Review: Obstacle Avoiding Robot Kit

Obstacle Avoiding Robot, Programs, Reviews

Robot Basics:

  • What is it? Assemble a robot that uses sensors to detect and travel away from obstacles
  • What’s in the Box? Paper body components, motor assembly, wire, and double-sided tape
  • How Much? $15.99 at MakerShed
  • Age Range? Ages eight and up
  • How Did We Acquire it? ILEAD-USA Grant

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    Ideas for Use

    Because a large part of the experience with this robot is assembling it, this would be a good kit for one or two kids, or as part of a station-style robotics program.

    Time Involved

    It took three and a half hours (including a lunch break) to mostly assemble the kit.

    One-time or Recurring Program

    Assembling the kit is a one-time activity, as it’s made of cardboard and held together in places with tape. It could not be easily disassembled and reassembled. Once built, it could be used again and again durability may be a limiting factor.

    Extension Activities

    You could set up different courses for the obstacle-avoiding robot to avoid.

    Skills You Need

    You need a great deal of patience and ability to work with tiny parts, but the instructions are detailed enough that no prior electronics expertise is necessary.

    Other Tools You Need.

    Batteries (2 AA) are not included. Although everything needed for assembly was included in the box, we ended up also using our own double-sided tape and some extra wire.

    Good Stuff

    This is extremely appealing for kids who are into tinkering or are looking for a challenge.

    Frustrations

    So many frustrations. It contains so many tiny parts, the double-sided tape provided was not sticky enough, the wires provided were not long enough to connect what needed to be connected, and in the end the robot is made of cardboard, so you know your efforts are not going to something of enduring value. After three and a half hours of assembly time, it still does not actually run; we’re going to have to work on that another day.

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Ending Thoughts/Observations

My department head looked at this robot and said, “I would not recommend this as a purchase.” However, the twelve-year-old girl who supplied most of the labor and expertise in assembling it had a great time, and plans to use her allowance money to purchase one for her own use.

Overall Rating

The Obstacle Avoiding Robot would be a good individual purchase for a child or teen who is interested in tinkering or robotics, but it is not a good fit for library programming purposes.

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