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Archive for the ‘Robots’ Category

Lazy Tuesday Video Post

So with a vacation the horizon and many things to take care of before then there isn’t much time to put together a thoughtful post about neat science products. So we’ll laze out and show some nifty videos of some of the items we sell in action!

First up is the new Tin Can Cable Car

Then we have the also new Table Top Robot

Our Popular Static Science Kit

The wonderfully named Anti-Gravity Magnetic Levitation  Kit

And finally (for today) Bubble Science!

New (or improved) kits from fischertechnik

As part of our line of Classroom robotics we have carried a selection of fischertechnik’s fine robotic products. Now two more have come into play – 1 an upgrade of a popular kit, the other a new entry. Let’s start with the upgraded kit:

The LT Beginner’s Kit is a beginners package for robotics for kids starting from 8 years old. It contains over 200 components including sensors, actuators, motors and more:



More Artec Science Kits (part 3)

Artec, that crazy Japanese company that makes great and original science kits has sent a few new products to us. Let’s start with the RC Cube:



Transforming Robot Kits

You just can’t be a single-purpose robot these days. OK, well actually you can, but all the cool robots have more than one shape. Blame Transformers. But in any case we’ve got a pair of new robots that have multiple shapes. Let’s start with the first one: The EM4 Robot

The EM4 has four different forms: The one known as ‘Grandpa’, a bobble-headed gear-driven family member robot:



Jr. Scientist Series Part 1 -Robot-y Things

We’ve added a few new products from Elenco’s J.r Scientist series. These are products from Japan that are quite innovative, educational, fun and affordable. We’ve added a few of these and will start off with the robotic ones. First up is the Tumbling Robot

4767The Tumbling Robot is a tough customer. He walks along with what is called an ‘angry pace’. If he falls over he simply tumbles right back into a standing position and continues walking. The Tumbling robot is powered by a single motor and you assemble it. If placed in a sitting position the Tumbling Robot will do somersaults. It can also walk in dancing mode where the arms swing wildly as the robot ‘dances’. (more…)

ROMO The Smartphone Robot

So meet Romo:

4760Romo is a Smartphone Robot. You insert your Smartphone (at present Romo only works with iPhone 4/4S and iTouch 4) onto the robot base and now your smartphone has wheels! Or more accurately, it has treads.  But Romo isn’t just a mindless set of treads. Romo gives your smartphone the ability to pathfind, react to obstacles and even react to you.

Those reactions are some of the best parts of watching Romo. He smiles, grins, looks confused and runs a whole series of4760g other expressive faces depending on what Romo is doing. Plus it makes Romo so darn cute!

Romo has treads instead of wheels so that he can handle less-than ideal terrain. Let’s face it, not everyone has smooth hardwood floors for wheels to travel on. Romo’s treads can handle concrete (with gaps), wood and low & high pile rugs. The treads also allow Romo to turn 360 degrees in place.


Romo starts off as something of a blank slate. You train Romo and teach him how to react to the world around,  Training is done with a simple (free) app.

Romo can also learn your face! By using the camera in the iPhone/ITouch Romo can learn to recognize faces and react to them. Romo also uses the touch screen to react to pokes, and the gyroscope/accelerometer to tell when he has been picked up. (more…)

fischertechnik Robot Labs

We’ve already covered fischertechnik’s excellent physics & mechanichs labs that are part of their science line.  But we have now recently added fischertechnik’s flagship products: Their excellent robot lab kits.

For younger robot enthusiasts we have the ROBO LT Beginner Lab, designed for ages 8+. Over 200 connecting components are included!


With this kits kids can build basic robotic models such as this lighthouse model:


Along with many other designs.


The next step up is the much more involved ROBO TX training Lab


This lab is aimed at slightly older kits (Age 10+), it has 310 pieces and includes the ROBO TX Controller, motors, and software. The only thing you needs besides this kit is the Accu Set power supply!

