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Monday, December 31, 2012

Toy Robots for Boys

Toy Robots for Boys

Parents shopping for toy robots have plenty to choose from, and today's toy robot manufacturers use high-grade materials that withstand frequent playtime. A number of robots are now fabricated with clean alternative energy sources, so they do not come with the need to purchase batteries on a continuous basis. Toy robots for boys vary in design according to age level, and buyers can find them for toddlers and children along with more complex models geared towards adult enthusiasts.

Toy Robots for Toddlers

Robots appropriate for toddlers are relatively simple in design and sturdy enough to withstand rough play from a lively youngster. For safety reasons, these types of toy robots for boys normally have only a few moving parts and none that detach. Some toy robots for this age group come already assembled, while others may have interlocking parts that need basic assembly from an adult.

Toy Robots for Children

Once young robot enthusiasts reach elementary-school age, they are normally ready to learn beginning robot kit building. A basic kit comes with several parts that snap together without the need for tool use. With an adult's supervision, putting together one of these toy robots for boys is both fun and educational. This project is a good way to introduce skills such as following printed instructions and comparing a finished robot to a printed instructional diagram.  Some popular choices include:
  • The Salt Water Fuel Cell Monster Truck Kit
  • The 6-in-1 Educational Solar Kit
  • The Super Solar Racing Car
Each of these toy robot kits provides a fun introduction to scientific concepts such as kinetics and green energy. By completing a toy robot kit, children can get a good idea of how these areas of science apply in the real world outside their classrooms.

Toy Robots for Adults

Enthusiasm for robot-building projects does not fade for many adults, and a number of people continue this kind of hobby while pursuing career fields in science or engineering fields. Toy robot kits for adults can come with large numbers of parts to be attached by soldering or similar methods. Some of these advanced robot kits may also require builders to fabricate certain parts themselves out of scrap metal or other materials. Many adult robot builders greatly enjoy these kinds of toy robots because they present rewarding challenges and allow the robot hobbyists to use their existing technical skills in creative ways. Some available toy robot kits for adults include:
  • The Robotic Arm Edge
  • The programmable WAO Kranius robot
  • The Beamster kit for introducing or reviewing soldering techniques
Toy robots for boys are available for all age groups, and they range from simple to quite complex. Kit robots are designed to teach and reinforce applied scientific concepts, and builders can try more advanced kits whenever they feel ready for them. Contact us for robotics kit listings and prices today.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Robotics Education for Children

Benefits of Robotics Education for Children

Children from preschool to high school age can gain plenty of advantages by learning robotics. Adding this activity either at home or in school will enhance their overall science education in several ways, including:
  • Improvement in following instructions
  • Ability to see a project through to completion
  • Better understanding of concepts such as motion physics, engineering and even green technology.
  • Enhanced problem-solving skills through testing robots for functionality. 
Although reading and studying are important, science courses that include these types of hands-on activities are more enjoyable for the students and more successful for their teachers. Unfamiliar science and engineering concepts can be challenging for some students to grasp by reading alone, particularly for those who are kinesthetic learners. Those who apply those same concepts to a robotics project can retain the material at a much better rate and subsequently score higher on science exams.

Robotics Training

Several sources exist for top-notch robotics education. Interested children can attend robotics camps or participate in after-school science enrichment programs. These can be excellent places for introducing beginners to the steps of putting together kit robots and checking that all parts are working correctly. More experienced robot builders at the middle- and high school levels can complete robotics projects from scratch and enter them in science fairs. These students can even form school robotics clubs where they can share tips and ideas for successful robot-building. Outside of schools, camps and after-school programs, kids and their parents can try robotics projects at home by purchasing kits from beginner to advanced levels.

Robotics Kits for Children

Best-selling robotics kits for younger kids usually have fewer and simpler parts that can be snapped together without the need for any tools. These kits can be great introductions to robot-building fundamentals, including following written instructions and examining diagrams. Some basic robot kits also include salt water fuel cell batteries or mini-solar panels, and these can be fun instructional aids for learning about alternative sources of energy. Favorite beginning robotics kits include:
  • The Salt Water Fuel Cell Car
  • The 3 in 1 Solar Stallion
  • The Frightened Grasshopper
  • The Happy Hopping Frog 
Older kids who have mastered the basics can move on to more advanced robot kits that require more building steps, more intricate instructions and the use of tools such as screwdrivers. These types of kits are designed to expand on existing skills and knowledge, and some popular kits are:
  • The Robotic Arm Edge
  • The 3-in-1 All Terrain Robot
  • The Moonwalker II
Robotics education is worth adding to an existing science classroom curriculum or pursued as a hobby for interested builders of all ages. Getting started is as simple as purchasing a beginning kit and giving it a try. Contact us for robotics kit types and pricing today.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Interesting Facts on Solar Robot Kits

Solar Power and Robotics

Some of the most popular robotic kits are also the friendliest towards the environment. Current solar technology has allowed kit designers to include solar panels to replace batteries that would eventually end up in landfills. Solar-powered robots can range from simple to complex, and they can be an excellent way for beginners to learn exactly how this alternative energy source works. Attaching and charging a robot's solar panel is a perfect hands-on way for builders of all ages to explore the applications of this clean-energy technology.

What is Solar Power?

Solar power refers to the conversion of sunlight into electricity by a direct process called the photovoltaic effect. This technology relies on a semiconductor to pull radiation from the sun's rays and convert it into a direct electrical current. Another type is known as concentrated solar power, which relies on a system of reflective lenses or mirrors to generate an indirect electrical current when exposed to strong sunlight.

The direct method with photovoltaics is used for both large and small-scale solar panels made with a specific number of solar cells. Some of the first devices to use this technology were single-cell solar-powered calculators. The modern solar robot is powered with the same basic technology, though sometimes with more than one cell.

How to Use Solar Power to Drive a Robot's Motor

A robot kit's motor works with a direct electrical current that comes from at least one charged solar cell. Depending on the complexity and difficulty level of a robot kit, the builder will need to attach each of the cells to the robot either by epoxy gluing or by soldering for more advanced kits. Solar robot cells act as receptacles for sunlight, and different robot motors require solar cells that can be charged to a certain voltage. The needed number of volts typically depends on the size of the robot, its number of moving parts and the electric power required to fuel them. Many robot kit solar cells attach to the motor with simple wires by soldering or with locking connectors found in some beginning level kits.

Solar Robot Kits Available from OWI

A number of OWI's most popular solar robot kits provide young builders a challenging but fun project that teaches some fundamentals of science and engineering. Assembling an environmentally friendly robot will demonstrate the benefits and possibilities of solar power as an emissions-free power source. For beginning to intermediate robot kit enthusiasts, some favorites include:

6-in-1 Educational Solar Kit. This robot kit is designed for beginners and does not require seperate tools to attach the parts together. Options include building a small solar-powered windmill or one of two toy airplanes. 

7-in-1 Rechargeable Solar Transformers. Robot builders can put together several different toy vehicles with this beginner-friendly kit. One big selling point is its high-caliber solar cell that recharges to full power in only minutes. 

The Solar System was featured in Educational Dealer Magazine as "one of the items most ordered at the NSSEA show...Great New Products from Ed Expo."

Solar robot kits are a fun, educational and creative means of learning about this type of energy-efficient technology. Interested robot builders of all ages and levels are encouraged to visit us at for more details. Buyers are also welcome to contact us with any questions.