Robotics and STEM are a big theme in play right now, and get ready to be amazed by one of the most impressive robot systems we've seen yet with the JIMU Robot MeeBot Kit from Ubtech Robotics. We're only going to be able to scratch the surface of what's possible with this kit in this review. The first thing you'll notice is its gorgeous packaging. Like high-end electronics, it seems almost a shame to break into it (but you'll be glad you did). The first thing you'll want to do is download the app. This is the key to your system. We started on an iPhone, but quickly switched to the iPad because, quite frankly, the bigger screen is a big plus as you're building to see all the detail. Once you're in the app, you'll be guided through all the steps of building.
One of the real advantages of these directions is that you can look at your model from several different angles as you're putting it together. The directions are precise and easy to follow, but take you're time and pay attention. There are some tricky parts and making sure you're doing it right is going to take a bit of concentration. If something isn't working right, it's on you. We made plenty of mistakes as we were putting it together but the process was intriguing. A couple of hours later, we had this super cute robot complete and working. We'd worked out all our errors in the process, discovered how the different motors and circuits worked together, and were ready to go. One tip: if you want to play as soon as you get the robot together, take out the main control box and charge it up while you're assembling. Connecting the robot to Bluetooth was easy, and we were ready to go.
The play is all about experimenting from learning the different actions to creating sequences. The block based coding system lets you set up a variety of actions for your robot and then run them. Once you've mastered that, you're ready to go exploring and see what else you can create. The JIMU Robot MeeBot Kit from UBTechs Robotics is recommended for ages 8 and up.
While the results are great and engaging, it's the process that will keep kids actively involved and having a blast. As kids become more proficient and creative, they can take advantage of the open-source software or even delve into the swift language for more programming options. Even with a price tag of about $130 this is a great value and kids can continue to build out their systems over time as their interest and skills grow. This model is only available at the Apple store right now and it only works on the Apple OS but stay tuned because much more is coming from this young, creative, engineering and quality-focused company. There are a variety of other JimU sets that add pieces, motors, animals, and more to inspire technical learning and above all, fun. We were completely impressed by the thinking it required, the problem solving, the planning, and most importantly, trial and error.
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