Product Review: Mabot Starter Kit by Bell Robotics #STEM #STEAM #Robot

Mabot by BellRobot is a modular robot designed to teach coding and uses artificial intelligence. For purposes of the review I tested the Mabot in the starter configuration. Inside the box were a control ball, two drive balls, a battery ball which uses a lithium polymer battery, a color sensing ball and a six port connection ball. It also contained various connectors including a Lego Adapter, USB cable for charging, a disassembly tool, and quick start guide. There is a QR code to scan to install a companion app.

My kids love all things robots – after all we are a tech family and get to test out some fun products.

What we love…

Mabot modular robot was easy to put together and make various creations using plug and play. Used #STEM and #STEAM while encouraging creativity. I also liked the compatibility with Lego Techno.

What we’d love to see…

more straightforward instructions that were easier to find, a way to label each of the various balls with what they do either via colored dots or another method.

Summary

Overall, this is a fun modular robot designed for kids and adults which encourages creativity, #STEM learning and exploration.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

As a mom, I liked the fact that the Mabot robot was modular and easy to build. Mabot is recommended for kids six and up – my ten year old enjoyed building one of three suggested Mabot robots using the companion app. We did take a Sharpie marker and labeled each using the first letter of what it did. That made it easier for us to assemble the configuration and test it for review purposes. We put together the Mabot starter robot (which drove!) and then started experimenting with other configurations.

One of the great things was that my son was experimenting with putting different pieces in different ways to see what would happen – the ultimate STEM exploration. Mabot also includes a tool to take apart the modules – we used it both to separate the modules as well as remove the connectors – I suppose we could have pulled apart the modules but wanted to be careful of the pin configuration used within the connectors. Using the two companion apps, Mabot Go and Mabot IDE we were able to experiment with additional coding.

As a mom, I love all toys that encourage my kids’ curiosity. Bonus points if it teaches them something. It was simple to use once I figured out each module and what they did. When we played with it, we used it at the kitchen table so that the pieces didn’t get put somewhere else. Once we identified each of the pieces, building with the companion app was fun and easy. After building the Mabot starter robot we then started experimenting – and loved the various colors that lit up and things that we could see when we used the Bluetooth ball and tried the various levers to program and make it move. It also allows for hot plug and play which allowed us to start, stop, plug and unplug while experimenting without having to power off the Mabot.

In addition, it would be great to have a set of instructions labeling each of the modules included either inside the box or right inside the app. Amazon has an encyclopedia in the user guide listing, although I searched I was unable to find it on Bellrobot’s website. When I used the app, it got stuck because it couldn’t connect to the Bluetooth module – because I put the robot together wrong. Once I figured out my mistake, pulled off the connector pieces and put it together again it worked. This was a bit frustrating for my son, but once we figured it out we made many different robots.

Overall, the Mabot and companion apps are great educational tools that will encourage kids to learn, experiment, be creative and test new concepts. I loved that screentime was not just screentime but because educational learning time.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Peg and Pog by Kenikeni Ltd – Review


What we love…

8 interesting scenes with a variety of immersive play activities.

What we’d love to see…

Add even more interactive elements to enrich the free-play sessions.

Summary

A fun and engaging app that helps build rich vocabulary while encouraging curiosity, active exploration and imaginative play.

Our Rating

Peg and Pog is an interactive app that teaches over 170 vocabulary words in 5 languages as players explore 8 different animated scenes – ocean, polar regions, space, Savannah, store, bedroom, birthday party, and dressing room.

The app turns every play session into an adventure for young children by letting them build each of the 8 scenes with items (animals and objects) associated with the setting, and interact with them. The characters and items of vocabulary are introduced one at a time and children can activate the item and hear the vocabulary word whenever they tap or move it. In addition to these items, players can also explore around the scene to animate more items and learn their names.

For older kids who are ready to learn the written words, the vocabulary words are presented separately on vocabulary cards, with only the picture and the written word on each card. The learning is focused and targeted to build a strong association between the item, its name, the spelling, and pronunciation. Grouping these words in context also helps learners make the connection between the items.

