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Green Science Tin Can Robot

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1 Review

Brand: Green Science / Age 8+

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      13.06.2011 15:49
      Very helpful
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      3 Comments

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      Nice idea

      The Girl spent her pocket money on this project to do in the half-term. It's a kit to build your own walking robot out of a tin can.

      In the box, you get:
      an instruction leaflet (this is detailed and has clear diagrams)
      body rings (to go round the can),
      2 legs (one shorter than the other, so your robot can either be horizontal or vertical),
      2 straw attachments for the arms, plus bendy straws to make the arms
      2 gripper hands (which fit into the straw arms. They do not grip or move independently, they're just shaped hands),
      1 toy motor with gear,
      screws, bolts and nuts, terminal caps and various gubbins to make the circuit
      plus two eye plates, wibbly eyes and wires to attach them. (The eyes are just those ones you can put on cards and craft projects, with adhesive backs).

      You also need a clean, recycled drinks can and one AA battery, which were not included. To put the robot together you need a small cross-head screwdriver. There's no need to pierce the can or anything like that, and safety guidelines were included in the instruction leaflet.

      The Girl (11) started off working on this project on her own, but found the instruction sheet a bit confusing. It used some terms and words she was unfamiliar with, which made it difficult to understand. It could have done with a glossary as the assumption of knowledge was too much for a kit designed for ages 8 and over, in my opinion. Obviously it's an educational project, but it would've been handy to have explanations for some of the terms used with the kit.

      With my help, she was able to put the robot together within about twenty minutes. It has lots of small parts, so you need a clear workspace and sharp eyes to spot any escapee screws!

      When it was done, it was a handsome robot. Unfortunately the thing didn't work!

      We redid the whole thing and checked its wiring, replaced the battery, all to no avail. It became clear after much experimentation that the motor provided was a dud.

      This was terrifically disappointing (there were tears) as the Girl had been so looking forward to making it and had worked hard on putting it together. It was a bit of a learning experience in that we had to talk about what the electronic terms meant, and it was fun to do it together, but the fact that it didn't blooming work kind of outweighed the pluses! Unfortunately as we'd lost the receipt, we'd no way of taking the kit back or getting the part replaced. When I've a bit spare I might buy a new motor for the robot and see if it'll work then, at which point I'll update this review.

      When it does function, it is supposed to walk in a wobbly way across your floor.

      The Girl has no comment to make other than "I wish it had worked!"

      She spent £10 on it at the shop we got it from, poor lass. It's available online from Amazon and other sellers at £11.99. I wouldn't recommend it as a buy, because ours was faulty, but if you did want to try it, it would probably be best to test the motor before you put the whole thing together!

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