ClicBot- STEM Education Robot, Unboxing and Review

Jul 23, 2021 00:36 · 2349 words · 12 minute read

Hey everyone! As you all know I’m very interested in STEM education but I’m also pretty skeptical about STEM education products.

00:19 - I get dozens of emails a month asking me to review different kits and robots but nearly all of them it’s easy to see it’s just a toy with the word STEM in the marketing literature as a way to jack up the price.

00:35 - Very rarely I see something that looks like it might engage children in the real world and have some educational value. This time it’s the Clicbot.

00:46 - I’m still skeptical but I’m going to unbox it, take a look, and see if it’s something I can recommend.

01:15 - The packaging is very nice and it’s got real English which is a good sign.

01:22 - Let’s hope they keep that up and let’s keep unboxing.

01:37 - This is very nice, it is set up as a drawer.

01:40 - You can put everything away you won’t end up with a mess with all the little parts.

02:25 - Wow, that’s some serious kit I think I’m going to take a look at the instructions first and start with a small one first and then figure out the other functions.

02:38 - This video is made possible by the generous support of JLCPCB, China’s largest PCB manufacturer.

02:45 - With JLC you can have your PCB manufactured in under 24 hours.

02:50 - All while you track the process in real-time.

02:52 - Prototype board starts just at $2 dollars in any color.

02:56 - Check the description for more info. One of the best ways to support me is to support the companies that fund this channel.

03:02 - Okay, this is the Clicbot app I downloaded, it’s the latest version.

03:10 - And they constantly update it. Once they have an update they will give you an alert and you can upgrade it and also upgrade the firmware on the robot.

03:28 - So their app has a lot of tutorials, you see their customers are posting their work.

03:41 - They have Blockly programming for you to control the robot. And they also have a lot of tutorials like a motorcycle, Rover, Tiny Tail, with all of these you can just follow the guide and do it.

04:04 - Let’s try to build one. Let’s build a simple one first and then we will try to do the other stuff. On the side, you can see there is a quick guide here. They don’t just have the quick guidebook in the paper but also like the complete tutorial step by step to guide you, I watched them all, it’s great.

04:33 - I’ve been charging the main part which is the head of the robot.

04:46 - Let me turn it on first so I’m going to turn it on on the back of the robot head, there is a power-on button.

04:56 - If there are any updates it’s going to show up and you can update so let me connect to it.

05:07 - Wi-fi… … connected. Okay. So once I connect it, it shows on my phone and then I hit connect.

05:25 - There is a process before this. It’s in the guidebook you just scan the QR code with the robot head with the camera on it and it will connect to your local wi-fi.

05:40 - Alright, so you see there is a robot here called Bac? So if I want to build this… This has a joint. There’s a picture of it connected to the head and we just follow it step by step.

06:12 - You can see in the picture this one is horizontal so you’re going to connect it horizontally.

06:18 - There are a couple of ways to connect this joint together but I’m going to connect it horizontally just like it shows in the picture so it’s like this, alright.

06:35 - Please connect the show module onto the flashing connector so the other one is vertical. So like this.

06:53 - Next step please connect the show module onto a flashing connector.

06:57 - This is the other module, this one in the other box.

07:12 - The module can be updated, please update first.

07:18 - Update. So no matter what kind of shape you’re going to make or what kind of form it’s going to turn into, it will update the module simultaneously. I mean because you can control it with the app.

07:37 - So you will see. Because you can also follow it by the apps.

07:49 - This orientation is wrong I have to change the orientation of this module.

08:06 - Right now I’m just following the guide on the interface here.

08:10 - Change connection orientation, okay. It has these little pogo pins that you connect with.

08:32 - Okay, please connect. Okay, let’s connect with the other module, these balls.

08:49 - Is it horizontal? No, this is vertical. Okay, there is a base we need to connect with.

09:05 - Let’s remove the sticker. Stick it to my glass table, open this, take this out.

09:24 - Okay. and then So once I connected it, this is the demo they have pre-programmed. Okay, let’s go into go create and create a new robot so you can see it in 3D view.

10:15 - This is the one we just made and then save.

10:23 - Modify 3D view and save, okay. Create this motion, it has demo motion, rotation motion, steering motion.

10:40 - Rotation motion is for the wheels and steering motion is also for the wheeled platform but this one doesn’t have any wheels, this one just has joints and the head so I’m going to use the demo motion, okay.

10:58 - So the joint can move freely now. You can also lock the joint by using their app if you want so If you want to lock this joint…

11:15 -… select joint module, lock or unlock Then you are unable to move it. If you want to unlock it, just unlock it in the app.

11:28 - So it can move freely again. Alright, record Then we move the position here, record, and you can also add the time delay waiting time 0. 5… and move it in the other direction.

11:54 - Record Record, okay, and if you want to change the speed you just move these points okay.

12:06 - Okay, yes Okay. You can also change the speed rate to 29 percent it will go slower, speed rate make it slower, and then…

12:55 - Now it’s obviously slower than before So if you want to program its motion, this is how you’re going to do it.

13:17 - And you also have Blockly. This is the other way to program the robot arm.

