We were sent the Clementoni Science Museum Mind Designer Robot for the purposes of this review. It is a unique toy to help your child discover drawing, arithmetic and geometry in a fun and engaging way. Your child will learn to code through absorbing play!
Clementoni Mind Designer Robot Review
James was super excited to review the Clementoni robot! There are various capabilities of Mind, and we tested them all, starting with the arithmetic geometry play mat-style board. We moved on to the Escape Room chart, and then on to using Mind to draw, before enjoying free play.
When you switch the robot on, his voice is bright and clear, easy to hear, and has a touch of the robotic about it. He greets you by telling you his name is Mind, and he is charged and ready for action! There isn’t a volume control, but we didn’t find the voice too loud or too quiet.
The buttons on Mind’s back are easy to press and clear to read. We didn’t have any false presses or confusion over how much pressure to exert for the button to work. You can also use your voice to control Mind, though, with a screeching 3-year old nearby while we were playing, we didn’t test this enough to be able to tell you about it.
Clementoni Mind robot has a very cute little face, which lights up with circuit board-style lights behind a clear plastic dome.
What’s in the box?
You will need
We began our time playing with Mind by trying out the basics on the Yellow side of the chart provided. The chart is divided into 4 rows of squares, most with numbers in, others with tangram images (pictures made of geometric shapes). Mind asks questions like “count the rectangles on the board”, and when you have done that, you use the arrows on Mind’s back to control him over to the square with that number in. You have to program a sequence of directions before he sets off, for example ↑↑←↑↑, so you have to work out the steps, so that Mind will drive himself to the destination.
Or he will say, “4 minus 1… how much is it?” and when you reach the right square, the robot knows you have, and congratulates you: “3! Yippee!”
Sometimes James did get the answer wrong, and Mind would be programmed to arrive at the wrong square. Mind took it well, saying, “what am I doing here?” and would ask to be returned to the Start square.
On the other side of the yellow board is a different smart game: Escape Room. To tell Mind that he is going to start a different game you have to select the blue board by pressing the blue arrow.
This game is excellent and challenging. Mind says things like, “I heard that triangle bot is looking for a battery. I can’t go over any blue lasers”. Which set the boys into a heightened level of excitement! “Quick!” they shouted, “We need we need to get to the battery and we can’t go over any blue lines so which way do we need to go?”. James would press the buttons on the back of Mind and together my sons would grip their hands, expectantly, while Mind travelled across the play sheet.
It took a few times of trying this game to realise that we had to press a button to get Mind to pick up the object before carrying on to the end destination. Solving the quests was really fun, and James developed skills in logical thinking without realising it.
We downloaded the free app onto our iPad Mini. The beauty of the app is that whenever there are updates children will be able to access new games or challenges.
James loved this element of the Clementoni Mind Designer Robot. The Robot can hold a pen in the hole in the body, and draw on the A3 paper (supplied).
I liked the way the drawing possibilities are displayed as though they are star constellations. You select the animal you’d like to draw, and to begin, the outline of an animal is in the centre of the screen, with coloured shapes around it. Mind says “fantastic” when you drag the correct shape into the tangram animal. When you complete the tangram puzzle, Mind says, “Staggering – my lights have gone into raptures!” or other enthusiastic comments.
Next Mind will ask, “Do you want Mind to draw the figure?” Add the pen at this stage and not when you begin the tangram, or you get a splodge on the paper where it’s sat while you complete the puzzle.
You can also use the app to draw your own drawing. Remember that Mind can only travel in straight lines and he can’t pick his pen up at any point while you draw!
We had a couple of issues with getting the shape drawn entirely on the paper, because we didn’t judge the size (even though it clearly tells you how many centimetres it is going to be) or because we didn’t put it in the right part of the paper (even though it clearly tells you which part of the shape it will be starting with). Anyway, learn from our mistake. Fortunately for us, we were playing with Mind Robot on a laminated table so it was easy enough to wipe the pen marks off. It is also really easy to stop Mind when you notice it going a bit off-piste.
Clementoni Mind Robot review
Overall, what did we think? James absolutely loved it. He used it to draw some shapes freestyle and also using the app as a remote control. We would recommend this for ages 6+. Clementoni Mind Designer Robot retails at £49.99 and is available from Symths.