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Monday, August 20, 2012

The Review Wire Reviews our 7-in-1 Rechargeable Solar Transformer

Click here to be taken to the reviewers website.

Back to school doesn't only have to be all about supplies and books. I received this 7-in-1 Rechargeable Solar Transformers kit from OWI Robotics to keep the kids busy. This innovative solar science kit encourages children to exercise their sense of creativity and imagination. OWI is all about science, their Robotikits and OWIKits were developed to affordably introduce students to robotics, science and solar technology.

I gave this to my thirteen year old to build. He had it completed in about 20 minutes.

The five different vehicles that you can transform the kit into include: Solar Car, Concept Car, Bulldozer, Dump Truck and Concept Racer. He started with the charging station and the concept car. The instructions were a bit confusing but he managed to get it. You do need a sharp pair of scissors to cut the pieces away from their holder. Unfortunately, he found out the hard way when one of the pieces snapped in half. Luckily it was only a stabilizer piece and he was able to continue.

The first picture below is the power charging station that comes with 2 output plugs. One plug is for the solar recharging, which is shown with the black top and one is for the battery recharging, the blue battery that is sticking out to the right. The station opens and then folds compactly to resemble a truck. This recharging station can charge the battery in about 5 seconds and the solar panel in about 120 seconds.

The instructions state that the run time of the vehicle is about 50-80 seconds before needing a charge. But when we took the car outside with the solar panel attached, it just kept going...until the panel was out of direct sunlight. All the cars except the Solar Car can take either the solar panel or battery to charge.

My little one had fun chasing this around outside...who said science was boring!?

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Best Way to Start and Learn Robotics

First and foremost, getting your hands on some robotics equipment launches you into the world of robotics in a way that no amount of preparation can match. You can read about robotics, watch online videos, and even see demonstrations. Any learning you can do to build your knowledge and understanding helps a lot, but learning robotics truly starts when you have your own kit or equipment to begin tinkering with.

How to Start and Learn About Robotics

For most robotic enthusiasts, breaking into this field starts with simple machines and straight-forward functions. You won't be building surgical tools or inventing your own personal butler right away, but even your first projects will delight and amaze you and your friends. Once you start powering your own robotics and getting them to perform simple functions, you'll be hungry to learn more, and your experience can snowball into expertise with time and a little patience.

Is Robotics Complicated?

The world of robotics is definitely complex, but that doesn't mean robotics has to be complicated at the beginning. In fact, some of the best robots are the most efficient ones. You can decide for yourself just what sort of robotics interest you and how much time, energy and resources you want to spend on developing more complicated projects.

Is Robotics Expensive?

With tons of robotic kits and equipment under $20, it's really up to you on how to spend. When you get into robotics, you might end up wanting to buy plenty of different kits and accessories, but you can start small. Compared to the cost of movie theater tickets, ski trips, and plenty of other entertainment and hobby options. Robotics certainly costs less than many things, considering the hours of enjoyment you'll get out of it.

Online Information to Learn Robotics

The internet offers a wealth of information and support for robotics fans. Besides our blog, you can ask questions and get advice on how to learn robotics from community forums. You can also follow exciting projects like NASA's Robotics Alliance Project. YouTube has plenty of tutorial videos as well, and you can search Google for robotic clubs in your own hometown that offer workshops. OWI Robotics has a great YouTube channel.

Use of Robotic Kits to Learn

Starting with kits makes learning robotics easier and more accessible. With set instructions and all the right components, you can go step-by-step to ensure that you won't become frustrated or disappointed at first. When you learn with kits, you get used to knowing all the important parts of a successful robotic project. Kits also make easy gifts to help get your friends involved with you. You can take on do-it-yourself projects later as you build your expertise, but when starting out you'll want the guidance that a great kit provides. Contact us for robotic kits and you can get started in no time. Browse our site to get a feel for your options, and let us know if you have any questions!