Ever since starting school, T has become obsessed with more intricate toys and puzzles – especially ones that challenge him and make him think.
Every week we receive an update from his school, detailing what he’s been up to that week, and in every picture we see him with his head down, deep in thought or concentrating hard. When I drop him off at school there’s often an array of activities set out on the tables, to keep the children entertained whilst others are putting their coats on their pegs, and more often than not T will sit himself down with a magnetic tablet or the computer if it’s turned on.
Over the past year we’ve really got into STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) toys thanks to several toy makers creating toys suitable for a younger audience, and this has only been amplified now that T’s at school.
Our most recent addition to the family is a cute little robot called ‘Novie’, an interactive (and very smart) robot that encourages the thought of ‘coding’ thanks to an array of ‘tricks’ that Novie can learn using commands that you teach them. Although each trick is already programmed into Novie, you have to carry out the sequence for it to be ‘unlocked’.
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Novie is an energetic and clever little robot that can learn tricks using the power of (hand) command. Built with 75 varying actions and animations, 70 different sounds, and 12 unique tricks – ranging in teaching difficulty – Novie encourages children to think about sequences and commands to reach the end product (ie. the trick!).
Aimed at children aged 4 years and up, Novie is a fantastic way to get into coding and other STEM subjects. We started playing with the robot last Sunday and within a few minutes T started experimenting with different hand combinations and actually began to get quite attached to the little guy (not surprising, he is rather cute!). As well as practising the ones he had learnt, he was excited to find out what else Novie had to offer.
Included in the box & Features
1 x Novie
– 3.8 x 3.8 x 3.8 inches
– 8 ounces
1 x Instruction Manual (written in a variety of languages)
1 x Quick Start Guide.
Set up is super easy, simply take Novie out of the box, switch him on and he’s ready to go! It really is that simple. As soon as you start playing with him (I really don’t know why I keep calling Novie ‘him’) he immediately starts to react to hand commands and movement.
All commands are made by a sequence of hand movements, whether your rotate your hand around Novie or hold your hand in front of his sensor, each chain of events will result in a different outcome. Obviously you’re encouraged to experiment by yourself, but you’re also welcome to follow the instructions in the handy guide which gives you around 12 different ‘tricks’, each with ranging ‘difficulty’ or by the number of steps to follow. There are three ‘training modes’ which can be selecting by changing the colour of Novie’s LED eyes.
Each time you request a trick, Novie will get better and better with each trick – which also encourages the user to practise their skill. There’s also the option to connect other Novie’s together by placing them in the same vicinity and watching how they react! We haven’t tried this out yet, but we’re tempted to get another one just to see how it plays out.
Thoughts & Value for Money
Thanks to Novie being really easy to use and incredibly enjoyable to play with, I cannot speak any higher of the little guy. He appears to be robust when rolling off tables and onto carpet (although a hard surface is recommended!) and he just never seems to tire. Even when you’re not playing, he will often replay what he’s learnt as if to practise/show off, although eventually he will go into sleep mode.
To try and make this review balanced, my only criticism relates to the amount of non-recyclable packaging. Novie came in a plastic container which, whilst held quite a few instruction books, was quite excessive for the size of him. I am also yet to fully test out the battery life, but I’m curious as to why the option to charge via USB wasn’t offered, again, based on his size.
Apart from that though, we’re honestly very impressed.
Novie is currently under £20 on most online shops, which I think is incredibly good value for money. T was easily occupied during the hour we had before bed and I am confident that Novie will keep him occupied most afternoons and weekends. He genuinely became attached to his little robot and even took him upstairs at bedtime. I’m interested to see how Novie improves the more T practises with him.
We liked Novie so much, that we have decided to offer one lucky winner the chance to win their own Novie Robot (in red) over on our Instagram. So, if you’d like to be in with a chance of winning, pop over to our Instagram now for full details on how to enter.
We were sent a Novie Robot in exchange for an honest review, however all thoughts, opinions, and imagery are our own. We were not, however, compensated in any way in regards to the giveaway.