A-Champs Second Generation RFID Base Station combined with fun interactive RFID Animal tokens.
Watch out, the ground is Lava! Who has not played the classic balance game? Whether we play tag, red rover, freeze tag, hide and seek or any other number of childhood games, we are learning skills to accel in the real world. Many parents, myself included, struggle with getting our children off of the tablets and off of their buttocks and to enjoy the bounty of nature. With a little gentle prodding, my kids will go outside to ride bikes, to explore our yard, to bounce on the trampoline and when hot, to play with water. Since they love electronics, I love to find methods to fuse the digital world with the real one. As an example, I have added a bottle speaker, lights and MP3 players to their bikes, to enhance their enjoyment. My middle son loves riding his bike jamming to Katy Perry Roar. When I saw the ROXs 2S device, I knew I had found something special. The promise of an indoor and outdoor experience, with the ability to tag them, hit them, tap them, strap them, balance them and scan them seemed almost too good to be true.
The ROXs 2s arrived in a 12 1/4 inches long by 5 7/8 inches wide by 1 5/8 inches retail box. The company successfully utilized a clean white surface to display multiple vivid, colorful, images. The cover was adorned with a 3 3/4 inches by 3 3/4 inches square device with an outer yellow rim, middle black rim, and internal white surface. The asymmetrically shaped device shone brightly against the cover and appeared to be hovering above its shadow. To the right of the device, you will find “A-Champs” in bright yellow and “ROXs 2s” in vivid black lettering. The bottom panel displayed images of the ROXs 2s device, the wireless charger, the strap set and 8x PEBBs. The left panel showed eight guitar pick like icons that displayed a variety of animal faces (chicken, monkey, dinosaur, spider, frog, bear, elephant and kangaroo). The right panel displayed a smartphone with the ROXs App, Bluetooth icon, Android icon, iOS icon and sixteen bulleted features of the device:
- Bluetooth Enabled
- Touch, tap and motion sensors
- RFID Technology
- iOS &Android Compatible
- Free App available through iTunes or Google Play
- Dynamic Software Concept
- Dynamic Software concept
- Multi color RGB LED
- Integrated Li-ion battery
- Up to 8 hours of gameplay on one charge
- Wireless Charging
- Unlimited Game Area
- Strong materials as used in jet fighters
- Robust construction, shock resistant
- Exclusive use of Safe and tested materials
- Rubber feet.
The back white panel was mostly bare, save a product labeling sticker and the top yellow panel displayed a single 7/8 inches tall outline of a monkey face.
Opening the packaging lid, I found the 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches square shaped device with rounded edges. Similar to the cover, the device had an outer yellow shell, an internal 3/8 inches wide black rim and a 2 1/2 inches central semi-translucent white square with internal LED lights. To the right of the device, I found a 5 9/16 inch square box with a black pentagon taking up much of the cover. The reverse face stated that there was a “plug and play USB cable and connector to prepare you for additional wireless chargers.” Interestingly, this box was empty and there was no wireless charger in the kit. The company noted that they would send a charger, once they were available. Remove the 5 1/2 inches square by 2 3/8 inches thick black foam tray from the box and then left up the internal cardboard shelf. Resting beneath the protective contents, you will find a 2 3/4 inches by 2 3/4 inches by 2 3/4 inches cube, which displays animal faces upon yellow triangular PEBBS. Resting loosely along the bottom of the box, I found a warning/legal pamphlet, a 12 panel instruction manual, a silicone device cover and a 56 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide strap with large buckles. The strap came rolled up and had a neat Velcro strap for portability. I was disappointed to not have the wires charger and I was also somewhat disappointed to not find a carry bag for this device.
I installed the three RAYMAX Super Power Alkaline non-rechargeable AA batteries into the lower part of the ROXs device. I navigated to the iOS App Store and could not find the App. The instruction manual recommended that I navigate to playrox.com/app and downloaded the “Run Jump Play by A-Champs” App. The app will take you through a series of screens that detail the possibilities of the app. To use the App, you will first need to create an account. Tap the lower black icon, enter an email, select if you are above 13 or under 13, then check your email for the needed code. Once I was logged in, I had to select the game, and then add a device (ROXs vs ROXs 2s). I placed a triangular PEBB onto the device and then it required an update. The app requested that I leave my phone on for 10 minutes, but the app finished to 100% in just about 2 minutes and then failed. I repeated the process and successfully updated the device. The app contains six games, which will please a variety of people. The “Hi Meet PEBBs” app will allow you to touch each of the devices to the surface and you will hear the sounds from each of the animals. This game was fun for my three-year-old child, but she grew tired of the game quickly. Honestly, it would likely be more fun for a 1-2 year-old child. The “Beat me” App was one of our favorite apps, combining a race with memory and listening skills. I had to program in one of my children, to choose a difficulty, and then the machine would play animal sounds. It was our job to find the correct PEBB in the living room or on our back deck and to place it atop the device. Set these a good distance away from the base and watch as your child rushes to get the correct device. This was our favorite mode for indoor play, but the Parkour App won our hearts. With the Ninja Warrior phenomenon raging wildly within our country, my children have requested a ninja experience. You can set up the PEBBS in a certain circuit, and a timer will see how fast you can get them back to the ROXs 2s. The Champs Dash app uses the PEBBS in a hide and seek game. Each player will hide four PEBBs and then hunt for the opponents PEBBS and race to bring them back.
The Story Time App allows children/adults to create a story that must be remembered. The order that the PEBBs were placed onto the device initially will need to be repeated to win the challenge. Lastly, the Duel App will pair two people against each other. The PEBBS are divided evenly between two people, and then the device will play an animal sound. If you have one of the animals, you will need to race to the device to place the correct PEBB onto the device. If you do not have the correct PEBB, you will need to race to the device to flip it over. My children loved this device, and we played a variety of activities with it. I set up a slack line, ran an obstacle course, created some wooden quintuple steps and increased the difficulty of the challenges. My children liked the added competition, and it became a great sport. The technology would be exceptionally helpful for a Preschool/Kindergarten class. Imagine a variety of PEBBs, add-ons, with Letters, Shapes, Colors and other animals. There were three main issues that I found with the ROXs 2s. First, the device needed a carry bag for the ROXs and PEBBS. The original box worked okay initially, but a drawstring carry bag would have been convenient. The second issue that I found was that there was no included wireless charger. As noted above, the company has promised to send one. For now, we simply had to use three AA batteries. Lastly, the birthdays were off by a month within the app. When I selected the year, it chose correctly. When I chose the month of July, the app chose 06. When I chose February, the app chose 01. Although this was only a minor nuisance, it was still an error. Despite the negatives, I would rate my overall experience as positive. I expect great things from this company.