Designed for kids ages 8 and up, the Jimu Robot MeeBot Kit from UBTECH is an interactive robotic building block system that lets young ones build, program, and share humanoid robot creations. The kit includes everything kids need to get started, including the main control box, character parts, robotic servo motors, connectors, fasteners, a recharging power adapter, and instructions on how to download the free Jimu Robot app on the App Store or Google Play.Once kids download and install the app on their smart device, it’s time to build their robot. The kit compartmentalizes all parts in brightly colored boxes to help kids easily identify what’s what. The app’s construction guide is wonderful. It takes kids through a step-by-step journey on how to build their Jimu, and features fully animated 3-D models that kids can zoom in on and rotate a full 360 degrees to construct with confidence. This feature became absolutely essential in my quest to build my Jimu, because it helped me clarify the position and orientation of each piece.From start to finish, the 201-piece build took me about an hour. At first glance, it seems like a daunting task. The fasteners are small, the wires are different yet look the same, and there are six robotic servo motors that each play a crucial role in the life-like movement of the bot.

But thanks to the sophisticated in-app guide and interlocking components that snap together, kids should be able to succeed with a little patience, focus, and the occasional help from a parent. And in the end, the challenge results in a rewarding finish.Once kids have built their Jimu Robot, they can begin to program and control it via Bluetooth and the app. Simple programming lets builders pose, record, and play back their movements with a few quick touches. Each robot comes with a range of default actions, but kids can slowly program their bot to make him more intelligent and help him complete creative missions. Some of the default actions include a crazy dance, a twisting dance, a happy dance, and forward and backward movements. I was able to create a cute dance in a matter of minutes simply by dragging and dropping a few different commands into a timeline.

When young ones are satisfied, they can even upload and share photos and videos of their robots’ antics with the Jimu Robot community, which can be accessed within the app. There, they can earn and dish out “likes” as they explore other kids’ creations.The Jimu Robot MeeBot Kit is less of a construction kit and more of a way to expand kids’ understanding of key skills. Throughout the process of building and enjoying their robot, kids will sharpen their problem-solving and creative thinking skills, spatial reasoning, and hands-on engineering. And even if they struggle, trial and error experimentation skills will earn a boost.

The Jimu Robot app is compatible with Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.