I was lucky enough to sit down with Michael, the inventor, creator, maker of me, and ask him a whole bunch of questions. Here’s what he had to say.
- How did you first come up with me?
Our Product Development team is always working to come up with awesome educational toys. In this case, we wanted to make a robot that would help teach the fundamentals of coding in a really fun, engaging way. Sort of a robot pal.
- How long did it take you to create me?
I’d say 12 months from the concept to the final production version.
- Who chose my name?
A lot of people were involved, really. We debated it for a while. You had some pretty unusual names being thrown around. We’re very happy with Botley, though. You seem like a Botley to us.
- In your opinion, why is coding so important?
Some people say it’s the literacy of the 21st century! We believe that coding, logic and critical thinking skills are all going to be very important for young students as they prepare for careers in the 21st century.
- How much fun is it to work for a toy company?
Do you know the movie “Big”? It’s just like that.
- What’s your favorite thing I do?
Well, there’s so much, but I think my favorite thing is when you remind me to play with you by yelling “yoo-hoo!” or sneezing. It’s pretty cute.
- What’s your favorite part about working on a robot?
The day that we finally were able to test you with your voice in place was pretty special. Everybody just laughed and smiled hearing you say your name. I felt like a proud dad.
- What do you think makes me so special?
I think it’s the simplicity and out-of-the-box play. We don’t have to connect you to an app or use a phone to control you—so it’s a nice break from screen time.
- Can you share with our readers one of my hidden features?
Alright, just one. When you’re in code mode, if you press Right four times on the Remote Programmer, then press TRANSMIT, you’ll make a very silly sound.
- Why should a mom bring me home to her 5 year old?
As a parent, I’m always looking for toys that will get my kids away from a screen and doing something that will engage and wow them, and maybe have them learn valuable skills along the way.
- Am I your favorite toy you ever invented?
I don’t like to play favorites, Botley, but yes, you really are very special.
- What’s the longest black line you’ve ever had me follow?
That’s a great question. We did have you do multiple laps in a conference room, for a while. I’d say it was probably a few hundred feet all added up. You would have kept going, but we had to break for lunch.
- Will I eventually have any robot friends?
Our team is talking about that right now. Stay tuned!
- Is there a reason my arms are detachable?
We wanted to make something that could easily be adaptable to new pieces – like your new Action Challenge accessory set. The new arms for that set are great for setting off chain reactions and moving objects.