The unboxing reminded me a lot of the plastic model cars that I built as a kid. The parts are still attached to the sprues with numbered flags next to each part. Parts were also packed in bags and the bags are labeled with letters for quick identification during assembly.
After digging around in my desk for the required screwdriver and diagonal cutters we dove into the instruction book. The kit is rated for
12 and up so it was a stretch for my son, but it gave him an opportunity to learn and ask questions. The instructions were well thought out and easy to follow. The most confusing part was the assembly of the gear boxes.
Travis did a lot of the work. I would help interpret the instructions then let him assemble them. He turned most of the screws and even helped put gears in the claw gearbox after seeing me assemble the two drivetrain gear sets.
As we built it we got to talk about how gears work, how motors turn electricity into motion, and just a little bit about infrared remote controls. The IR discussion didn’t last long as the robot was operational and terrorizing the cats was more fun than trying to understand invisible light flashes.
The robot is powered with 4 motors, 2 for the treads, and two for the claw (lift and grasp). The circuit is pre-assembled so you don’t have to do more than plug the motors and battery connectors in. Slow and medium speeds on the gearbox (manually selected) were disappointingly slow, but the faster speed proved sufficient to keep the dog and cats scurrying around the room.
The wired: I enjoyed the time with Travis, and easy instructions that he could follow. We had a great time assembling it and playing for a while. It’s fast enough to terrorize the cats and annoy the dog and is sure to come out often for that task. There were plenty of learning points during the assembly, and he loved to see how reduction gears worked.
The tired: In the end you have the Rhinoceros Beetle remote control robot. Aside from some more advanced hacking it won’t do more than that.
Overall I’d give this kit 4 out of 5 nuts.