Mailbag, in which we answer real emails sent to Robot Test Kitchen. You can email us through the Contact Page.
My name is Lindsay and I’m a Youth Services Librarian. I’m currently developing a Cubelets program for the library, and I read your (helpful) review on the product. Just wondering if you have any ideas for program structure? How many Cubelets kits might I need? What type of a program structure do you see working best (would Cubelets work best as a station as part of a larger program? Could I run a Cubelets robotics program on it’s own — perhaps with the Lego brick adapters?). Any insight would be helpful.
Hi Lindsay.The first piece of advice I would give you would be to have a battery for each person attending the program. You can’t do anything without batteries. As to how many kits you’d need, our library purchased a six piece and a standard kit, a few more action cubes and extra batteries. That appears to be enough for five or six patrons, as long as there are enough batteries.
Secondly, I would agree that Cubelets would work best as a “station” as part of a larger program. They’re fascinating to work with and explore the variety of options. What does this cube do? How does it change the original idea of your robot? Does it make it better? Is it completely changed? These are questions that can be addressed at this station.
You could also throw out suggestions of types of robots to make: Can you make an Intruder robot — one that activates when someone comes in the room? I would challenge them to keep their bots to under six or so cubes (not including the battery). What I find during open play is that they want to use all of the cubes and make one giant robot that doesn’t really have a lot of focus.
I love the Lego brick adaptors. I think it would be fascinating to see what they could come up with if given Cubelets, a box of Legos, and the adaptors. We haven’t done it yet, but plan on working it into our Tween meetings this winter.
I hope this helps, Lindsay.
Robot Test Kitchen
Robot Advisory for Youth Services Librarians