iRobot, the maker of the popular Roomba robot vacuum cleaners, also makes a coding robot for kids six and up! Who knew? Their Root robot kits—they have two—let kids learn to code by programming the robots to drive, turn, draw, light-up, play music, express itself, and more. These kits are good for multiple coding skill levels—from coding with graphical blocks to actually using full-text code. It's very cool to see iRobot—a company we like because they seem to take protecting their users' privacy seriously—make these learning robots for kids.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
iRobot, the Root's parent company, has had some privacy stumbles lately. Screenshots of a woman on the toilet recorded by a test-run Roomba in 2020 ended up on Facebook. And their ongoing acquisition by privacy-bad-guy Amazon is making privacy experts worry for their future. Eek. But since all that doesn't have much to do with their coding robot, we're keeping the iRobot Root in our good books. "Best Of" even!
iRobot also shares information about how they keep even analytics and crash reporting data safe. Cool! All in all, these learning robots feel pretty safe, and fun, for your kids despite their parent company’s recent concerns. The only worry we can think of is what might happen to iRobot Root's privacy policies once the Amazon deal to buy iRobot goes through as early as February 2024. It's something to keep an eye on.
Tips to protect yourself
- Keep your WiFi network password protected with a strong password.
- Do not sign up with third-party accounts. Better just log in with email and strong password.
- Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
- Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless necessary)
- Keep your app regularly updated
- Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization)
- Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data.
- When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
No personal information is collected.
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
iRobot Education has no known privacy or security incidents in the last three years.
Child Privacy Information
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
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