Reviews / Giveaways STEM

Botley The Coding Robot – Review and Giveaway

February 16, 2020

{Botley was gifted to us for the purposes of this review and giveaway, thoughts are my own and honest}
Meet Botley, the screen-free coding robot that my kids have come to love. It’s cute, simple to operate and a great alternative to programming apps and games that require screen time or internet usage.

Unboxing Botley – What’s in the box?

Included in the box when Botley first arrives, you’ll get:

  • Botley the Coding Robot
  • Remote programmer
  • Detachable robot arms
  • 40 Coding cards
  • 6 Double-sided tiles
  • 27 Obstacle building pieces
  • Started guide with coding challenges
Botley the coding robit is a small cuboid toy with wheels on the side that is programmable with a remote control. Botly is seen in this imae along with some of its accesories such as two small cones that hold flags, a round goal, small stacking cubes with faces, and some card puzzle pieces. all in bright blues, greens and oranges colours
Botley and some of the accessories

Our First Impressions of Botley the Coding Robot

All three of my children were super curious and excited to get into the box, the little peep window adds to the excitement.
Botley is small and cute. It looks and acts a little like a remote control toy and I guess in a way it is but it does a lot more. I did see somewhere in the packaging that it is ready to use straight from the box but actually is does need batteries that are not included. (You’ll need 5 AAA in total). It’s aimed at the 5+ age group and I think that’s probably about right. It introduces basic coding language such as programming, loop, if/then and so on.

Botley has 4 small coloured lights and a button on top, the lights correspond to its actions. It talks, it can detect objects in front of it and had soft rubbery wheels that help it grip the floor (it works better on hard or smooth floors rather than carpet) I love that there is no screen involved. We’ve done other coding challenges and lessons which have required internet use and computers but this doesn’t need any of that.

What does Botley do?

Botley is a great introduction to coding concepts. There are two functions which you can choose from by sliding the switch underneath – Line or Code.
The Line option is fairly self-explanatory in that it follows a black line. The 6 double-sided puzzle shaped boards fit together and one side of them is white with a black line. Just put the pieces together and place Botley anywhere along the line and it will follow it along, round and round. Even if it comes to the end it will turn round and carry on again.

Switch for ‘code’ and ‘line’ options

The Code option is slightly more in-depth.
You start by pressing a sequence of instructions for Botley to follow – For example if you press the forward green arrow, then the blue right turn arrow and then the forward green arrow again, and then ‘send’ that program to Botley, it will flash its lights to say its instruction is received, and then move forward, turn to the right and move forward again.
You can send a sequence of up to 100 steps so your child can certainly build up the instructions as they advance.

To practice these steps, we used the sticks and cubes to make a small maze and Dexter tried to make Botley push a ball through to the goal. We used the coding cards to help him keep track of the steps.
I LOVED the trial and error aspect of this and watching him figure it out and keep persevering until he got it. ( You can see this on my instastories if you want to look)

Botley and the coding cards

In the instruction booklet, there are a few easter eggs for you to try out such as making Botley say ‘Wheeeee’ or make it dizzy. It also gives you challenges that introduce you to more coding concepts such as ‘if/then’ (‘if’ an object is in its way, ‘then’ do these steps) and ‘loop’ (where certain parts of a program can be looped or repeated.
It’s worth keeping hold of the instruction booklet to refer back to and to practice the different challenges.

Who is Botley aimed at?

Botley is aimed at a target age group of 5+
Paisley has not long turned 4 and she enjoys using some of the less complicated challenges. I would suggest that depending of course on the child in question, 4-8 years is a good age group.
At the time of writing, Botley is available from Learning Resources directly for the cost of £79

Botley the Coding Robot: A Summary

Cute, screen-free coding toy, friendly features and easy to use. Good size controller, well made. Botley is suitable for 5+ years and is a fantastic product for basic coding activities such as following a black line, following instructions, object detection and performing loops.
Any negatives..?
I think the motor could be a little more powerful. Even with brand new batteries, it’s not great on carpet.
Also, perhaps instead of the challenges being in the instruction booklet, they could have been printed on to laminated ‘lesson cards’ to work through – But I’m sure I could probably put something together myself like that.

Coding fun with Botley

Botley’s Crashin’ Construction Set

Along with our Botley, the kind people at Learning Resources also sent us one of their brand new Botley accessories.
The crashin’ construction set contains scoop, crane and wrecking ball attachments along with a signpost and a few crates for your child to create their own challenges. My three love using the wrecking ball to knock down towers.

