Robots are all the rage today and a new company known as UBTECH Robotics has recently released a very impressive model known as Jimu Robot. The JIMU Robot Explorer kit has the potential to be a really interesting addition to any robotics hobbyist’s collection. This kit is beautifully presented in a 10” by 14 “box with separate boxes for connectors, servo motors, etc. It contains seven servo motors, one control box and 372 interlocking parts.
The assembly instructions come in a flash video format on the JIMU app, and, once downloaded, are relatively easy to use. I started with the Barrier Gate which is the starting model and, following the Build instructions in the app, assembled it successfully. The Build app requires some practice initially because, while the connectors and parts are labeled in the box, they are not identified in the app so you have to use the flash video to select the pieces visually. Likewise, while the servo motors are labeled the assembly mentions “the luminous” position and this is not mentioned elsewhere. This added some time to the assembly of the Barrier Gate. One way to speed up assembly is to run through the steps prior to starting as many of the operations are repetitive. For example, the barrier in the model has seven identical connectors and these can be assembled before mounting them on the motor.
I had some initial trouble with the “Action” command and I never did understand the “Controller” function. The lack of instructions on these functions is a real drawback, one gets the impression that the designers thought that the users would instinctively understand the processes–which will not be the case unless the maker is very adept at robotics already.
Building the “Baby” model was easier but the assembly of the servo motors required some thought. Again, the reference to luminous position did not help. The servo motor drive has four symbols, arrow, square, star and dot, and they have to be aligned properly for the correct fit but the meaning and use of the symbols are not explained. Baby operated as designed but I had the same problem with the Controller function. Also, the different functions of the servo motors are not explained and if one wanted to make their own model it appears that it would be by trial and error. Going to the JIMU website didn’t help as McAfee flagged it as a risk.
Overall, I will give the JIMU Robot 3.5 stars as the lack of supporting instruction and documentation became frustrating. It’s a pity because this kit has tremendous potential and, once the learning curve is reached, it is a lot of fun.
To learn more, see here.