We have fond memories of the Toca Robot Lab app, which our children loved back in 2011. Now there’s a new way for the kids of 2014 to build virtual robots.
It’s called Tiny Robot Maker, developed for iPhone and iPad by Australian firm Tiny Twiga Studios. It came out earlier this month, but our rusty sprockets took a while to get round to writing about it.
It’s worth the wait though. The app gets children to build their own bots from scrap metal, pipes, cogs and other bits, piecing together their bodies, arms, legs and heads in all manner of combinations.
It’s aimed at 3-6 year-olds, and the controls are easy enough for kids at the younger end of that range to get to grips with Tiny Robot Maker quickly. There’s bags of scope for different robot designs too: they won’t get bored after making a handful.
What we like best about this app, though, is the way the developer has been thinking about what happens away from the touchscreen too. You can export your children’s robots to your Camera Roll OR print them out as colouring pages, birthday cards or party invites – all at a size suited for A4 paper.
We’ve been thinking about this idea a lot lately: we love seeing apps that provide stuff to do when the device is turned off, whether it’s colouring, follow-on educational materials, or papercraft.
Hats off to Tiny Twiga Studios for their approach, anyway. Tiny Robot Maker costs £1.99 for iPhone and iPad on Apple’s App Store.