Botley Crash!

Win your own Botley and Crashin’ Construction Set

As part of this review, Learning Resources are giving you the opportunity to win your very own Botley!
Not only that, but they’re also throwing in a Crashin’ Construction Set too!
There are lots of ways to enter using the gleam form below. If you want to use the option to enter by leaving a comment, I have a few suggestions or prompts you could use…
Why not tell me who you would like to win this for. Or why STEM education is important. Perhaps you could let me know your child’s STEM hero or what your favourite Learning Resources toy is (if you have any)
Good luck, I look forward to announcing the winner soon!

Botley the Coding Robot and Crashin' Construction Set

This giveaway is to win Botley the Coding Robot and Botley’s Crashin’ Construction Set
Giveaway will run from Monday 17th February 2020. Giveaway closes 11:59 PM, UK time on Saturday 29th Feb
The Giveaway is open to UK residents only.
The prize will not be shipped to non-UK addresses.
The winner will be selected at random by Gleam and contacted in due course.
The winner will need to reply within a reasonable amount of time with the correct information needed for shipping the prize. Failure to do so will result in their prize being void and a new winner selected.
Information gathered via entry will only be used for the purposes of this giveaway and will not be passed on to any third parties.
No purchase necessary.

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  • Reply Tracy Nixon February 17, 2020 at 10:00 am

    I would love to win for my little niece please! Sounds perfect for her curious little brain!

    • Reply Emma England February 29, 2020 at 7:16 am

      I would love to win for my son who is about to turn 5. I have been looking at all types of STEM toys for his birthday. My favourite are coding critters and Botley the coding robot.

  • Reply Lucy February 17, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Great Review… Very informative!

    I’ve been wanting Botley ever since he came out so it would be wonderful to win him

    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 17, 2020 at 10:50 am

      Haha, I had my eye on him for a while too! Good luck

  • Reply Gill Barwood February 17, 2020 at 10:28 am

    I want to win this for my daughter who is an early years teacher in a small infant school. It would be a great resource for the children in her class to help them with their learning.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 17, 2020 at 10:49 am

      Lovely idea! Good luck

    • Reply Sue Carter February 29, 2020 at 8:53 pm

      I would love to win this for my 5 year old grandson. He really needs to be challenged to keep him out of mischief!

      • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 29, 2020 at 9:40 pm

        Hahahaha Don’t they all!? Good Luck!

  • Reply Peter Watson February 17, 2020 at 10:30 am

    My granddaughter is a bright 5 year old and I see coding will be an essential skill for her future.

  • Reply Sally Collingwood February 17, 2020 at 11:13 am

    I would love this for my grandson Alexander, he would find it very interesting

  • Reply Nicki Evans February 17, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I would love to win this for my nearly 5 year old son. I think he would love playing with it and learning lots too.

  • Reply Heti February 17, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Nice review! Would love one to have a play with.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 17, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      Good luck!

  • Reply ronnie73 February 17, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    My grandson would love this

  • Reply Joff February 17, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    We’re STEM-mad (or just mad?!) in our house and with a 6YO and a 4YO, Botley would be a fantastic way to introduce them to coding concepts.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 17, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      Yes! My 6 and 4 years olds both love it. Good Luck!

  • Reply Bhavani February 17, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    It would be a great gift to keep my son occupied. Looking forward.

  • Reply Iain maciver February 17, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    this would be perfect for my nephews

  • Reply Susan B February 17, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    It would be for our youngest who is just starting exploring how toys work as well as playing with them.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 17, 2020 at 4:33 pm

      Fantastic, good luck

  • Reply Sarah Herniman February 17, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    This would be a great thing for me and my eldest to do together!

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 17, 2020 at 4:32 pm

      Good luck!

  • Reply Ashleigh Allan February 17, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    I would love to win for my son
    I think he would love it

  • Reply Martina Pichova February 17, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    I would love to win this for my 5 year old daughter, she could learn so much!

  • Reply Katie February 17, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    I would love to win this for my nephew.

  • Reply fiona waterworth February 17, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    My youngest is just starting coding at school, mind you I think I need Botley to help me understand as well, nothing ever seems the same at schools my second child is 2 years ahead but even in this short time everythings moved on, barmy how do parents keep up

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 17, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      It changes so quickly doesn’t it?! Good luck

  • Reply Ellie Candy February 17, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    This looks like a great toy. We love STEM here too. My daughter loves coding.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 17, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      Awesome! Good Luck!

