Posted on September 28, 2011
From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine:
Designed by OWI, Inc., the 3 in 1 All Terrain Robot (model number OWI-536) comes with everything your student needs to create three individual robotic projects. Also included is a wired controller (four AA batteries not included). Upon opening the box your child will find several different "sheets" of pre-formed plastic parts all attached together. Carefully remove these parts and set aside. Some of the parts are small and important so make sure the hands doing the removing are gently doing so! My son was eager to get going and wasn't particularly gentle so he damaged one of the smaller pieces needed for one of the projects.
The directions are detailed and not always easy to follow. However, they do guide your builder so I let my 12 year-old son tackle the first of the projects on his own. He accomplished the "Gripper" right out of the gate. The "Forklift" and the "Rover" followed in the coming days. Upon completion of the Gripper, my son connected the wired controller and he was immediately able to see that he had done the project correctly. The controller is connected to the project by a 50" cord so this is not a remotely controlled device. This may be something the company might want to consider in the future for this kit. The wired controller offers a wide range of commands for the builder. It can more backward and forward as well as turn to either side. The Gripper will grab items and the Forklift will actually lift and allow you to move an item from point A to B. The "tank-like" tread of the tires allows your builder to move the project over a variety of surfaces.
The 3 in 1 aspect of this kit is really what makes it an exceptional value for the $49.95 price tag. I can see this kit being of real benefit to the budding engineer or the child that wants more than simple building kits. It is fun and educational science all right in the home. There is a lot of variety here that is not found in other robotic kits. We have used quite a few kits in the past and this one has stood the tests that come in a busy household with many children. It is still here and continues to work well (and what is more, is sought after by more than one child) beyond six months. My son said, "This kit is good for the inventor and the one that likes to figure things out." These are all signs of a good toy to me!