Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Missed opportunity for fun and education
on 18 January 2014
This was given to my wife for Christmas, and we sat down to put it together hoping to learn a bit about circuitry, robotics, and also have fun in the process.
The instruction sheet is straightforward, and the assembly is relatively easy as long as you have a small screwdriver set handy.
The diagrams for wiring up the three different modules are very easy to follow, and actually putting the wires in the right spring circuits was easy.
Two problems presented themselves almost immediately.
One, the "off" wire coming from the power block came out of its solder. Reconnecting it took stripping the wire down and re-threading it through and wrapping it around the metal connector. It's hard to know if that problem led to the second issue, which is that the thing just won't work. We could not get it to turn on. I tried the infrared and object detection sensor, but neither worked. I tried multiple sets of batteries just to be sure it wasn't an issue with the batteries. I also reset all the wire connectors and ensured all contacts were solid.
This would have been a lot better had the manufacturing process been a bit more rigorous, and I think they wasted an educational oppportunity with the instructions. Instead of, or in addition to, all the Dr. Who fun facts about Cybermen, there could have been a lot more information about the circuits and sensors, how they work and how electronics work in general. For a kid interested in electronics, it could have been a very good learning opportunity. The diagrams utilize letters and numbers, but those aren't used to explain how the wiring works, so they seem superfluous. Also, why are there extra pegs that don't seem to be used at all--are those for expansion modules, perhaps?
Finally, I think it would be great to have a system where you could install all three sensors at once--limiting you to just one at a time seems antithetical to the whole Cyberman ideal, after all.
Overall, this product could have been lots and lots of fun for both kids and adults. But for me and my wife it was a disappointment.