Elegoo Smart Robot Minicar
The Elegoo smart robot Minicar is a fun little kit car, aimed at younger age people but entertaining for all with the ability to make custom code. I’ll go into detail about different aspects of the car and its features in this review.
Opening the box feels exciting with plenty of bright colours. It’s aimed at the younger age range to build with their parents, but it kept me, a 22-year-old perfectly entertained. The packaging was efficient and snug, so no space for things to rattle and get damaged. In the box is all the parts for the car and a couple of spare parts. Or at least I had when I built it as well as a map and the instructions on the back. (Instructions are also available as a pdf from the Elegoo website). The files included in the download are:
- The code for the car.
- Instructions for using the different modes
- Files to 3D print the body parts.
Additionally, having the 3D files is excellent in case you should you break any or want it made out of your favourite coloured plastic!
Building the Elegoo smart robot Minicar
Making this little toy car isn’t a long job – maybe 30 minutes to an hour? Most likely less if you are also a robot…
The accurate laser cut and engraved wood look fantastic. Having windows and other details without having to use the stickers is excellent as I prefer that aesthetic. Installation of the circuitry was a little fiddley with my larger size hands, but there were no overly tricky points. The build uses a few screws which were all in bags stating what was in them making picking the right screw easy. The kit also includes a screwdriver. Helpful for driving said included screws. The wooden body is all solid or clipped together, and some parts had wooden pins to keep it all together.
Installing and running the pre-made code
Installing the code requires a computer and the Arduino program which you can download for free. This is relatively straight forward, and again there are instructions to guide you through it all step by step. Just plug in the Elegoo smart robot Minicar, load up the code and transfer it to the Arduino in the robot car.
Line follow mode
Pretty neat! The map you get within the box is a little annoying, but you can make your own. The robotic car sort of judders left and right as the sensors detect the line. Set it and forget it as it follows the track until something interrupts it.
The car will drive forward until it detects something using it’s front-facing IR sensors then it turns a random amount in either direction to avoid it.
The car moves forward when it detects something in front of it. Pretty simple and a shame if that “something” in front of it is a wall; however, it doesn’t turn in this mode.
When using the Bluetooth app, you have two options:
Using the Bluetooth app as a control of the car is fantastically quick and straightforward. To set up and use open the app on your mobile device and hold it near the car. When using the app to move the vehicle, there is a joystick for driving the car yourself and buttons on-screen to interact with the premade modes.
I am using the app to set a program via graphical programing.
Programming made easy! Just drag and drop the code segments and make the robot car do your bidding. Whether you want it to spin about, play a melody and flash its lights different colours. Even if you’re going to set up something more complicated like interacting with its surroundings, it’s easy.
Where to buy
You can buy the Elegoo smart robot Minicar from Amazon at the current cost of £26.99 (Price correct as of October 2019) Fancy looking at someone else’s review have a look at maxoffsky Review of the Elegoo smart robot Minicar
I had a perfect time playing around with the Elegoo smart robot Minicar. The graphical programming is fun and straightforward, very good for getting into code without having to type and debug for hours. The building of the car is satisfying yet straightforward clicking together and not taking too long as to lose interest.
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