RoadTest: BinaryBots: TOTEMCRAB + micro:bit
Evaluation Type: Test Equipment
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?:
What were the biggest problems encountered?: The instruction guide in respect to coding was the biggest problem I encountered.
On unboxing the TOTEMCRAB everything comes separated into different numbered bags which made for following the instructions to build the unit very easy. Bag #1 correlated to one set of instructions, Bag #2 another, and so on. It made for very easy assembly and organization. The second thing to note in regards to building is the ease of use in the Totem Mechanics- the provided screwdriver with it's magnetic handle made holding on to the bolts easy. The small wrench provided could be improved a little bit as it is small in an adults hands (in a child's it may be easier). From the start of assembly to the end the entire crab can be done quickly, under an hour for sure with interruptions. Due to the parts being divided into bags it is also nice that you can build it in sections if desired.
On coding the TOTEMCRAB, the basic instructions that it comes with (on coding a face for the crab using the built-in LEDS and to operate the claw) are easy to follow using microbit's block based interface. I found that after that there were no further instructions included which means that the sensor board that is toted on the box pretty much goes to waste as they don't say how to use it or code it. In order to use the sensor board, you have to navigate to binary bot's website and to search the sensor tutorials- it was easy to find but yet another step required. Experience in python coding is also required in order to use the sensor board as microbit does not have blocks for it as of yet. On the box it says it is around the intermediate level for difficulty, I would agree with that in some respects however in regards to the finding and writing code in python is a bit further than what I would expect from an intermediate level. Based on everything in the box (instructions and coding basics) I would say the rating suits the box.
The price comes in around $100 CAD which, for what is included I would say is not too bad- should you have ability to sort things out on your own. The ability to change the structure to what suits you, plus the included sensor board do make it worth it as there are lots of different possibilities.