Who needs the circus when you can have your own tightrope-walking robot?!
Not only does the Amazing Tightrope-Walking Gyrobot from Thames & Kosmos walk along a tightrope, but it can also walk on tabletops, couches, and even on humans.
Kids can build a walking robot with this STEM kit, which also contains eight experiments that kids can play around with to learn about physics and robotics. The kit includes all the parts kids will need to build a robot, which functions with a motorized gyroscope unit.
What is a gyroscope, you ask? It’s a device containing a spinning wheel or disc, often used to provide stability, maintain orientation, or detect direction in navigation systems. Many common objects feature gyroscopic motion, from something as simple as a bicycle wheel or a yo-yo to something as complex as a satellite or a space station.
The set is recommended for kids ages 6-14, although younger kids may not understand the scientific concepts as well as teenagers will. The 24-page experiment manual is easy to follow with its colored illustrations and step-by-step instructions, breaking down the tasks with explanations to help kids learn about the why and how of their robotic buddy. Some parents might have to help their kids with the project, depending on age, but the act of building the robot makes the science behind it easier to digest.
Once built, the robot looks like a friendly little guy that balances on its own, staying at bay thanks to the gyroscope. In addition to building the robot, kids can also build the experimental setups, including a frame for the tightrope. The robot can then perform tricks, like walking the tightrope without falling over. Kids can also experiment with the balancing behavior of the motorized gyroscope on its own to test its ability to balance on its edge, on a finger, or dangling from a string.
It seems like it would be an expensive item for all that it does, but the Gyrobot is only $39.95, which is very reasonable for a robot that you build yourself. Kids can build something worth showing off with this multi-faceted STEM toy.