Review: RC Snap Rover (Snap Circuits)

Programs, RC Rover, Reviews

Robot Basics:

  • What is it?  Featuring Snap Circuits, built a tank-like robot. With more than sixty different projects
  • What’s in the Box?
    snap circuits (wires, resistors, switches, jumper wires), remote control, disc head, base grid, and rover base)  as well as a manual with more than sixty different projects

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  • How Much?  $89.95 MSRP. You might find it for less.
  • Age Range? box says ages 8 – 108. The Guys in IT were digging it, so not just for kids.
  • How Did We Acquire it?  We bought it with grant money

Ideas for use

If you had other Snap Circuit products, you could attach them to the Rover and make them mobile.  Attach a Go-Pro on it and give a tour of your library!

Time Involved

Approximately 20 minutes.  More if you have problems. More to shoot foam discs.

One-time or Recurring Program

Rover can be used and re-configured over and over and over

Skills You Need

Participants need to understand what a circuit does.  Following directions and understanding grids are also useful.

Other Tools You Need

Lots of batteries, not in box! (double a and 9-volt batteries required)

Good Stuff or What We Did

I started the afternoon with plain old Snap Circuits.  We put together a project. Once I knew they could do a regular Snap Circuit, we opened the boxes of the Rover.  As a group, we decided to do the first project.  I was in charge of the batteries. (So many batteries… the remote calls for one 9-volt battery.  The rover base has six AA batteries.)  Team One (two sisters) worked really well together.  The younger sister finding the parts for her older sister.  They snapped and figured things out rather quickly.  Team Two (IM, age 14) quietly working on his own rover.  The girls had their rover completed and shooting foam discs and chasing each other, while IM was trying to figure out what went wrong. We got together and helped him out. I asked him to make sure that everything was snapped in place. If there are any components unsnapped, there is a break in the circuit and things won’t work.  At one point, we wondered if the base wasn’t working right.  We took his grid board off his rover and onto team one’s rover.  As IM snapped his grid in place, I saw a moment of recognition.  Something wasn’t snapped in. So, he tried it again and everything worked properly.  It was a great moment of clarity. The group working together to make things work, checking and double checking that everything was snapped into place.  This is a pretty fun toy with lots of potential in library programs.

Frustrations

There are a lot of parts to this…it’s both part of the problem and part of the charm.  As you can see, the box of parts doesn’t come with a lid…library storage needs to be considered.  image

Ending Thoughts/Observations

With lots of potential and an unlimited imagination, a great source for library programs.  And the price seems right. I don’t think you need to understand what all the different components are in order to make a radical Rover.  Because of that, this isn’t as complex as other products out there. But it is fun.

Overall Rating:

Pretty Great. Whiz Bang Whirl!!

 

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