I was lucky enough to get my hands on an EdSTEM pack which consists of 2 Edison robots, 2 EdComm programming cables and 1 EdCreate kit. Unlike most of the robots I've reviewed, Edison uses 4 x AAA batteries rather than rechargeable ones, although this helps to keep the cost down. Despite its low price, Edison works right out of the box with all its sensors ready to use. Another thing that sets Edison apart is the method it uses to transfer the code. Where many robots use a bluetooth connection in order to do this, Edison uses the 'EdComm programming cable which is inserted at one end into the robot with the other into the audio jack of a tablet or computer. Again, this helps to reduce the cost of the robot and that cost saving is passed on to the consumer. With Edison, it's possible to teach robotics and coding with one robot being made available to each pupil. The same cannot be said for the majority of Edison's competitors.
The EdCreate 5-in-1 expansion pack is a LEGO-based construction system which allows you to build 5 EdBuild projects:
EdCreate can also be used in a wide range of open-ended engineering, design and programming challenges.
Edison can be used by kids as young as 4 (with adult help) and, to get started, there is not need for any prior experience of coding. Start off with the pre-printed barcodes that Edison can drive over in order to give it simple commands. After that, you can move on to EdBlocks (a graphical programming language based on Scratch Jr.), EdScratch then EdPy (Edison's own Python editor).
About the series...
Here's where you'll find information on the robots I have used which help you learn to code - from Scratch Jr. to the Arduino IDE and beyond, it's all here. Some robots work straight out of the box and some have to be built - developing your engineering skills as well!