Children become more familiar with each vocabulary word as they play with them repeatedly, and this app offers great replay value. Each of the 8 play scenes is designed for free play where kids can move items around and activate them. This encourages imaginative play where kids can make up their own stories and explore possibilities. There is a lot of activities to keep kids entertained and engaged. They can have a go at the toy capsule vending machine in the store and label the toys that they get. They can pretend to be a DJ, dance to different genres of music or enjoy the food at a birthday party. They can style the characters from the head to toe with superhero costumes or other outrageous outfits for a photo shoot. They can also learn more about the planets, sea creatures and animals. They even get to try new experiences like controlling a husky ride, making the cloud rain, flying in a hot-air balloon, and walking in space!

What I like about this app is that it helps open the window to the world for our children. It makes them curious about the wider world, beyond what they have been exposed to and want to discover more. It presents lots of opportunities for you to help expand their general knowledge. It is also a great conversation starter as you can relate each scene to yours and your child’s real-life experiences. Credit goes to the developer as well for building an awareness and appreciation for cultural diversity, and social inclusion into the app. Everyone can participate equally regardless of their background and abilities.

There is a parents’ guide (in the parents’ section) on the learning points and what you can talk about with your child during the in-app play. It would be great to also include a list of all the vocabulary words introduced in the app for easy reference. In the settings, you can also change the language (UK/US English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Mandarin) and audio (music, sound effects, and spoken words) preferences.

Above all, the app is just pure fun for the kids. The cute characters, movable interactive play items, variety of activities and engaging free-play settings will keep them coming back for more play and learning

 

 

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Peg and Pog – Kenikeni Ltd

Peg and Pog Peg and Pog by Kenikeni Ltd

Price: $2.99 USD

Plenty of fun and giggles in this "highly recommended" language learning game for kids. Designed especially to introduce your child to learning everyday vocabulary, and with no in-app purchases or third.

 

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Tappity Grade K-4 Science for Kids



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What we love…

immersive science based exploration better than any other science type app we have recently tested

What we’d love to see…

I would love to see more information for parents when they first launch the app explaining how they can use it with their kids.  I would love to see more earth science and a fuller explanation of each of the contents or even a dig in the individual planets.

Summary

This is the best science app covering these topics I have ever tested with my kids!

Our Rating

Tappity Grade K-4 Science for Kids is a subscription based app for iOS that features an immersive experience into a variety of science topics.  The app is designed for children from kindergarten through grade four.  My preschooler loved the app as well – although he had a shorter attention span.  New content is being constantly added and ranges from Oceans to planets to evolution and more.  There is even a monthly mystery.  Topics are: new content, adventures, space, nature, animals, dinosaurs and mini mysteries.  The narration is in native English and is very clear and easy to understand.

The app starts with an adventure you choose – my kids especially liked the space adventure where you traveled through space, landed on the moon, had lunch (broccoli or ice cream) and then even were able to control the weather on Venus.  Each adventure is narrated and allows you to touch, explore, hear the narration and impressively learn while using the app without kids knowing it!  Navigation is simple, kids tap, twist, orbit and touch arrows when they are done with specific adventures.  The app uses actual video footage rather than animated characters or computer animations.

As a mom, I loved the fun facts in each adventure as well as the animations – which felt so real like the coral reef with the fish swimming and more.  Kids could also pop up the text at the bottom to read it as well.  In the space adventure, watching my kids explore the various orbits and learning about the planets was so much more fun than I remember it being when I learned in a textbook in the classroom.  I also appreciated that I knew each lesson would take approximately x number of minutes which gave me time to prep dinner or pack lunches instead of having to worry about my kids mindlessly watching television.  The app encourages thinking and problem solving which are both very important in our current school curriculum.  It also allows for exploration which means that kids can look around, explore and truly start to understand what they are learning.  As a supplement, after we reviewed the space portion of Tappity we went to a local museum that was having a space exhibit – I was amazed at how much my kids remembered!  It provided multi-sensory learning with app guides, clear explanations.  You can download the adventures so no wi-fi is needed meaning that you can take the adventures with you.  The music is fun and catchy.  At the end you return home and there is a quick recap of what you learned.  It encourages kids to go beyond the app and learn.  At the end kids can take a photo to remember their adventure.

In terms of enhancements, I would love to see more information for parents when they first launch the app explaining how they can use it with their kids.  I would love to see more earth science and a fuller explanation of each of the contents or even a dig in the individual planets.

The app is paid via in-app purchase via subscription, if you are like me, a lifetime subscription is a good buy!  Prices are below and are current as of the time of this review in USD. Plans: $2.99/month, $14.99/year, and $49.99 (lifetime)

Both my boys loved this app and I loved that they were getting educational content and learning about science.  They were well engaged and learning as well as retaining the content to be able to explain it.  This is the best science app covering these topics I have ever tested with my kids! Perfect for homeschoolers, regular parents and even just curious kids. I can’t wait to test it with my Cub Scouts as well!

Fun Science for Kids (Tappity)
Fun Science for Kids (Tappity)
by Tappity, Inc.

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 589.93 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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For a chance to try the full app for 1 month free – use code “iMum”

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

MYNT® ES by Slightech – Review



MYNT ES by Slightech is a great solution if you are always losing your keys!  I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten home and not put my keys and wallet in their designated spot – this usually results in a frantic morning when we are looking for my keys and trying to get my kids out the door quickly.  Luckily, MYNT ES has a Bluetooth app and I can attach it to my keys so it will play a sound much like the “find my iPhone” so that searching is no more.

What we love…

easy to use solution to help you find everything quickly and easily using your tech

What we’d love to see…

way to prevent battery drain on your devices

Summary

MYNT ES is a great tech solution for an everyday problem. I really liked being able to find my keys quickly with just a tap of the MYNT app.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

We recently tried MYNT ES when we were travelling just to make sure it kept track of our belongings.  I had one MYNT ES attached to my keys which I carried on the plane with us and slipped the other MYNT ES into my checked bag.  It was interesting to see my bag as it traveled through the airport on the way to be loaded onto our plane.   I can see this being super helpful if someone travels frequently and is afraid of losing their bag. I also slipped one into my son’s swim bag because he seems to leave it behind frequently – this way I could find it quickly and easily without having to search since I was able to get an approximate location. Batteries inside the MYNT ES last about a year according to the manufacturer and are easily replaceable. You can use up to 8 MYNT devices at a time with the app. I also appreciated that MYNT ES was able to be used in the rain without having to worry that it would get wet like if it was raining when I was outside. In addition you can set a MYNT safe zone like at work or home so that your device is not constantly being tracked.

When you need help locating your belongings, you can simply open the app – tap it and it will send a loud sound signal to your device. The app is user friendly and quick to set up for your first time. From the time I opened the box to using MYNT was less than 10 minutes — and that included setting up two devices.

IF you lose a MYNT ES device, the information will be shared with the MYNT community and if your device is located by another MYNT user information is shared with you so you can locate it. A MYNT will last one to two months, and will decrease after that time.

In terms of enhancements, I did find that using MYNT ES decreased my battery life on my cell phone — this could be coincidental as I have an older device, but if I was using it frequently I found significant drain.  Usually I would launch it once a day when I got home and then I could easily locate my keys on the off chance I didn’t hang them up where they were supposed to be.

Tech Specs
Recommended devices
Apple: iPhone 8/8 Plus iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6s/6s Plus, iPhone 6/6Plus, iPhone 5s/5c/5, iPhone 4s, iPad Touch 6, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad mini 4/3/2/1 and above

Samsung: Galaxy, S8, S7 (Edge), Galaxy S6/S5/S4/S3,Galaxy Grand2, Galaxy Note5/4/3/2

Google: Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 4, Pixel and newer devices

Item Weight 0.32 ounces
Product Dimensions 1.1 x 2 x 0.2 inches
Item model number MYNTES
Batteries 1 CR2 batteries required. (included)

As a mom, I appreciated this MYNT ES help to find my keys and make for much less stressful mornings. I also put one on my wallet and tested them out in a variety of different locations to ensure they worked. It was great to see where my items were and not feel frantic as I looked for my keys or wallet. I also appreciated that it was easy to keep track of my items and ensured that we misplaced them much less frequently. Available for $20 USD from Amazon. Available in black and white to coordinate with your items.

MYNT - Smart Tracker & Finder
MYNT - Smart Tracker & Finder
by Slightech, Inc.

Category: Lifestyle, Utilities
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 144.43 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.