If you like Meccano or Robots in general, than this could be a product for you. Whilst it is aimed towards children/teens aged 8-14, this is mainly due to the software trying to be more "user friendly" for this particular age group. If you are planning on getting this for a younger child, parent supervision in a must due to small parts.
The robot building kit by Robobloq gives the users a choice out of 6 robot models to make; some similar to others and some completely different; though unfortunately there don't seem to be any variants that make use out of both the LED panel and the Ultrasonic Sensor...
Note that this kit does not come with a remote control and purely relies on smartphones or tablets (Android or iOS) to remotely control the robot.
- Box Contents: ∙ LED screen. ∙ Mixed metal components. ∙ Tyres and tracks. ∙ Sensor. ∙ Assortment of bolts and nuts. ∙ Screwdriver.
- Required Extras: ∙ 6x AA Batteries (Personally, I think it should have come with a rechargeable battery pack).
♦ Getting Started & Building the Robot ♦
There is no instruction booklet included in the box, so you will have to download the 'Robobloq' app onto your smartphone or tablet to be able to see the guide on how to make the model you desire. I personally think a decent sized instruction booklet or fold out manual should have been included; for someone who doesn't have a tablet and partially sighted, reading the instructions on a smartphone was a bit of a struggle.
With the Robobloq app open, selecting the 'Qoopers' tab will bring up multiple choices of models to build and there are two tabs to click on: 'Introduction' will give you the complexity of build and roughly how long it should take to build, whilst the other tab 'Build', will give you a picture step by step guide on how to make that particular model. As stated before, probably best to do it on a tablet if you have one, though the instructions are fairly clear and will tell you which bolts to use (they are all labelled); though the main metal components weren't labelled or numbered in anyway, which meant sieving through them all to match correct shape. Sometimes it was tricky to see which hole the bolts went through, but this may have been to the size of my phone that made it harder to follow.
Building the robot was exceptionally fun and once built has an incredibly robust feel due to the construction mainly being metal.
Once you have got to the end of the guide, it will give you an option to go through the set-up process of getting the robot connected to your smart device, which is very straight-forward.
♦ App Experience ♦
The interface is fairly simple, but I found it had it's ups and downs.
The good, general commands such as movement and switching through the facial expressions (the models that utilise the LED panel) worked very well and was responsive with very little latency; unfortunately though, the dot matrix where you can customise your own message or expression wasn't so great with it not always responding.
Another feature which I gave up on was the script part: Not only were there no instructions to guide you through on how to use this feature, I couldn't get it to work. Not sure whether this was down to user error or being on a small screen from my smartphone, either way, my experience wasn't positive on this part.
♦ Final Thoughts ♦
Overall, it was fun building the robot and driving it around, but I do question whether it's worth the asking price (£169 at time of review).
✔ Pros: ✓ Solid construction. ✓ Various models of robot to build. ✓ Fun to build. ✓ Strong motors for getting over some tricky obstacles. ✓ Easy connection to smart devices. ✓ Responsive to general commands.
✖ Cons: ✘ No printed instructions; nor clear instructions for certain app features. ✘ Relies on normal AA batteries, should have come with a rechargeable battery. ✘ No model that utilises both, LED panel and sensor (not that I could see). ✘ App isn't always responsive on certain features. ✘ Very pricey for what you get (in my opinion).
The Robobloq Robot Building Kit 6 in 1 - Qoopers Robotics for Kids STEM Education - Arduino Coding & Graphical Programming - DIY Metal Blocks - Gifts for Boy or Girl Age 8+ arrives in a nice box, so good to give as a present to the right little person. Its a lovely idea and makes a nice gift to the child that likes to build things and be challenged, adult supervision during the sessions is required. The parts are of a good quality construction and of good design. The construction of the models is available as a download app which can be printed [good idea]. Nicley desinged clear instruction which are very linear and straight-forward in its layout and in the construction of the models. Me and out 8 year old grand-daughter put one of the toys together took and afternoon but it was great fun. Recommended for the right individual.
This is a kit that will let you create robots that you can control with a mobile phone or tablet and write code to control them with scratch (child friendly programming language) on a PC/Mac. The mechanical bits are nicely chunky in anodised aluminium and look robust.
We've now made the first kit and would advise:
Download the apps before you buy (they are free) to check compatibility. This will also avoid having to spend an hour trying to get the instructions with a scampering child (you can't do anything until you have the apps as there are no paper instructions).
Make sure you have decent/charged batteries. If your batteries are low it will appear to work but start having errors when you use the motors.
You will need an adult to hand help with some of the small electronic connectors that could be easily damaged.
There are cheaper micro PC (Arduino/Rasberry PI etc.) routes out there but this seems to be a a nicely thought through & compatible kit for the less expert.
This is a beautifully presented, self-assembly robot that would make a great gift for a child that likes to make things, whether on their own or with adult supervision/help.
The components are heavy, well made and of robust construction, each part being wrapped and placed into one of five numbered boxes. I was a little disappointed to discover no instruction booklet inside what is otherwise a fantastically arranged box of bits – you need to download the app for that. Having said that, the instructions are fool proof with clear step-by-step illustrations that are not too taxing (with help given to younger users).
This is a good idea for summer holiday distraction and has been a successful project here. I’d like a hard copy of the instructions but am not deducting anything for that as it is a fantastic bit of kit.