For more a mobile robot experience, the ROBOT TX Explorer comes to the forefront:


Again made for ages 10+, this lab centers around programming, redesigning, and repurposing the tracked Explorer robot:

This little can be modified and reprogrammed for many different purposes such as trail-finding, color detection, exploration and even rescue! The kits comes with all component parts but requires the seperately sold TX Controller, Power supply, and software.

Finally, the field of industry gets covered with the ROBO TX Automation Robots Lab


In this lab, kids build fully-functioning automation robots not very different from what you might find on the factory floor (albeit much smaller).


The Automation kit requires the ROBO TX Controller, ROBO Software, and power supply.

These kits are not cheap, and fischertechnik did not cut corners to bring them to you. They are great for kids who need a higher step above standard robot kits & toys. They are also excellent for schools – their durability and ‘construction toy’ nautre means they can be used again and again from class year to class year, making them a bargain in the long run!

Want to buy more fischertechnik and other classroom robots?


New Kits from DK

DK Publishing produces colorful, informative, and fun books. But they also produce nifty kits that are one part book, and one part science kit. An example of this was their recently released Alien Robots Kit and The Science Kit.

We’ll start with the Alien Robot Kit:

Alien Robot Kit

Alient Robots Kit

This kit has 50 parts to make 6 unique robots! The parts include 2 high-speed motors, 2 battery holders, 1 axle, 1 propeller, 2 rivets, 4 foam disks and 25 card parts. With this parts you can make such robots as the Communatron, the FilterTron, The ScuttleBot, the DrillaBot, the Spinnatron, and the Defendatron which can seen in cartoony glory on the back cover:

While kids build the robots, they actually learn about physics, mechanics, motion, friction, gears, and more!

Also available from DK is The Science Kit!

The Science Kit

The Science Kit

The Science Kit with included book has enough materials to do over 100 science experiments! Creata a race car, build a helicopter, make a glider,  a lava lamp, and much more!

Both kits included the needed parts and have a 48 page booklet covering the science and experiments involved. Both kits are for ages 8+.



Hurry Scurry Mouse!

This little (2-1/2″) Hurry Scurry Mouse skitters around in every direction!

Hurry Scurry Mouse


The technology might be familiar. The Hurry Scurry Mouse is based on those vibrating robots that were popular homemade items. People would take the motor that vibrates a cell phone and attach it to something like the bristle end of a toothbrush. Soon these robots were available all over and this little guy works very much the same  way!

There are a couple of differences, however, for one thing the Hurry Scurry Mouse has the cover that makes it look like a gray mouse, the other is that it has a six legs that can be adjusted to make it travel in different directions! Here is the instructional diagram from the back of the Hurry Scurry Mouse’s packaging:

Hurry Scurry Mouse adjustment instructions!

From these simple adjustments you can make the Hurry Scurry Mouse go the direction you want!




The Hurry Scurry Mouse runs on an AG13 battery and that battery is included. All of this mousey fun is less than $5!



Laser Pegs

We’ve got a new product in house. It is called Laser Pegs!

Laser Pegs are the world’s first light-up construction toy! You join pieces together and not only do they for new structures, but they also form low-voltage electrical circuits that light up LED’s in the pieces! The pieces have all sorts of different colors, and some even blink!

Laser Pegs Dune Buggy

These kits are powered by ‘AAA’ batteries, however you can also purchase an AC adapter for more long-lasting lights

The “Big Kit” that we carry at Spectrum is the Laser Pegs 3-in-1  Kit

Laser Pegs 3 in 1

Laser Pegs 3 in 1 Set

But you might also consider the smaller kits, such as the Mini Monster Bug, the Tractor, and the Dune Buggy.

We would have added Laser Pegs back during the holidays, but they are a new product and were a victim of their own success – they actually ran out of kits to sell. But now they are back and well stocked to boot! Get yourself some Laser Pegs kits today!