Thames & Kosmos: Geckobot

We received a Geckobot to facilitate our review.

My 11 year old loves anything and everything to do with building. When we were given the opportunity to review the Geckobot from Thames & Kosmos it was an immediate yes!

This astonishing wall-climbing robot has a motorized air suction system that enables it to walk vertically up and down perfectly smooth surfaces, like glass, plastic, whiteboards, and glossy laminates. The battery-powered motor drives an innovative gear system that produces a rotating motion making the legs move back and forth and up and down, mimicking a real gecko — so two of the feet are touching the wall while the other two feet are lifted off of the wall, in an alternating motion. At the same time, the gear system drives an air pump that creates a vacuum at the two feet touching the wall while blowing air outward at the other two feet. In this way, two of the feet are always holding the model to the wall, while the other two feet are pushing off and stepping forward.

You can build six other models and conduct experiments with suction to learn about air pressure and the mechanical physics of this unique device. Build models of an industrial robotic arm with a vacuum suction cup gripper, crawling inch worm, smartphone holder, suction tow truck and car, ellipsograph, and suction gun.

A 24-page, full-color manual guides you through model building with step-by-step illustrated instructions and provides scientific information and explanations.

My take: My son had a really good time building the Geckobot. In fact he chose this over Electronic time which is a big deal in my house. Other than asking for a small screwdriver he needed no help from me. Here is a picture of the Geckobot climbing a window: