Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
Have you ever wondered how industrial robots work? You know, the kind of robots that work on assembly lines building other complex pieces of machinery? Now you can unlock the mystery behind these sophisticated robots by building one of your own! Exclusively from HEXBUG comes the VEX Robotics Robotic Arm – a completely functional construction kit inspired by real industrial robot arms. We recently got one and we love it! My young girls are totally in awe of all it can do – and my husband had a blast building it (check out our time lapse build video below).
This unique Robotic Arm is hand powered and can pick up and relocate items using four degrees of freedom and an articulated grabber hand. The whole crane can rotate 360 degrees, allowing this miniature robot to perform the complex actions of its real life counterpart. Kids and robotics enthusiasts alike will have fun building this STEM-based kit that pays special attention to important scientific principals including gear reductions and power transfer through the robotic arm’s intricate gearing techniques. HEXBUG hopes to inspire future generations of engineers and designers by allowing them to explore this exciting field through the fun of hands-on creative play.
My husband is an engineer and nuclear mechanic and so he is a HUGE STEM advocate. After taking along hard look at this product, he absolutely loves it. He thinks it is a great way for young kids to get involved in (and excited about) STEM. Our oldest daughter (who just turned 5) had a lot of fun helping to get the pieces all set out to build this robotic arm. We plan on using the kit, and a motor from Vex Robotics, to test out some modifications and she cannot wait to help – be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel so that you don’t miss them!
After carefully unboxing everything and really looking at this product, we, as a family, are huge fans. My girls love that they can pick up their toys, candy, and pretty much anything with this arm and move it around. My 5 year old has actually started to master the controls after just a few short days of using it. My 3 year old still needs help, but she loves it just as much. We have set aside time every day for them to try moving things around with it. It is great for hand eye coordination – and is getting them excited about technology and science! My husband had a lot of fun building it and is looking forward to checking out the alternate builds that Vex Robotics suggests.
We definitely recommend this product. After building it, we would say it is good for ages 5 and up with help from adults when needed – and ages 8 and up could probably build it all on their own. The directions are pretty easy to read and the photos really help with the build. It is a great kit from Vex Robotics. There are many other kits from this company you can purchase – we cannot wait to try mixing and matching and see what we come up with. Isn’t that what STEM is all about? Expanding on things and taking them to another level? Purchase your Vex Robotics Robotic Arm at Best Buy here.