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Robot Inventor's Workshop Kit Review by Courtney Larson

Robotics & Things
PO Box 36
Simi Valley, CA 93062-0036

The Robot Inventor's Workshop Kit contains a Robot Inventor's Handbook, a high-speed motor, a 1-switch controller, and 21 robotix parts, all in a heavy-duty PVC zippered bag. This product is recommended for ages 7 and up, and it comes with a full replacement warranty.

The robotix parts are plastic bars and elbows of different lengths that you connect at various points by pushing them together. This kit includes a motor and switch, so projects come to life (two AA batteries are required to power the motor). The Robot Inventor's Handbook includes six challenges, including instructions and drawings to build a robotic arm, a pulley power hoist, and a lunar crawler. The other three challenges require the student to use the robotic arm, design a robotic pet, and invent a robot.

I was very excited to receive this product. I have five sons, ages 4, 6, 7, 9, and 10, and we have various building toys that get a lot of playtime. My boys were thrilled to get this, but their enthusiasm didn't continue after building with it for a little while. The robotic arm couldn't pick anything up, and the lunar crawler didn't crawl. The pieces are hard to get together and to get apart, which was also discouraging. With only 21 pieces, original designs are limited because of a lack of parts. The Robot Inventor's Workshop Kit is priced at $34.95 plus shipping. After our experience with it, I am sad to say that I cannot recommend it.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2010