Dexter Industries Review – Dexter Industries makes it easy for everyone to be able to build, learn, and experiment with robotics. That’s because they offer a full lineup of totally customize-able robot kits that work on platforms like Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Lego Mindstorms.
With Dexter Industries, your kids can build their own robot, their own robot car, or receive a monthly robot kit subscription (now, that sounds like fun!). As you can imagine my 14 year old son was SO happy when a GoPiGo arrived at our house and we were asked to do a review. We’ve had it a few weeks and he’s still excited about it, and playing/working on it all the time.
Also cool…the website offers great teaching helps/projects –
Even more can be found on this page – https://www.dexterindustries.com/dextered/
And if you’re a homeschooling co-op, the packages below might be of interest.
As I mentioned, we received the robot car and my son had so much fun with it! So did my husband.
This isn’t a remote toy – my son had to program the car to move! First, my son programmed the car to move forward, backward and to make simple turns. He then moved on to programming the robot with Bloxter, the beginner’s programming language provided with the robot. With Bloxter, he had great control over the robot. Within a few minutes he had the GoPiGo navigating an obstacle course. The website provides short tutorials on Bloxter and you can quickly move through these, learning how to do more and more things with the robot.
I like that the robot is sturdy!
It moves a lot faster on non-carpet.
My son uses his iPad and his iPhone to control the robot – the website recommends that you use Windows – but it works fine using the tablet and/or phone – it just has to be a wifi-enabled device.
Dexter Industries review – What we like about this company and their robots –
- It’s a STEM product – which of course, is huge to homeschoolers.
- This is an opportunity for hands-on learning – and learning by doing is always a plus.
- Everything about this is fun! And educational!
- Regarding both the fun and the educational aspects – this is a quote from my son – I don’t want to put it down. Each tutorial teaches more about the GoPiGo and how to control it. I want to spend all afternoon programming and learning about robotics.
- It’s an opportunity for family bonding – my husband and son get so much enjoyment (and together-time) with this car.
- It’s an easy project to start. The software (see below) enables quick startup, even for those that are brand new to programming and robotics. Plus, the website offers great instructions on how to put the batteries in and power up the robot, and the pictures on the website make it very easy to identify the on/off button and the important LED indicators.
- Not only can you start it quickly, you can get it working quickly. But it’s not so simple that it feels like a toy. Within 15 minuets of opening the box, my son was driving the GoPiGo robot from his tablet.
- Once working, there’s so much you can do with it. My son is continuing to experiment/learn all the different things he can do with this product. He continues to peruse the website, plus, he looks up YouTube videos to see what others have done and what he might want to do with his robot. This is so open-ended – which I really appreciate.
- And as a homeschool family, we LOVE all the project possibilities.
- This is an self-esteem boosting product! My son feels so accomplished when he programs the car (as does my husband).
- I’m a fan of options – like the DIY for free, or the purchase option for the SD card.
- If you have a technical question, the site has a forum, and chances are, you can get it answered there.
Software Info, FYI
Raspbian for Robots has all the software you need built in to connect to your GoPiGo, BrickPi, GrovePi or Arduberry and get your kids programming in just a few minutes. All you need is an assembled robot and a computer with a web browser – no other downloads. All of the coding programs you need like Scratch and Python are already built-in, ready with sample programs to run, test and start learning.
Raspbain for Robots: If using Raspbian for Robots, you’ll connect the robot to a computer network with an ethernet cable first, then set up wifi.
DexterOS: If using DexterOS on the GoPiGo, you’ll just connect via wifi to the robot’s hotspot.
All of the robots require a computer or device to program and run them. (If you have a HDMI monitor, keyboard & mouse, you can also use that, but the company recommends a separate computer).
DIY for free or buy it! You can either purchase a pre-configured microSD card from Dexter Industries, or if your child is more advanced, she can download and set it up on her own SD card.
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- Dexter Industries GoPiGo Robot Review