Everybody wants a pet robot, and as useful as one may be, that robot vacuum isn't the mechanical buddy we all dreamed about as kids. Fortunately, Geeek Club has created a tiny, adorable robot army that you can snap out, build, and command (well, play with), and it'll even teach you and the family about STEM as you build.
Meet The Nano-Bots
Geeek Club's robots come in trading-card-size packages, with all the parts printed onto a circuit board. Just pick a robot you want to build, out of the seven you get in each package, open the wrapping, and pop out each of the pre-printed parts. From there, you'll use a soldering gun and iron to assemble the robot, with each robot having its own skills and personality.
Totally new to building your own electronics? These bots also come with their own optional toolkit, complete with safety equipment, so you have everything you need right out of the box. Once the robots are built, you can use the tools to build more fun projects and explore the world of electrical engineering.
Why Build Robots?
Aside from learning the weak points of our future robot overlords, these robots are educational on a more practical level. They're designed not just to be fun to build but to teach skills during the construction.
First, if you've ever handled solder, you know it's trickier than it looks, and kids, in particular, may be intimidated. These bots are simple to solder together, building confidence in engineering and soldering skills. As the build progresses, you'll learn how simple electronics are constructed, laying the groundwork for more advanced circuits and design. Each robot has a personality-driven by both its engineering and its parts, and each teaches a different aspect of electrical engineering, such as pass-through holes and small motors, that you can take with you to more advanced kits and projects.
It also demonstrates how art and engineering can intersect, as you have a fun little bot to put on your desk. The question, of course, is which set you want to start with!
If you're completely new or want to start off small with your DIY robotics, the Smart Nano-Bots kit (just $59, 40% off MSRP; or $129, 27% off the original price, for the full set with toolkit) is for you. Each of them is engineered to have a different personality and teach different skills as you build them. The first one to grab, especially for newbies, is Otaku, a robot trading card with simple lights to practice soldering connections.
Once you've tried that out, you can move on to build a six-legged light-seeking robot; two bipedal robots who strongly resemble a certain vehicle from a galaxy far, far, away; and the towering MAT001, the biggest bot in the bunch. Once you've got them assembled, boot them up with a USB cord and watch them come to life!
If you want to explore the world while building, check out the Magic Voodoo Bots, also $59, 40% off MSRP, or $129 for the full set with toolkit. Each of these light-up automatons was inspired by tribal art from across the world. This set is a step up in the creativity area as well, as you can mix and match parts for a custom design.
Each comes with colorful light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that you can wire in different configurations, whether you want solid colors or a rainbow. Whether you want a fun family project or to get started on that robot army, you can't ask for a better jumping-off point.
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