Make Solar Powered Robots with SolarBots

I said I was going to write weekly about STEM and art projects and here I am. My kids are currently home 3 days a week. I will be sharing the projects I do with them throughout the year. Recently we got the opportunity to review SolarBots from Thames & Kosmos in exchange for an honest review. Let me just say this set is amazing. Kids can learn about different energy sources aside from batteries, SOLAR energy. 

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What's Inside the Box
The SolarBots kit comes with enough parts to make 8 different robots. It consists of a solar module made with solar panels and very small gears. Only one robot can be made at a time because there is only one solar panel and gear set.
How Does It Work?
All the robots consist of small interchangeable parts, a solar panel and motor module. 

When the light from the sun hits the solar panel or solar cell, the photons from the sun displace the electrons on the silicon solar cell, generating electricity. This electricity moves through the conductive material to the gear box and the robot moves.
How To Build
The first step to building any robot is putting together the solar gearbox. It will only have to be put together once. I ended up putting this together for my kids because it was the most complicated. All the other parts were relatively easy to put together.

The solar module is the center of any robot built.
After the gearbox is put together kids can pick what robot they want to make. The parts list for each robot is listed first. The parts need to be cut out. I ended up using my Cricut scissors as seen above. They are very sharp and can cut off the edges very easily. 
A nail file can also be used to smooth the edges.Once all the parts are cut out the robot can be assembled. Each robot has different skills. One is good at cruising, one has treads, one twirls, one can do somersaults, another creeps and crawls, and one even drums. They each have different functions.
Here are some of the robots we created. My kids loved it and can not wait to make more.

Some Tricks and Tips
Some tips we picked up doing this is to make sure the solar panel is pointed in the direction of the sun. Try the robot at different times of the day. We tried it around three when the sun was at an angle. My kids are excited to try it when the sun it directly overhead.

If it is super rainy and cloudy try an incandescent halogen bulb 50 watts or higher to make energy.

Make sure to have a clear and smooth surface.

Here is the back and front of the box. We really like this set and highly recommend.

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