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Teach your kids to code with Botzees augmented reality robots, now on sale for $70

Imagine building robots with Lego-like bricks and then using them to solve puzzles in augmented reality. Your kids are living in the future.

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Botzees

Looking for a more productive use of your kid's screen time than watching that Baby Shark song? Botzees are programmable robots designed for kids age 4 to 10 years old, sort of like what you'd get if you crossed Legos with a simple game that teaches rudimentary programming skills. Usually $100, right now you can get a Botzees kit for $70 at Amazon. If you and your kids are currently in self-quarantine, this might be just the trick for adding some excitement to playtime.

Each Botzees kit includes 130 parts that you can use to create any of six predesigned robots, or you can color outside the lines and design your own robot entirely from scratch -- something your kids will probably be ready to do after trying their hands at the stock ones. The robots include a pair of motors for mobility as well as a motion sensor that lets the robot respond to and interact with its surroundings. The instructions for assembling each bot are displayed in an iOS or Android app, where you can see each step in 3D.

When you're done, you can program the robot's behavior by dragging and dropping commands using a simplified programming language. To keep things interesting, the app comes with 30 augmented reality puzzles that your kids can solve using the programming skills they'll learn interactively as they use their Botzees.

This is the kind of toy I wish existed when I was a kid. It's great for the younger set that is still years away from being able to master something like Lego Mindstorms. To take advantage of this, I'd recommend a tablet rather than a phone -- you can use an iPad or anything running Android 8 or higher. And then settle in to share Botzees with your kids, because this is a toy you'll want to play with together. 

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