  • Reply claire woods February 17, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    Would like to win for my son. He’s interested in coding.

  • Reply Stephanie Coals February 17, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    It would be fab for my 6 year old nephew who is just starting to develop a real interest in gaming and computers. I really see coding and computer literacy as essential skills for the future so what better way to introduce it than through play.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 17, 2020 at 9:02 pm

      Absolutely – and it’s brilliant to have toys that grab their interests from the start! Good luck

  • Reply Rebecca Sutton February 17, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    I love STEM toys for my daughter, its a fun way to get them thinking.

  • Reply Anthony Harrington February 17, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    I would love this for my Grandson, he would enjoy using this

  • Reply Magsd February 17, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    My wee boy is 4 and just loves robots he would love to learn how to use Botley we also like coding critters

  • Reply Lydia Joy February 17, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    I’ve had a few different things from learning resources and they’re all fantastic. Coding robots are fab – we had a roomba at school and it was the most fun days when we got to play with it!

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 18, 2020 at 2:41 pm

      Oh Wow! We never had anything like that when I was at school. Good Luck

  • Reply Solange February 17, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    I would like to win for my daughter.

  • Reply Margaret Gallagher February 17, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    My nephew would be thrilled Thankyou Great )learning fun and pay

  • Reply Rebecca bell February 17, 2020 at 11:41 pm

    I would love this for my daughter (nearly 4), niece (7) and nephew (12). As a woman in research and development having studied engineering I would love to be able to help them love STEM subjects too in such an engaging way.
    Love the review!

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 18, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Exciting stuff! Good luck!

    • Reply Catherine S February 19, 2020 at 9:58 pm

      I’d love to win this for my twin girls as they’re very interested in how things work

  • Reply Adrian Bold February 18, 2020 at 2:51 am

    My nephew would love this and it looks educational as well. Thanks for the competition.

  • Reply Robert Mark Ward February 18, 2020 at 5:04 am

    I would like this for Grandson 2, he is autistic & can have trouble relating to people but loves computer stuff.

  • Reply Kelly Y February 18, 2020 at 6:03 am

    We love learning resources toys. Recently bought my son Gears Gears Gears! It’s an excellent toy teaching cause and effect , pattern recognition, colour, etc…

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 18, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Ohh that sounds fab! Good luck

  • Reply Angela Treadway February 18, 2020 at 9:15 am

    i would love to win this for my youngest son x

  • Reply Ursula Hunt February 18, 2020 at 11:00 am

    I would love to win for my granddaughter, coding is such an important skill nowadays that it would be great for her to learn as well as have fun

  • Reply Debbie Skerten February 18, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    I would love to win for my Granddaughter. It’s so important to keep up to date with all these new teaching methods and STEM make it fun.

  • Reply Laura Pritchard February 18, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    For my 4 year old daughter – she loves this kind of toy and, as a girl, I’d like to encourage her into STEM.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 19, 2020 at 1:18 pm

      Yes! Can’t love this comment more. More girls in STEM
      Good Luck

  • Reply Joanne Hutchings February 18, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    I’m trying to win this for my six year old son. I think coding is something that’s completely new to him so this seems like a really fun introduction.

  • Reply Sophie Roberts February 18, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    I would love to win this for my nephew!

  • Reply Lucy Carter February 18, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    I’d love to win this for the child I work with who has SEN. It would be a fab interactive way for him to learn coding

  • Reply john prendergast February 18, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    I would like to win for my niece

  • Reply claire w February 19, 2020 at 12:33 am

    Coding is such an important skill now and think this would be a fantastic way to encourage fun learning!

  • Reply Helen H February 19, 2020 at 10:16 am

    My nephew, he loves to build to things but he would absolutely love having the knowledge to “make a toy work” – I think these things are great at breaking down compicated ideas!

  • Reply Lorna Ledger February 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    For my Friends Son Rio, 3, I think it sets them up for how the world is/will work in the very near future

  • Reply Bex February 19, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    I would love to win this for my daughter – and my husband! He’s desperate to teach her coding so this will be a gentle intro for the two of them (she’s a little young but sure she’ll love being with Daddy nonetheless). Here’s hoping – it would keep both of my two occupied!

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 19, 2020 at 11:09 pm

      Hahaha that sounds brilliant! Good luck

  • Reply justine meyer February 19, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Would love to win this for my granddaughter

  • Reply Julie Ward February 19, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    These sound interesting, I’m sure my grandson would love it

  • Reply michelle o'neill February 19, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    would love to win for my granddaughter

  • Reply Helen R February 19, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    This looks fab! We love Learning Resources and have quite a few of their toys. My 4 year old loves their design and drill and my 8 year old loves their magnetic marble run!

