Ubtech introduces its new Overdrive kit while Osmo revamps its program for Android integration. Ubtech’s latest line lets you build your own construction bots. (Photo via Ubtech)


Stem learning has always fascinated me. There are so many options and things to try. I plan to collect several learning options I find cool here in STEM Academy.


With STEM-based learning on the rise, several companies have dedicated themselves to building toys and games that introduce programming and computers to kids. Though there are many in the field UBtech may be the most well-known thanks to its unbelieve walking Star Wars Stormtrooper last year. Recently, they launched their latest line called JIMU Robot BuilderBots Series: Overdrive Kit, a hands-on approach to teaching kids as young as eight years old the basics of STEM learning.


The 410-pieces kit lets you build your own construction robots known as DozerBot and DirtBot. It comes with servo motors and two DC motors making them some of the fastest JIMU robots currently available. The bots are equipped with ultrasonic sensors and an RGB light that allows them to interact and react with their environment. And while it sounds like a lot of pieces, they snap together making the robots easy to build.


The companion JIMU app lets you code your creations and even gives you step-by-step building instructions along with a 360-degree view that lets you see your model from every angle while you build. There’s also an in-app “joystick” that lets you control the robot on your smartphone or tablet using pre-programmed actions. And if you want to share your robot with your friends, you can do so via the app community.


Overdrive will be available online and at major retailers for $119.99. If the price tag is a bit too steep, yet you still want to introduce your kid to STEM you may want to check out Osmo.


The iOS exclusive Osmo’s kids’ learning system launched two years ago. It’s a program that uses reflective AI technology fitted to your tablet’s camera that integrates physicals objects into a digital world.  Kids can interact with the on-screen characters and complete objectives using Lego-style block tiles with the chance to unlock digital rewards. Now, Osmo is finally making its way to Android via Amazon Fire tablets.


The new bundle comes with a revamped version of Osmo Base to work with current generation Fire 7, Fire HD 8, and Fire HD 10 tablets. It also comes with various titles like Numbers, Words, Tangrams, Newton and Masterpiece, and Monster. You can also choose from two different kits: the Genius Kit ($100) and the Creative Kit ($70). Character themes expansions including Incredibles 2, Mickey & Friends and Disney Princesses will also be available.


It’s great that Osmo will reach a wider audience now that it’s available on Android, but making it available only on Fire tablets is still limiting. Not everyone owns an Amazon tablet or has an interest in buying one. It seems if Osmo wants to reach as many people as it can it would be readily available on all systems. Hopefully, this will change in the future.


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