What do you get when you combine robot toys and a solar cell? You get the fun and educational 6-in-1 Solar Robot Kit from MiniInTheBox.com. Let’s take a look.
This do-it-yourself kit includes everything you need to build 6 different “robots” that are powered by a solar cell. Just be aware that none of the toys really look like a traditional robot. You can see pictures of the different robots on MiniInTheBox.com’s website. This review will just feature one of those robots…
The box and instruction sheet say this kit has 22 pieces, but there are really quite a few more. To start playing with this set, you have to first cut out all the pieces. It’s easy to remove them, but it’s best to take a pair of sharp scissors or an Xacto knife to remove any rough edges.
Here are the parts that are used to build the solar cell.
The two most important parts of this set are the gear box (shown above on the left) and the solar cell (shown on the right). Both of these pieces have to be used with each robot if you want it to have movement. Building these two parts is simple and only takes about 5 minutes total.
You might notice that the gear box looks like a little airplane…
That shape comes in handy in certain robots like the one shown above. Add a propeller and a tail fin and it looks exactly like a little plane.
Building the different robots is relatively easy, but it’s important to note that some parts are very small and slightly fragile. This set is for children and older or adults (hey, we can play too right?).
To make the robot move, you have to connect wires from the solar cell to the gear box. The great part is that there is no soldering involved.
You just slide the stripped part of the wires in between metal spring contacts on the gearbox and solar cell.
Once the gearbox and solar cell are correctly connected (you have to pay attention to polarity), you have to then relocate the robot to an area with direct sunlight. Unfortunately, that seems to mean taking the robot outside. I tried placing the robots I created in a window and wasn’t successful in getting the solar cell positioned in such a way that it would cause the gearbox to start running. That could be considered the biggest problem with this kit, that you have to take it outside to get it to work. I suppose if you’re building this kit with your kids, it’s not a problem to get them outside once in awhile right? 🙂
There isn’t much else to say about the 6-in-1 Solar Robot Kit from MiniInTheBox. It’s inexpensive (they are actually have a sale right now for $6.99 with free shipping), easy to build and fun. It would make a nice present for your kids. Maybe use it as a reward for a good grade on a report card, or something to spark their creativity.