Bee Bot – essential kit?

Bee-Bot is a robot shaped like a bee.  It’s a very simple but brilliant device that allows the user to move the Bee-Bot either forwards or backwards and either turn left or right.  It’s best used with a Bee-Bot grid – either a template or a see-through blank.  You can see a video of it in action by following this link.

In the above example, I had scattered a number of words in different parts of the grid.  The child’s job was to move the Bee-Bot to a word with the sound “ai” in it.  This is just one example of how a teacher can use the Bee-Bot.  Using a street grid, I had an Irish lesson where children had to get the Bee-Bot to a particular building, e.g. an oifig an phoist.  They also had to learn the steps in Irish – ar aghaidh a haon, cas timpeal ar chlé, etc.  It certainly made the Irish lesson more fun and I think the children got to learn some useful vocabulary.

I believe its original use was to introduce the concept of computer programming to young people.  It uses the same command structures as the programming language Logo, i.e. Forwards, Backwards, Left and Right.

I would definitely put this piece of hardware as a must for any school – right up there with a digital camera.  It is suitable for all class levels but it also has an older brother called the Pro-Bot, which is shaped like a car but allows you to turn at different angles and do other cool programming stuff that was even a little bit beyond me (well without the manual at least!)

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