Zowi, the alarm robot

If you have tried the original functions of Zowi, you will know that different things happen when you press the buttons on the back. Let’s remind ourselves of the original modes…


  • If you press button A, Zowi will dance.
  • If you press button B, Zowi will walk until it reaches an obstacle and then it will stop.
  • If you press A and B at the same time, Zowi will react to noises and taps.


This happens because Zowi has a program saved in the memory which tells it to do these things, just like computer programs. But how can we make it do something else? Unlike humans, in order to learn new things, Zowi needs to delete what it already knows to make space for new information: the new program. This is known as “reprogramming”.
EIn this project, we will reprogram Zowi so that it learns new skills. Convert Zowi into… an alarm!


When you reprogram Zowi, button A and B will cease to have the original functions and will do something different. On reprogramming Zowi, you will make it forget some things in order to learn new ones. Zowi’s status will turn to Modified when you do this. In order to make it function as it did before and to keep on playing with the rest of the games, restore the original functions via Settings.

Warning 2!

When you reprogram Zowi, button A and B will stop working. To use the buttons, close the  Zowi App.  

Have you got secret plans to hide? Or some highly valuable objects to protect? Convert Zowi into an alarm and it will alert you to any intruders!
With this program, your Zowi will guard your home and alert you if any intruders enter your domain. It’s also useful for scaring pets! Explore the possibilities of using Zowi as an alarm in these two experiments:

Experiment 1: Zowi Alarm

  1. Open the Zowi App and look for the Zowi alarm project.
  2. Read the text and press the “Let’s reprogram!“option.
  3. When you’re ready to install the alarm, switch Zowi off and then back on again. Then press button A to access MODE 1: Arming the system. You will see how Zowi starts making warning sounds… bip! bip! bip!
  4. You now have exactly 10 seconds to place Zowi in a strategic position and then to move away before it is activated, which is called “arming the system”. After 10 seconds have passed, Zowi will have turned into an alarm.

From then on, Zowi will keep quiet and will be on high alert to what’s going on around it. Try tapping it on the head or walking in front of it. What happens?
What a racket! Zowi seems to alert you to everything that’s going on!

Experiment 2: Zowi Warden

  1. Switch Zowi on and press button B to enable MODE 2: Warden Robot
  2. This time, instead of keeping quiet and still, Zowi will move every so often in search of intruders in the room.

Zowi is a great watchkeeper, but it won’t be listening or keeping a lookout when in motion. It’ll be so busy moving around or making gestures that it’ll lower its guard… and that’s the perfect moment to act! Try moving forward in the room or surveillance area without Zowi detecting you.

Remember: If Zowi is still… DON’T MOVE OR MAKE A SOUND!


You can always reprogram Zowi back to the original program. In the Zowi App, go to Settings and press the icon to Restore original functions. Underneath the name of your Zowi, you will also see the word “Modified” to remind you that you are not using the original program.
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Summary of new modes when the buttons are pressed:

Button A – MODE 1: Arming the System
Button B – MODE 2: Zowi Warden