Let's Make Robots!

LMR Review - Solarbotics BeetleBot

Bounces off walls

Thanks to the LMR society I was asked to do a review on one of Solarbotics robots. It's a little critter called The BeetleBot. So hold tight, here it comes. Cool!

The BeetleBot started as Jerome Demers high-school science fair project. He built an extremely simple and effective circuit using just a pair of cleverly wired switches, two batteries and two motors.

The Beetle zooms around the room, cleverly bouncing off all obstacles using its antenna like bumper switches. Jerome's goal behind this project was to demonstrate how you can achieve complex robot behavior with minimal design and simple parts.

Now check it out and enjoy!

Ah, I love the smell of packages in the morning. Especially when they contain robot parts. So let's see what's inside.

Wow, lot's of nice documentation and booklets, some beetle stickers and a bag with all the components. Very complete.

Nothing needed except 4 aaa batteries. It even has a Solarbotics screwdriver in the box which my son is putting through the test. Sweet.

A nice and shiny beetle base. All holes are predrilled and you just screw on the components. Very suitable for young robot builders since you don't need to solder anything. All fits tight and nice except for 1 screw on each one of the bumper switches. No worries, the other one holds it toghether tightly.

Every step is well documented and pictured. Nothing can go wrong really. The only part where young builders might want to have some help is tapping the holes in the on/off switch. It requires a bit of strenght but once you have the screw in there: easy life.

Motors are mounted with some doublesidedstickytape. The rest is simply screwed to the base. All the wiring is already attached to the motors and the powerswitch.

All that's left is hooking up the wiring and flatten it a bit so the top can be put on. All wires are pre-crimped so you can just plug things in.

And there you go, a lovely BeetleBot and a smiling little dude!

Now how about that! A little wallbouncing Beetle which the kids already love (and me to). Very easy and solid build, I can only say, everyone should have one! It's great for teaching the kids and pretty funny by appearance.

They come in various colors and you have some mean looking ones to! Now if you want one, check: http://www.solarbotics.com/products/k_jb/

A movie will follow, to dark right now for my camera.

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nice one :D seriously nice one :D

nice one DutchBot. :) probably good starting kit for kids to boost their confidence (via "building" not only putting in batteries...) and get them really interested. i am looking forward to review of some more complicated kit.

This looks a perfect starter kit and would pull youngsters into the robotic world  "Thumbs Up", 

However what about this for a thought (for the more mature or im>mature LMRs)

.......Friday night LMR BeetleBot racing - ie one person receives 10 of these of BeetleBots each with big number attached to flag or wing.... the person would host a live UStream video of the Beetlebots let loose (in a kitchen,ofifice,etc ) each fighting to stay alive and "moving" - last moving bot wins............

......that would be fun to watch and would give a lot of info re "Darwin" survival of the fittest .......what do you say "Punters" ?

nice ideeas comes so suddenly... :D

Wow, the fella is fast! :D Would someone please give it a distance sensor?

Thanks for the videos as well, DutchBot :) This review is the reference from now, we will get more :)

Lot's of good colour photos for the video impaired.

Hello DutchBot,

Why did you not put the legs? The 6 pieces of 8 gauge black wire that is bend into leg shape.

Thanks for the review!

 

Jérôme

 

Hello Jerome, nice to meet you! I think the legs are a bit creepy but I'll add them later for the review...... Custom look :)

Now get me something to play with :D

The BFC bot will be available soon ;)