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Augie Augmented Reality Robot, from Pai Technology, merges two popular trends in the toy aisles right now: coding and augmented reality (AR). The minibot is designed for preschool kids and introduces them to coding concepts in a fun and engaging way.
Augie is a tiny, sleek-moving robot with a circular screen that looks like an eye. The “eye” will flash images on its screen depending on the action it is performing, and the speakers on the side of the bot play sounds, helping Augie to come to life. It also has four wheels on its bottom, two of which rotate in all directions so that Augie can glide with the grace of a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Once connected to the Augie app on a tablet or smart device, kids will get to dive into the many features that are available at their fingertips. There are six ways to play with Augie: Freeplay, Trailblaze, Coding Classroom, Coding Control Center, AR Adventures, and AR Coding.
When little ones want to put their coding skills to the test, they can try out one of the coding modes. The Coding Control Center lets kids feel strong and powerful as they build codes and commands for their tiny friend to follow. Coders can use the functions on the left side of the panel to control how Augie moves, what sounds it makes, and what it displays on its screen. Kids can easily edit and remove functions if they are not satisfied with the end result, and once they like what they have created, they can save the command and access it at any time. Kids will spend hours coding commands that send Augie in all direction in the kitchen, and then top it off with a barking noise that will fool even the slyest house dog.
Freeplay is an easier way for kids to interact with their smart friend. Using a smart device, kids can move Augie forward, backward, left, and right. They can even change the color of the lights that it emits, and play noises or record their own silly sounds for it to project. For even more fun, tilt the tablet and prepare to be amazed as Augie moves in the same direction. Trailblaze is a similar mode where kids draw a path for Augie to follow, and then add fun effects for it to display on its screen.
The AR Adventures combines the challenge of coding with the excitement of AR. During this mode of play, kids use the bottom control to play the game, and the touchscreen joystick to move Augie around and help him battle the enemy. Players help Augie release lasers and collect the AR coins as they improve their health and move through each level. Kids can play games such as Hide and Seek and Super Augie Maze, or even create unique games and control how it is played by dragging obstacles and setting time parameters.
When kids immerse themselves in Augie’s world, they’ll enter a universe that is full of critical thinking challenges disguised in cool technological functions and capabilities. Here at the toy Insider, we like to call that a win-win. 😉 “