Toca Robot Lab is another “digital toy” in the Toca Boca library. Users are tasked with creating robots by selecting legs, a body, each arm, and a head and then field testing their newly constructed design. Designed and created from common recycled materials, household appliances, and other recognizable mechanical parts, robots are constructed one piece at a time from a selection of three unique parts. With a wide variety of parts available, users’ creations will vary widely upon repeated play and every robot is unique. Once completed, users “test” their robot by flying it through a randomly generated maze in search of three stars. The maze is populated with a limited number of interactive elements such as bouncing balls and stacks of blocks that can be toppled over. After completing the test flight, users seek out a large magnet that removes their created robot from the testing facility before users are returned to the construction phase once again. This app is extremely easy to use, contains no inappropriate content, and is recommended for kids ages 3 to 9.
Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.
Toca Robot Lab tasks users with creating new and unique robots on each play-through. The game contains a large variety of unique parts for creating robots. Each part is stylized after a recycled material, encouraging users to consider alternative and flexible uses for the common materials around them. Arms can be recycled fans, while bodies are made from reused washing machines or other household appliances. Users can imagine the different uses their robot might have based on the parts used to construct them. Imagining new uses for old, common mechanical parts helps users think flexibly about their creations while introducing the basic notions of recycling, as each creation utilizes reused machines and appliances from their everyday environment in a unique manner.
Managing our actions, feelings and behaviors.
Users will exercise their Self-Control thinking skill during the testing phase of Toca Robot Lab, as rushing through this phase may result in their newly created robot getting stuck to magnet users are meant to avoid. After creating a new robot, users can fly their creation through a randomly generated maze containing a number of interactive elements. Users search for three stars by flying through tight obstacles, moving boxes, or bouncing balls, so careful control is key. Obtaining each star requires users to successfully control the thrust of their robot, ensure not to overdo it, while avoiding the magnet at the end of the maze and successfully moving about the different interactive elements. Users should take the time to determine the necessary flight path and appropriate amount of thrust for their robot, as well as where and how to rearrange boxes and balls. Completing the test flight while acquiring all three stars becomes a much harder task if users are careless and act too hastily.
Your child can practice the Flexibility and Self-Control thinking skills while creating and testing new and unique robots. Try some of our suggested activities or leave us your own ideas in the comment field at the bottom of the page.
Create a number of different robots with your child in Toca Robot Lab. When creating a new robot, consider each unique component with your child. Discuss where the different parts may have come from. Does your child recognize any of the recycled robot parts? Talk with your child about ideas for what the original uses for different parts were and how those parts might be used on the new robot. Use Toca Robot Lab as a source of conversation, inspiration, and imagination, discussing with your child the range of uses that can come from a singular material, device or component. Then test this theory by finding some new uses for everyday material around the house.
Help your child locate the three stars hidden within the randomly generated maze in the testing phase of Toca Robot Lab. Try challenging your child to acquire all the stars without bumping into any walls or crashing into the different interactive elements. Your child can learn to navigate the small and often spatially challenging environment by carefully controlling the robot's thrust and direction. This means exercising their fine motor control while directing the robot, as well as determining the right balance between thrust and steering while searching for the three stars located within the testing area. Discuss which flying techniques help your child avoid unnecessarily making contact with the walls and other objects in the environment. Was it easier when limiting thrust and direction?
Toca Robot Lab is just one of many "digital toys" in the Toca Boca library. Below are some of Toca Boca's alternative toys for your consideration. Be sure to let us know which ones are you favorites in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
In Toca Kitchen, users create unique meals using a variety of different cooking materials and methods. Users serve a number of different guests, gauging each character's preferences based on their facial expressions while being served a meal. Learn more in our Toca Kitchen review.
Using a number of tools and options, users can give their clients unique and interesting hair styles and cuts. Toca Hair Salon allows users to utilize a number of common barber and salon tools to shave, color, and trim hair and beards amongst a number of other unique options. Find out more here.
In Toca Tailor users decide how to cloth a number of unique characters. Using a host of available tools and options, users create and customize their outfits to help their clients look fun and fashionable. Discover more in our here.
All membership plans come with full access to our entire suite of tools learning guides, and resources. Here are a few of the ones we think you’ll like the most: