Monday, 10 October 2016

Crumblebot Review

This is a review of a fantastic little robot that we bought recently at the CamJam at the Department of Astronomy in Cambridge. 

The robot is called the CrumbleBot, and it has been so popular in our house that it has been given the pet name Crumblo. 

Here are a few photos of the CrumbleBot fully set up. 

The CrumbleBot was really quick and easy to set up and then we were able to programme it very quickly and easily using a scratch-like interface. The instructions were very easy to follow.

I have taken some close-up photos of the robot to show the parts. Here they are below.

This is the underneath view:

At the rear, there is an on/off switch:

and a micro-USB connector.

There is also a micro-USB connector on the Crumble:

The CrumbleBot is run by a tiny computer called a Crumble, which is mounted on top of the chassis of the robot. Below is a close-up of the Crumble, already mounted in position, and with some connectors in place. The Crumble is clearly labelled with letters and +/- signs to show where connectors should go. 

On the base plate of the robot there are a whole series of other connectors, sensors and lights as described in the documentation image on the manufacturer's website. These include "Sparkle" LED lights, and LDR light sensor, two motors to drive the robot along,  some line detecting sensors so that the robot can be driven along a ling on the floor, and a switch.

Here are some close-up of these parts:

The connectors on the Crumble computer are designed to be easily connected to the parts on the base plate using short crocodile clip leads as shown below.

This image shows the Crumble in focus with the lead attached:

and this image shows the same region with the base plate in focus:

On the opposite side of the robot there are another series of connectors. Here shown with the base plate in focus:

and here with the adjacent part of the Crumble in focus:

Underneath the robot are two driving wheels at the rear and a central front roller ball that supports the weight of the robot as it drives along. Below is the roller ball: 

The rear wheels have some really beautiful gearing:

Building the robot was really quick and easy as there are only about a dozen or so screws to be put in. 

These screws had to be put in to hold the Crumble in place:

These screws had to be put into the bottom of the base plate:

These screws had to be put in to hold on the battery compartment:

This robot was really great fun and usefully very cheap. It cost us £26.95 from 4tronix with another tenner for the Crumble computer. We built it in about half an hour. It gave us a couple of afternoons of great programming fun, suitable for even quite a young child, with help. It has now been adopted as a pet in our house. Definitely a winner here. 

P.S. I am not associated with the manufacturers or sellers in anyway. I just thought it would be nice to spread the joy.