These days kids need to learn as many skills in science and technology as humanly possible. As our society continues to become increasingly dependent on tech it’s becoming evident that future jobs will predominantly revolve around science and tech. That’s where The Young Scientists Club is trying to help. The company makes all sorts of educational kits and toys for kids to expand their knowledge in technology and science. One such kit is SUNNY the robot. SUNNY is a robotics kit in a series of kits that is aimed at kids 8+ and opens the door to robotics for kids. The SUNNY kit gives you a complete robot building experience and is perfect for that 6-8 age range. Read on for our full SUNNY the robot review and find out why this inexpensive project landed one of our Techaeris Top Pick Awards for 2017.
What’s In The Box
- SUNNY’s various parts
- Instruction/activity poster
There are four distinct designs in the robotics kits that The Young Scientists Club puts out. Our review unit reacts to light to make it move. There is also one that is controlled by infrared, another that can sense obstacles and redirect itself, and one that acts like a metal detector. They all have a different shape to them as well as a different color. Our SUNNY unit comes in a nice bright orange and is made of mostly high-quality plastics. All the components are nicely made and should survive the activities of kids 8 and above but I would keep this away from smaller children. There are many small parts that could be a choking hazard. Overall the design is fun, bright, and should appeal to all kids.
Ease of Use
The Young Scientists Club includes a brilliantly large and very easy to follow instructional poster that helped my 8-year old finish this project in just under an hour. The poster not only serves as an instruction manual but it also gives some educational tidbits about robotics and what the project is all about. I had my daughter read the entire intro aloud before we even began the project. I felt the information being presented was useful to understanding what she was about to build.
There aren’t a whole lot of pieces to the kit but you do have to take care to follow the instructions carefully. There is minor wiring involved, though there is no soldering which is a good deal. The instructions are very clear and concise and as long as you follow them in order and to the letter, this was a very simple project to complete.
The box says this kit is for ages 8+ but my 6-year old son was able to follow along with his 8-year old sister and he grasped the concept very quickly. He even helped out a little by torquing some of the screws down and inserting one of the wires into the spring. Overall this is a very simple project that has very clear and concise instructions that most 8-year olds will be able to get through. I do believe some 6 and 7-year olds should be able to put this kit together as well. The hardest part of this whole build is torquing the screws down completely, I did have to assist in making sure we didn’t have any stripped out screw heads.
Once you have SUNNY all put together it’s just a matter of making sure you’re near a light source (sunlight or artificial light works) and flipping the on switch. There is a switch on the bottom of SUNNY that is designed to increase and decrease the light sensitivity. So if you were in a darker environment, you could tweak the sensitivity up so SUNNY’S sensors could detect more light and be able to move. The robot performs very well, it basically moves in a straight line on its own with the power of light. The robot does have problems with cracks and holes, it’s really not made for rough terrain but it is made for smooth surfaces. Don’t expect this little thing to get over sidewalk cracks, it will get stuck and that’s really to be expected. Overall the performance is great. It’s not an all-terrain vehicle but does excellent on smooth flat surfaces, it’s a great little machine.
At $29.99USD this is an absolute heck of a deal. There are some toys on the market that sell for more than this and wouldn’t give nearly as much education and sense of accomplishment to kids. This thing is totally worth the $29.99USD. We’re actually thinking about buying the HURDLE version for our son because he enjoyed helping and watching his sister build SUNNY. The price is just right and the value is totally there.
Educational toys like these are just an amazing investment into the education of our kids. As much as I love other toys like Star Wars lightsabers and Minions fart guns, toys like these are far superior and more valuable than your average mindless toys that are out there. These are totally worth the price and I have no complaints about this kit whatsoever.