© 2019 Elenco
N/A, Smart Toy
Teaches: Robotics, programming, coding, engineering, mechanical, fine motor skills
This is a "programmable robot" you assemble from the ground up. The assembly process is not for the faint of heart -- there are hundreds of snap together/screw together parts that require a lot of debugging; plus printed instructions to decode.
You'll also ...
You'll also ...
This is a "programmable robot" you assemble from the ground up. The assembly process is not for the faint of heart -- there are hundreds of snap together/screw together parts that require a lot of debugging; plus printed instructions to decode. You'll also need supplies not included with the kit, including two AAA batteries, pliers and a small screwdriver. The finished robot operates without a computer, with an interesting physical "coding wheel" to control the robot movements. There are four accessory pieces (a forklift, pen holder, catapult and grabber) which attach and perform different actions. This means all learning and associated math takes place with the toy itself, with no app to download or code to install. It also means that interactions are limited to the spaces on the wheel and the nodes provided. If you're looking for a traditional "coding" experience you won't find it here. It's still fun to see the assembled robot in action, throwing a miniature soccer ball or drawing patterns. When you open the box, you may be a little daunted (or excited) by the sheets of plastic parts. Assembly is quite time-consuming and challenging, but a detailed manual offers help. Our build took around six hours including the four attachments needed for special actions, but your time will vary based on experience with these sorts of kits, and we did have some trouble getting our gears to work properly, needing to disassemble a few times before they worked. Visualizations of pieces in the manual are clear. Still, disassembly to fix issues is a test of patience, strength and courage even for an adult, so we'd recommend a LOT of support. The bottom line is that Mech-5 is a fun, affordable robot that can be a challenge to build properly, and it doesn't introduce formal coding in the traditional sense. But the wheel design is intuitive and the cost is low, making it possible for more children to have their own robot. Requires 2 AAA batteries, utilizes lots of small parts.