Educator Edtech Review: Makeblock mBot Neo and Ultimate Robotics & Coding Kits

(Image credit: Makeblock)

Makeblock mBot Neo and mBot Ultimate robotic coding kits offer powerful solutions for students in elementary through high school. These can be controlled manually, with visual block or Python programming. 

The mBot Neo and Ultimate robotics kits are an engaging and flexible platform for students to creatively explore coding and robotics. The Neo model is designed for elementary students 6+ years while the Ultimate kit targets students 12 years and up.

Makeblock mBot Neo and Ultimate: Getting Started

I found the assembly process of mBot Neo to be straightforward with easy-to-follow instructions. They even provide the tool for assembly! I thought the Mbot Ultimate also had easy-to-follow directions and tools included as well for the 10 different robots. These robots have durable aluminum and plastic parts that will stand up to repeated use.

The mBot Neo and Ultimate have several programming options. For a quick start, I had the option to manually control the robot via their free Makeblock iOS or Android mobile app, and could also start block programming right in the app. Or, I could use the free mBlock visual block-based and Python coding application. mBlock is also available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. A web-based version is available for even more options.

I found the Scratch-based visual programming environment very easy to use. For the Ultimate robot, I had the option to use Python and Arduino C programming to work on more advanced projects. The flexibility to switch between languages accommodates learners as they progress into more advanced coding projects.

Best Features

  • The mBot Neo and Ultimate kits offer an accessible platform for young learners to start coding and robotics with very little prior knowledge. 
  • Free curriculum, training, and support resources. 
  • I found the supplied materials to be high-quality and long-lasting. 
  • I like the versatile programming options and advanced features that encourage exploration and creativity. 
  • The product's compatibility with LEGO and Raspberry Pi increases project possibilities, independent learning, and innovation. 
  • The Ultimate kit allows for exploring the newest technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial intelligence (AI) with additional Arduino and Raspberry Pi sensors. 


mbot Neo (Ages 6+) - $139.99

mBot Ultimate (Ages 12+) - $359.99

Visit Makeblock to see other offerings and get a quote.

Key Takeaways

I think Makeblock did a great job with its hardware, software, and curriculum when creating the mBot Neo and the Ultimate 2.0 kits. The apps and software allow for a very easy point of entry. Both these also offer significant room to grow as students progress in their knowledge of robotics and coding. 

The compatibility with add-on technologies such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino further extends the capabilities. Furthermore, having the ability to incorporate LEGO into the design process opens up more room for creativity and problem-solving.  

Ultimately, the mBot Neo and Ultimate are very powerful STEM learning tools allowing children to develop essential skills for the future while enjoying the learning process.

Frank Pileiro is the former Supervisor of Technology & Data for the Linwood Public Schools in Linwood, NJ.  He speaks at the local, state, and national levels about empathy, educational innovation, and instructional technology.