ReCon 6.0 Programmable Rover was a happy recent addition to our homeschool science. My third child is a science-minded child. For me as a homeschool mom, it’s a challenge to provide the resources and instruction for such a child because science is not my strong point. One thing I have done to address the issue is to provide him with multiple science activities and kits which he can work through independently. I’m always on the hunt for those, and this little rover fit the bill!
What the ReCon 6.0 Programmable Rover Can Do
The rover comes with a measuring tape and an instruction manual. You must purchase batteries. The manual is 48 pages of instruction written toward the child in a lively and colorful manner. The instruction manual gives children 10 missions to work through as they learn how to program.
Every mission is presented in this easy-to-follow format:
- *Mission Objective– This details what your child will learn.
- *Mission Background-This section gives more help or additional information to your child as he or she applies the skill or task. For example, in mission #1 it explains how to use the square root button on a calculator to calculate the length of the third side of a triangle.
- *Mission Training Brief– Tells your child what to do in preparation for the mission. In mission #2 it tells your child to record a sound file; it is used for executing the mission.
- *Mission Map and Code– Gives a scaled map of the mission. Missions 1-8 are examples of how a mission maps out on a grid. In missions 9 and 10, your child has the opportunity to draw it himself. A code section offers an area where the step-by-step programming code is listed. In the back of the manual an additional section called Special Ops is provided with a blank mission map so your child can design his own missions, map them out, and write down the program code for safe keeping.
- *Let’s Go– Gives detailed one-step-at-a-time instructions for programing the rover that children as young as eight can follow.
- *Debriefing– Gives a short and concise procedure checklist in the event that the mission was not successful. This will aid your child in making necessary corrections for achieving success.
- Field Maneuvering-Child learns to direct the Rover using the keypad to go left, right, forward and reverse, programing distance in inches and feet. He will also learn to program turns in degrees of 45 and 90.
- Messaging Protocol- Teaches your child how to record sound files and play them with the speaker.
- Night Surveillance-Sends your child on a night-time mission using the commands for headlights, pause, and return home.
- Security Patrol- Gives your child a mission where she can measure and program using her own distance coordinates.
- Artificial Intelligence- Shows your child how to simulate artificial intelligence by programming the rover to tell a joke.
- Alien Contact- With this mission your child will have fun programming the rover to deliver an object.
- So You Think You Can Dance- Teaches how to make the rover dance.
- Advanced Field Maneuvering-Teaches more advance maneuvering, just like in mission #1 but more complex.
- Search and Rescue- Sends the rover out on a mission to retrieve an object.
- Reconnaissance- Sends the rover out into “uncharted territory” to record information and return.
Using the Rover Features:
I have to say that probably the most loveable features of this rover are the microphone and speakers. Your child can record his own voice into the rover and program its verbal responses. How cool it that? I mean what child hasn’t wanted his own robot to give commands to? Headlights which enable it to be used in the dark are another cool feature.
School’s never been so much fun!
My son absolutely loves his rover. In a nutshell, it is fun for him. Totally fun. The first thing he did was name his rover. The Rover is known as “Curiosity” in our house, named after NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover. From the moment it arrived, he just couldn’t wait to dive in and get right to work. He worked on it non-stop until he completed every mission! Now that’s enthusiasm. When I asked him what he liked best about it he said, ” I like how I could program it myself.”
Why I loved the ReCon 6.0 Programmable Rover too.
It was a terrific hands-on learning experience for our homeschool science program. No science textbook could really teach my son what the rover taught him how to do. It required my son to use good directions and program accurately. In order to tell the rover what to do he had to use measurements. He did a great deal of measuring in order to program what distances to tell the rover to go. He had to map out and measure for each mission he created. If he made errors then he saw where he made them when the rover did something just the way he told it to. Sometimes his measurements were wrong or maybe he skipped a step in his mission mapping. It was a wonderful lesson in measurement, giving and writing instructions/programming, creating maps to scale and making calculations.
I also liked that the Rover picked up in an area of expertise in which I have none. The owners manual took my son through a step-by-step introductory programming course. This is the perfect introduction for kids ages 8-11 to get them started and interested in robotics and programming.
Where to buy the ReCon 6.0 Programmable Rover:
You can purchase the Recon 6.0 kit from Edmund Scientifics for $59.95. Edmund is graciously offering HHM readers an exclusive gift of the Hovercraft kit just for ordering the Recon 6.0. IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to receive this exclusive gift, you must put the Recon 6.0 kit AND the Hovercraft kit in your cart, and then enter the promotional code HHMSHH. Only one promotional code may be used with each order. Offer good through 11/7/2013. Promotion cannot be combined with any other offers.
One lucky reader will receive one Recon 6.0 kit from Edmund Scientifics. Enter below.
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Disclosure: One HHM team member received the Recon 6.0 kit to review in exchange for an honest review.