Out of the Box
When you order Dash and he comes delivered to your home, he is ready to go right from the box. The box will contain one Dash robot, a USB charging cord, and a set of building blocks that attach to the robot. Dash will already come charged, so as soon as you open the box, you can turn him on and start using him. The charge may not be a full charge, but he will be charged enough to start learning how he moves and how he works. It will serve you best to play with him for a little bit then charge him fully.
To turn Dash on, all you do is press the On button and he will immediately begin to roll, talk, blink, light
up, and move. You will not have to control him or command him to do anything as he comes alive and begins to roll around the area on his own. Dash is best used on the floor as he may roll off the top of a table and potentially break. When he starts to roll around the house, he will go up to walls, furniture, the family pet, and even you as he begins to take in and make sense of his new surroundings.
As Dash starts rolling around the house, that is a good opportunity to download the apps that you will need to start coding and giving Dash commands. You will connect Dash to your tablet or smartphone
wirelessly and then you can begin to build the commands that you want Dash to perform.
There are three apps that you can download to get Dash to move, roll, and light up as you see fit. Each app is a different way to learn how to code and each app gets more involved and more complex as you go along so that you can create commands for Dash that are more complex and more lifelike.
The Wonder App
The first app that you can download is the Wonder app. The Wonder app is the simplest of the available apps, but you can have the most fun with this app. When you open the Wonder app it is basically a command center where you will have the controls to make Dash do whatever you want him to do. The interface of the app looks like the dashboard of the vehicle as you make Dash do all the commands that are found on the screen. The screen will have a remote control area where you can move Dash’s body. You will be able to get him to roll forward, backward, or in a circle. There is another option next to that control that will get Dash to move his head. You can get him to move, rotate, or shake his head from side to side. By using these two controls together, you can make Dash move any way you want.
The other controls that are on this screen allow you to get Dash to light up in different colors. There is a color bar where you can slide the bar up and down and Dash will light up with different colors. There are buttons on the app that allow Dash to make whatever sounds you want him to make. You can make him meow like a cat, bark like a dog, quack like a duck, or crow like a rooster. There is also a microphone
option where you can record your own commands for Dash to say so that you can move him into another room and he can say a sentence that you have programmed for him to say. Dash can also make other sounds that are available by simply pushing a button and those sounds will come out of the robot.
The Blockly App
Blockly is the next in line of the Dash coding apps. The Blockly app is designed for your child to really start understanding coding. The app has your child build the commands for Dash in a block-like format where they can create several actions for him to perform in a sequence as he rolls around. The app will introduce your child to the fundamentals of coding that are simple enough for them to understand even if they don’t have a high reading level yet. Once all the commands are placed in sequential order for Dash to perform, your child can send the code to the robot and he will perform all of those actions.
The Path App
The Path app is the last app of them all, which will introduce your child to real coding as they start creating more complex actions for Dash to follow. The main benefit of this app is that you don’t have to have any reading skills
as everything is done through pictures. Kids will have the ability to drag commands into a pattern for Dash to follow. By using their finger to draw the path on the screen, Dash will then follow that path on his own. Even though your child will be coding and creating things for Dash to do, they are actually playing and by being fully involved in playing they will be learning. Path has several modes for kids to play with including a race car mode, where Dash will speed through a course that you can pick. Kids will be learning how to problem solve and create all at the same time.
One of the best things that Dash promotes is group play. Kids will learn how to create with others. With a few kids involved, your child and their friends can create scenarios for Dash to exist in while he rolls around. By working together, kids can get Dash to throw things, move things, and explore the house in a certain way. Children will learn to collaborate in a fun way and learn how to listen to everyone’s ideas and what everyone wants to accomplish in a healthy way that promotes being fair and working well with others, which will help your child in school
and in their professional lives. Your child’s creativity can be inspired by another’s creativity and vice versa.
Not only does Dash bring your child together with their friends and other like-minded kids to build social relationships and friendships, but Dash also brings together families as parents and children can play together to create code for Dash. Parents can get the opportunity to bond with their child and see firsthand how smart their child is and how well their child can learn. Since there is no real reading skill required to build the code, parents can see their child learn in a different way that is not as conventional as modern day learning. Parents can really see at what level their child is on, which will help their child exponentially as they proceed through school
. Dash is a great way for parents to be more hands-on with their child’s education and be fully aware of how well their child learns.
Dash In Schools
Dash has been incorporated into the curricula of almost 20,000 schools. Because Dash promotes learning while being immersed in play, educators have found that the robot is a useful tool
in getting kids to think outside of the box and really start to love learning. Because the toy does not seem to force learning onto the child, the child feels freer to explore than follow a certain set of rules. In being able to feel fully free, learning becomes more of a choice than something that is forced upon the child. The love of learning can then have the potential to carry over into other areas of learning and create a great atmosphere for children to excel.
Dash has been awarded several accolades since its inception due to its ability to teach through play. Dash has been awarded the 2018 Tom’s Hardware Award, the 2016 Parents Choice Award, the 2016 Oppenheim Award, the 2015 Dr. Toy Award, the 2016 ISTE Best In Show, and Dash has been a finalist in 2017 for Codie SIIA. Dash’s ability to entertain for hours and months has been one of the reasons so many parents and educators have fallen in love with this product.
Dash is recommended for children six-years-old and up. At the age of six-years-old
, many kids will have the education necessary to successfully use the robot to its full potential. Children under six may not have the skills necessary to understand that the robot is more than just a toy. Younger children will not have the capacity to build the code and understand that they are dictating the course of Dash’s actions. Of course, every child is different and as a parent, you will know if Dash is something that your child will enjoy.
Dash is not an inexpensive toy. Because he is a very advanced computer
system that moves and talks on its own as well as by the commands built for him, he comes with a big price tag. Dash does not fit into everyone’s budget. If he does happen to fall into your price range, he is a toy that is great to buy. After six-years-old, Dash can be enjoyed by anyone and Dash can teach anyone. If he is something that the entire family can enjoy, then he can become an educational investment, but only if this is something that you know your child will love and fully commit to learning how to use.
Wonder Workshop’s Dash Robot is a must have for any parent who wants their child to learn on a high level while having fun. The toy is fully immersed in digital learning and digital creation through easy to use and learn apps. By using a tablet or smartphone, your child can collaborate with others, including their own family, to give Dash commands that will get him to throw things, roll through courses, and talk to people. Your child will have the opportunity to create a whole new world around Dash that was unavailable to them before. Dash has been the recipient of several awards and is being used in over 20,000 classrooms for its ease of use and educational benefits.
Although it comes with a high price tag, Dash is definitely worth the buy as your child will build confidence, social skills, and advance their learning as they think for themselves and think outside of the box as they get Dash to do their bidding. Dash is the perfect addition to your child’s toy collection
especially if they are eager to learn and play at the same time.