher and various other accessories that can be purchased separately in their website.

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