The Antoid is a unique, beginner-level robot
kit that features one of the most basic functions found in autonomous
robots: obstacle detection. Powered by two DC motors, the Antoid walks
on six legs and avoids bumping into objects by detecting them with an
infrared sensor. The robot walks forward until it detects an obstacle,
at which point it backs up and turns before resuming its forward gait.
By assembling the Anotoid robot kit, you will learn one way to create a
six-legged robot and gain an appreciation for basic sensors, gearboxes,
Kit Contents and Packaging
The Antoid kit comes in a sturdy, colorful box with
English text. The kit includes all the parts you need to put it
together, including two pre-soldered circuit boards, two DC motors, and
high-quality, durable plastic parts that snap and screw together nicely.
The first part you'll notice is the large front shell with a decidedly
extraterrestrial look. With six legs, there are quite a few parts spread
across five plastic parts trees. All of the plastic has the same
blue-green color, with some parts textured and some clear.
The smaller parts come packaged in a separate plastic
tray. The small hardware is packaged in labelled bags that is a big help
in identifying one part from another. The instructions recommend
applying grease to the gearboxes, but none is included in the kit. We
found that the robot works fine without grease, though it might be a
little louder and wear out a bit sooner.
Assembling the Antoid
Because the printed circuit boards are
pre-assembled, putting the Antoid together is largely a mechanical
project. All you will need are a small phillips
screwdriver and wire
The instructions are generally easy to
understand, although we would like to see better identification of the
small hardware. All of the hardware is tagged with letters in the parts
list at the beginning of the instructions (e.g. "Screw A"
is M3 x 10), and the individual assembly steps refer only to
those letter designations. We recommend that you separate and label your
hardware before you begin to prevent any confusion and to avoid having
to flip back to the parts list page over and over.
Here are a few notes to help you avoid potential
- On page 6 (Parts List), the drawings of washers A and B are
misleading. Washer A is the very large washer, and washer B is the
- Steps 1 and 6 (pages 9 and 12) require the two medium pipe spacers
(B). Our kit included four of these B pipe spacers, but only two are
necessary. If your kit comes with more than two, make sure to select
two that are longer than the thickness of the plastic through which
they fit. Don't forget to use the lock nuts!
- On page 22, the dotted lines indicating the screw holes in the PC
board go through the wrong hole drawings. When you look at the PCB,
the smaller holes that look like the obvious ones to use are indeed
the ones to use. Make sure the white connector is oriented downward.
- Page 23: To prevent an accidental short, make sure you connect the
battery holder wires to the PC board before installing your
batteries! Also, the wire diagram does not specify which color wire
to connect to which motor lead. Just make temporary connections and
turn on the robot; if the legs on either side move backward, flip
the wires on the corresponding motor.
- We had a bit of difficulty placing the batteries in the battery
bay. Make sure not to spread the sides of the body, and make sure
the leads are clear of the gears. The 9V battery fits in the side
closer to the head.
Letting it Loose!
Like most small walking robot toys, the Antoid
performs best on a fairly smooth surface, but we were able to run it
without problems even on a carpet of medium thickness. The obstacle
sensor consists of a very bright red LED and a phototransistor, and you
can adjust the sensitivity. The sensor is very effective: we saw
detection of typical (not especially shiny) objects up to six inches
away. The flickering red LED is a nice touch that gives a little more
insight into the operation of the robot.
The iBOTZ Antoid is a good robot kit for anyone
as young as 10 who wants to get into robotics. The robot is fairly
straightforward to assemble, yet it is more than just a snap-together
kit. Through construction of the robot, you will gain valuable skills
that will help you with more advanced projects in the future. As you
interact with your Antoid robot, you will gain an appreciation for both
the possibilities and the limitations of autonomous robots. Can you find
obstacles that the Antoid will not detect? In what environment will the
Antoid detect all obstacles?
The iBOTZ Antoid robot is a kit; assembly is required. Two AA
alkaline batteries and one 9-volt battery are required but not included