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 19, 2020 at 11:08 pm

      Those both sound brilliant fun! Good Luck!

  • Reply Michaela Turner February 20, 2020 at 6:45 am

    I love encouraging my little ones to learn in fun ways and this ticks that box

  • Reply Michelle Ferguson February 20, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    I would love to win this for my nephew. I might even have a go myself as having to learn code myself after my job changed

  • Reply Margaret GALLAGHER February 21, 2020 at 6:59 am

    Love for my nephew- learning through FUN and play -always a winner

  • Reply Ruth Harwood February 21, 2020 at 9:13 am

    My daughter would love this – she loves examining things and playing with numbers – she’s getting better every day! We love board games and puzzles xx

  • Reply Natalie Burgess February 21, 2020 at 10:10 am

    When I hear the name STEM, I think of highly inspirational and educational products, my little girl would learn so much from Botley xx

  • Reply natalie s February 21, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    I want to win this for my daughter! would be great for her x

  • Reply Jennifer Toal February 21, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    My god son it would be fabulous

  • Reply Danielle Spencer February 22, 2020 at 7:43 am

    I would really love to win this for my nephew, his uncle is a coder so this would be a great start to ‘helping’ uncle.

  • Reply Maxine Lewis-Enright February 22, 2020 at 10:55 am

    We haven’t had any stem products before but would like to try it out. I would love to win this for my daughter as I think she could benefit from it xx

  • Reply Rebecca Beesley February 22, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    My daughter is very STEM minded – always collecting boxes to build things, totally fascinated by space and asks a million and one questions about all things sciency! This robot would blow her mind.

  • Reply donna jones February 22, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    would love to win this for my grandson bertie he would find it very interesting

  • Reply EMMA WALTERS February 23, 2020 at 9:09 am

    i would love this for my son, hes always been interested in stem toys x

  • Reply Sheri Darby February 23, 2020 at 10:07 pm

    This looks brilliant. You are never too young to learn coding

  • Reply Rebecca Morris February 24, 2020 at 7:18 am

    I’d like to win it for my 6 year old son, he’s just started getting in to coding which is so important as I’m sure lots of jobs in the future will require this skill

  • Reply Gaynor Vincent February 24, 2020 at 8:59 am

    I would love this for my neice – we are are a family of stem fanatics and I want to get her on board too!!!

  • Reply Susan Smith February 24, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Would love to win this for my Grandson, he has a very enquiring mindand would get a lot of pleasure from this, like all stem toys, great for learning

  • Reply Karen Barrett February 24, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    I’d love to win for my grand-daughter, she has just started a coding c;ass at our local HUB

  • Reply Laura Roach February 25, 2020 at 10:13 am

    I remember having something similar to this many, many years ago in nursery school! I’ve got a niece who would absolutely love it. If she can prise it out of my hands.

  • Reply Allan Fullarton February 25, 2020 at 10:18 am

    My Nephew would love this!

  • Reply Jules Eley February 25, 2020 at 11:30 am

    What a great review.. I have been looking at these for my daughter 🙂

  • Reply sandy lynn ralph February 25, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    this sounds like fun and educational , the grandchildren would love it

  • Reply Suzie Wilder February 25, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    My son would love this – he loves coding!

  • Reply lynn neal February 25, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    I have five grandchildren who love to play at my home and this would be great to get them thinking!

  • Reply kimberley ryan February 26, 2020 at 11:24 am

    would love to win for my twin boys, they would love this

  • Reply Fiona Rennie February 26, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    I think my son would love something like this

  • Reply Spof3007 February 27, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Looks fun!

  • Reply Kim Neville February 27, 2020 at 10:04 am

    My son would enjoy playing with this and working it out 🙂

  • Reply Alison MacDonald February 27, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    I would love to win this for my granddaughter Lily she would love it xx

  • Reply paula cheadle February 27, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    My granddaughter keeps on that she wants Botley the Robot

  • Reply Cara Towers February 27, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    My sons would both love this!

  • Reply betsy ferguson February 27, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    i am always looking for ways to entertain my grandkids, especially educational orientated, so i would appreciate this prize x

  • Reply Sharon Hirst February 27, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    I would love to win for my nephew, he’s nearly 5 and very curious

  • Reply Ellen Stafford February 27, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    I think my niece would love this!

