Two Days with the T-Bot II

Typically, school follows a pretty set routine where we continue on in our My Father’s World lessons. This week, however, dad has been off work for a random vacation, which meant it was a good opportunity for Jeffrey to deviate from his standard lessons and give dad an opportunity to teach.

We’ve had the Pitsco T-Bot II for several months now, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to open up the box and get to work on it, and the time was finally there. What better way for dad to teach a school lesson than to do something fun for both of them, involving a very fun lesson in hydraulics.

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The T-Bot II challenge kit came with a lot of parts. In addition to the entire robot kit, the challenge kit included some items for additional challenges plus a teacher’s guide for activities.

Jeffrey and dad got down to work.

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They popped all of the laser-cut pieces out, one by one.

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They measured parts and cut them.

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They got everything organized and in order.

Then, the real work began.

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He glued the pieces and worked with focus on each piece. Jeffrey has a natural instinct when it comes to putting things together. He can usually figure out that sort of thing without looking at the instructions. However, in some instances, he did double check his work against the very detailed images and diagrams in the instruction manual.

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Because the T-Bot II is powered by hydraulics, it takes water to make it move, rather than solar, battery, or other forms of power. That means that it needs some sort of connections to power it. These syringes provided the link between the control panel and actual movement.

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It was great seeing dad and Jeffrey work together to build the project, side by side.

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Jeffrey had the reins, but dad stepped in to help when needed, sometimes providing a stabilizing hand or clarifying something in the assembly instructions.

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Jeffrey was able to do a lot of the work on his own, though, with dad’s watchful eye.

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Over the course of a day, the robot started to come together, piece by piece, screw by screw, syringe by syringe.

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Finally, it was time to connect the syringes in the robot to the syringes that control it.

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By the time the tubes were connected and the robot was mobile, it was finally time to stop for the day. The next morning, both boys were up and at it, ready to construct the control panel and the challenges for the T-Bot II to perform.

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One of my favorite parts of the T-Bot II project was the little details. For one, the robot actually looks like a person, with arms and eyes and everything. Additionally, the control panel tells you exactly what each syringe controls and how pushing or pulling on the syringe will effect the movement of the robot.

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The syringes were filled with colored water so we could see how things worked and moved and distinguish the parts of the robot’s hydraulics.

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The robot was able to easily manage challenges with the help of Jeffrey’s hands on the controls, showing the robot exactly what to do.

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I would explain more, but really the images don’t do it justice. I’ll just let you see for yourself…

The T-Bot II from Pitsco provided hours of entertainment and education to both Jeffrey and dad. Additionally, the teacher’s guide is filled with challenges that will help Jeffrey continue to learn math and science while providing a tangible enhancement to his education.

It was amazing to see how he had learned how to build and operate the T-Bot II, and it was fantastic to see him working side-by-side with dad. We’ve already decided we will be getting more products from Pitsco in the future, because this was truly one of the best projects we’ve worked with all year. Jeffrey’s fascination with it truly showed that this is an area that interests him.

On the Pitsco website, there are plenty of options for amazing projects to help kids learn about robots, engineering, math, science, and more, in very tangible, hands-on ways. Jeffrey is such a hands-on learner that this is a great supplement to the other parts of his curriculum.

The best part is that the Pitsco items are pretty darn affordable. Oh, and you can buy the T-Bot II in a 10-pack so it could be used for classes, large families, or boy/girl scout troupes. Or, you can buy it with the challenge set (shown in the video) or you could even buy the challenge set separately if you decide to add it on later.

I couldn’t recommend this set even higher. It’s an amazing tool to teach kids a lot of great technology. Honestly, at 23 years old, I had never really understood hydraulics, and I was amazed at how this robot worked. Even Zach at 18 months old loved watching the T-Bot move back and forth, up and down, with just the push of a syringe.

I am so glad Jeffrey got the opportunity to build the T-Bot II, and I can’t wait for him to continue using it in activities throughout the rest of our school year.

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2 comments

  1. It is great seeing a son and his Dad bonding in this way. They have created memories that Jeffrey will share with his own family. This was wonderful.

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