The app hasn’t even been up for a month.
The new app lets kids take lots of different parts and build a robot that they can test out in a side-scrolling universe. Sometimes, the wrong build breaks down or blows up, but the builders can refine their designs over time. They can also record their own robot sounds.
“Homes” was another title in Tinybop’s three-part “Explorer’s Library.” With this fourth app, the company is launching a new series, Digital Toys, inspired by Erector Sets and Legos and other toys that made it possible for kids to build whatever they wanted to.
That said, when picking out toys for his own kids, Gutierrez said he’d noticed that Legos, for example, had become more branded experiences, where kids were guided to build exactly the brand’s vision. He believes play should be more open.
“With The Robot Factory, kids can build their own unique robots and bring them to life. There are few rules,” Gutierrez wrote us in an email:
Kids can add a single head, ten heads, or no heads. They can put arms on legs or vice versa, and then they can test them in a world. The app was designed for tinkering. The cool and tricky engineering bit is taking the kids’ creations and making them move with realistic physics.
“The apps in this new series are toys that empower kids to make their own narratives,” Gutierrez said in a release, when the new product was first announced in early April. The art comes from U.K.-based illustrator Owen Davey, who also did the art on “Two Dots.”
The product has a similar spirit to the first app that MakerBot accepted into its developer program, Modio, which lets kids design fantastical action figures and then print out their parts with a 3D printer.