  • Reply Patricia Barrett February 27, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    I would like to win this for my nephew who would love it and figuring out how it works.

  • Reply Gill Barwood February 27, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    I’d love to win this for my daughter’s class. She’s a reception teacher in an infant school and the kids would really benefit from this amazing set

  • Reply Charlotte Freeman-Coates February 28, 2020 at 8:40 am

    My little sister would love this they have something similar at school and she’s always asking if we can get one

  • Reply Gemma Hendry February 28, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Id love to win for my daughter, she turns 4 in March and i think this is super educational for her

  • Reply Troy Easton February 28, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    I would give this to my Brother as he is just started learning a little bit about coding this looks like something that would help and also be fun for him.

  • Reply Patricia Avery February 28, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    I’d love to win this for my two youngest grandsons.

  • Reply Kerry Smith February 28, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Developing inquiring minds is so important our education system is still based on the Times of the industrial revolution when we were educating our children to do factory work. I’d love this for my 7 year old twins

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 29, 2020 at 9:45 pm

      Sad but true. Good luck

  • Reply Claire Knott February 29, 2020 at 7:23 am

    i want my daughter to grow up knowing that all options career and hobby wise are just as available to her as to anyone else

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 29, 2020 at 9:44 pm

      YEssss!!! Good luck!

  • Reply Kim W February 29, 2020 at 11:03 am

    My friend’s little one so he can amuse himself while she recovers.

  • Reply Catherine Bell February 29, 2020 at 11:03 am

    I’d love this for my niece Holly.

  • Reply Sandra Fortune February 29, 2020 at 11:24 am

    My grandson has just started to do coding at School I think this would be great for him

  • Reply Linda Ford February 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Botley the robot looks like a fab way to help my niece and nephews develop their STEM skills, it’s a super way for them to learn through play.

  • Reply Emma Gough February 29, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    I would love to win this for my little girl. I think it would teach me about coding too because I haven’t got a clue.

  • Reply Sarah Hold February 29, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    I would love to win this for my daughter. My husband is a robotics engineer and my daughter would love her very own robot. xx

  • Reply Jeanette Leighton February 29, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    I would give to my daughter Sheriah 7 my son would probably like to have a look too he’s 3

  • Reply Charlotte Wilde February 29, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    I’d love to win this for my youngest daughter, i work in IT and this looks a great way to get her interested!

  • Reply Melissa Lee February 29, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    I would really love to win this for my nephew – he would love it

  • Reply Fiona Johnstone February 29, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    I would love this for my granddaughter. I’ve heard of Botley the Robot for a wee while and now she is 5 I think this would be perfect for her.

  • Reply Hayley F February 29, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    I would love to win for my nephew. He would adore it. Thankyou x

  • Reply Robyn Clarke February 29, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    I would love this for my 3 children, STEM is so important.

  • Reply Tammy Neal February 29, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Perfect for my neice x

  • Reply Jodie W February 29, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    I would love to win, my 5 yr old son asked for Botley for christmas and he really wants the crashing construction set when I showed him a video of it when it came out recently. Im a school governor with links to the STEM areas,as well as PTA, so if my name is lucky enough to be pulled out of the hat I would donate Botley to the infants school. (My son would gladly teach all the other children how to use him). Im passionate about STEM and love the fact this teaches coding in a way that seems to really engage younger children.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 29, 2020 at 9:42 pm

      Oh, what a lovely idea. Good luck

  • Reply Katie Wilson February 29, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    My daughter wants to be a scientist, I love inspiring her with new STEM activities. Tomorrow we’re doing coke and mentoes as she’s been studying volcanoes in school.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby February 29, 2020 at 9:41 pm

      Such fun! I’ve done this with my oldest but will have to do it again now my girls are a bit older.
      Good luck

  • Reply zoe brown February 29, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    my nephew has asked for one for his birthday be great if i could win one for him

  • Reply Sylvia Paul February 29, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    I would love to win this for my Nephews birthday, he would be thrilled with it x

  • Reply laura stewart February 29, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    would love to win for my daughter x

  • Reply Joyce W February 29, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    My grand daughter would be delighted with this

  • Reply Kay Broomfield February 29, 2020 at 10:07 pm

    My 5 year old daughter would love this. She loves STEM learning at school so this would definitely appeal to her.

  • Reply Tee simpson February 29, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    I wouldlove to win for my daughter. She loves those project MC2 girls and is very curious about STEM.

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