13:29 - If you never programmed anything before, this is very good for you. Especially for kids.

13:37 - You can just select this kind of block and then kind of like Scratch move it on the side and then program it.

13:48 - Let me show you other functions, let me build more robots, let me try to build this motorcycle.

13:55 - Okay, let me take off the head. So you can choose to build it by just looking at the picture if you are a person who has a better grasp in a 3D view.

14:13 - This is pretty easy. But if you don’t it can guide you step by step.

14:19 - Just like how we do it by looking at the module. See? It also shows on the display on the head.

14:25 - At the same time, it shows on their app. So now we are going to add the module.

14:33 - It shows you the orientation of how you assembled it. This is a kind of at a 45-degree angle.

14:45 - We’re going to grab another one… . and this is actually horizontal. Alright, okay. Okay, just pop it in like this and then put another one here Alright, next One above two.

15:32 - Okay. Alright, so what happened now? So okay you see there is the control prompt you can…

16:04 - Let me clear the table a little bit. What if I click this one? It’s pretty cute.

16:36 - Okay, forward. Alright and you can also record video from here. So I can see…

17:01 - So you can recall its motion, you can record at the same time if you already have a robot on hand.

17:12 - And because I’m recording, I’m doing it on the app and I can film at the same time even though I only have one phone. So this is a good function, save successfully! It will save to your local album. Alright, okay let’s quit out. Let’s build another one, let’s build this one I want to use the…

17:41 - Actually this clamp kind of look like the clamp I got for my robot I was going to use this kind of grip to do a demo for my seven-axis robot arm but for this STEM maker kit they also have that, it’s pretty similar.

18:00 - So let’s take a look at that, alright. This is Rover. I’ll follow the guide step by step. I like to do that because at this same time if I just follow the whole picture sometimes the joints I might connect it in the wrong orientation just like I did before. Because there are a couple ways to do it you can connect it horizontally you can connect it at an angle or vertically. So it’s better for me to follow it step by step.

19:15 - So you can use this one to control the grip.

19:28 - Okay, if you want to open the grip, close the grip.

19:50 - At the bottom, you can control the single joint that holds the grip Can I do it at the same time? Wow, so I can control the axis at the same time. Open, close.

20:16 - Open, wow, and then it flips back this one that’s why it flips, I like it. Okay.

20:31 - Alright, this is pretty convenient. I just followed the tutorial and made this and I’m sure the kids will enjoy it too. Let’s try the car. I want to see the steering motion. So let’s try a simple one.

21:15 - Yes, switch to Bit. So it automatically recognize this model and it’s a self-balancing little car now.

21:38 - Now my friends who used to work for the robot arm company who joined this company are making video fantastic tutorials.

21:47 - I have been watching some of them which are really good, they have it on youtube and also in the app so let’s take a look at this conditional clause and gesture sensing robot. Jake let’s play a game today, it’s called If I point left and right you look in the opposite direction  Okay, easy.

22:06 - Okay, ready? Yep. Left, left, up, up, right, right Here on the top of the brain is the gesture sensor in the motion sensors it can detect when your hand moves in front of it.

22:23 - Oh fantastic! So the logic is if Clicbot knows I’m waving left or right by the sensor and it will look at the different direction Exactly, shall we start programming? Let’s do it! Okay, I think I can follow the tutorial and do the same thing.

22:50 - So as they say in the video there are gesture sensors here, maybe these two. So that’s why the robot can sense your movement and turn left or right. That’s why on this sensor column it has the gesture block.

23:13 - We go to control. I put all the blocks I need there. I’m going to send it to the robot Okay, what do I think of the Clicbot? Well, it’s tough.

23:49 - As I said I don’t have a very good opinion of STEM educational kits particularly robots.

23:56 - I have come across dozens that all have the same problem, a terrible curriculum and unusable software.

24:03 - That’s why you don’t see me review these. They seem to all have the same problem but the software and tutorials for the Clicbot are really really good in my opinion.

24:16 - I’ll put their youtube link in the description box so you can see for yourself.

24:22 - They really know how to teach, I had a good time building this. The instructions are clear and not frustrating. It’s not going to teach component level hardware programming but it’s an incredibly good introduction to software and hardware fundamentals.

24:42 - If there’s one caveat, it’s you get what you pay for.

24:47 - It’s a great product, but this whole kit in front of me is one thousand dollars.

24:53 - Yes, there are smaller kits, but you are still looking at around 500 dollars. Yes, it’s worth every penny, no this is not going to be for everyone. This is a money is no object, I want my kid to have the best STEM educational product available kind of purchase.

25:12 - If you can swing that- fantastic, your kid will have a blast.

25:17 - As far as lower-cost options that offer comparable educational content if you put more time in, I am going to look around at what’s out there for the level and get back to you. Most of the stuff I usually recommend from Adafruit is more advanced than this but of course, they’re always a good place to start. Ok so the Clicbot, if you can afford it, gets two thumbs up from me.

25:46 - That’s it for today, I’ll see you all next time, and remember if I can do it, anyone can do it. .