Quarky Innovator Kit Review (STEMpedia)

Quarky Innovator Kit
PRICE CHECK
   
EDITOR'S REVIEW
OVERALL EDITOR'S RATING:
What It Is

Introduce kids to programming, robotics, and self-driving technology with the Quarky Innovator Kit.

When you first assemble and turn on Quarky, the robot will walk you through a few games so you can get familiar with its left and right buttons, touch sensors, and IR sensors. Then, you're ready to download the PictoBlox software to a computer. This is a graphical coding companion that helps kids program the robot and control it wirelessly. There are two ways to start coding: Block Coding, where you drag puzzle-shaped blocks to code, and Python Coding, where you make programs with text-based coding. Block Coding is going to be the easier version for beginners. The software has tutorial videos that show kids how to get started and do certain actions, such as animate a name, make music, or make a game.

Scan a QR code to access an online artificial intelligence course for more learning and creativity. AI recognition cards are included with the kit.

The kit also includes pieces for attaching a smartphone mount to the Quarky robot and for decorating Quarky.

Is It Fun?

There's a lot of experimentation with this kit. For kids who have never experienced a coding toy before, there's going to be a learning curve with Quarky. Don't expect to be able to do everything you see on the package right away. But through the activities, free online courses, and self-guided exploration, kids can develop 21st century skills, such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving, logical thinking, and innovativeness.

Who It’s For

This science toy is geared toward kids ages 7 to 14. Kids, especially beginners, really need patience to learn how to program all the cool things with their robot.

What To Be Aware Of

The science kit comes with a Quarky robot, a green arena, a Getting Started Guide, a Safety Guide, 10 AI recognition cards, a battery, a screwdriver, a USB C cable, a plastic box for storage, a robot skin, and a purple plastic set.

Assembly is required, and kids may need help from an adult. We didn't think the instructions were that clear.

The PictoBlox software is available to download for free on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. There is a free app for Android smartphones.

The PictoBlox Link software to control the robot via Bluetooth did not work on our Mac computer.

Additional Quarky kits are available and sold separately.

AT A GLANCE:
  • Fun

  • Repeat Play

  • Assembly & Instructions

    Medium Difficulty