Amblit Technologies purchased the all inclusive Elegoo Tumbller Self-Balancing Robot Car Kit from Amazon in February 2022 for $85.  A description of the kit can be found here.  Unlike other kits everything was included to build and initially operate the robot.  The STEM lessons with the robot kit require either a Windows or Macintosh computer that can run the Arduino Interactive Development Environment (IDE).

What is special and different about this robot is that it is a 2 wheel vehicle that automatically balances itself when turned on.  It uses a wheel sensors and a gyro/acceleroater with some C++ programming in an Arduino controller chip to achieve this.  In addition the robot car is capable of auto-following forward and backward, obstacle avoidance and has various LED light controls.  The car can be controlled either through a downloadable cell phone application or a simple, rudimentary push button switch on the robot itself.  You can reprogram the Arduino controller through a USB  interface and the computer based Arduino development environment using a simplified C++ programming language.

The kit comes with a battery (ICR18650 2200 mAh 3.7v 8.14 wh), a well written manual, an online build/construction video, a downloadable, free mobile phone application to control the robot which has been preprogammed to operate immediately after construction.

This is an easy to build, well constructed robot for the beginner kit builder.  It is also fun to play with, and great first robot to start learning about mobile robots and the science and engineering that makes them work.  Experienced robot builders can assemble this robot in less than hour, but I would plan on spending more time learning about its various components as you construct the robot.

Promotional & Informative Videos

Arduino Unboxing: Self-Balancing Robot Kit ELEGOO  Tumbller: Fun and educational  this 15+ minute time stamped video starts with the unboxing of the kit, followed by the assmebly of the robot car.  There are a number of informative observations of  the key parts during assembly.    The video includes important assembly suggestions including the use of a larger philips screwdriver to tighten some of the screws and the use of a low or medium strength thread locking fluid ($5 – $10) on the motor and wheel screws.  He also noted that the motor was mounted differently between the Elegoo manual and video, indicating that you have choice on how you mount your wheels.

The use of the thread locking fluid was of particular importance to us since we lost 2 screws on the floor after 15 minutes of initial operation.  We only found one (1) screw after a short search, but used one of the extra screws provided in the kit.  The loss of screws and extra parts is typical of many kits either in the assmbly or operation processes.

Next – Parts Inventory