Orion Explorer 1 FAQ
Please see the main FAQ for general site questions.
Q: Where can I buy the Explorer 1 Robot kit?
Currently, those kits are no longer for sale. However, I am looking into new robot kits that would be both more sophisticated, and cheaper than the Explorer 1, and I intend to run some robot building workshops with kits before they go on sale.
Q: What does solderless mean?
A: The user will not need to use a soldering iron to assemble any of the solderless kits. They can be assembled using simple plug-in pins, or screw terminals. I’ve nothing against soldering - but for someone new to robotics, or for the constructively lazy, it is easier not to need to. I generally reserve it for repairing, or prototyping something completely new.
Q: Is the microcontroller included?
A: Yes an Arduino compatible microcontroller is included - unlike many other robot chassis kits, you will not need to buy another one.
Q: Will it work on Carpet?
A: Yes - it will run fine. On lower batteries it prefers hard surfaces though.
Q: What ground clearance does it have? Can it cross gaps?
A: It will happily go over 12mm high obstacles, but will struggle at 20mm. The wheels have this much clearance - but now it is a matter of torque - so maybe only on a new set of batteries. It can happily cross gaps of 30-50mm.
Q: Does it come preprogrammed?
A: Only with the Arduino bootloader and a simple LED flasher. For it to move - you’ll need to use one of the tutorial code demos.
Q: Are the other sensors and outputs for it?
A: The digital input/output pins are compatible with the sensors and devices that can be found on our site, and many on the internet. It is capable of working with I2c, Serial and Spi devices.
Q: Does it work with standard Arduino shields
A: Yes - it is a 100% Arduino compatible controller (apart from the bare option), however note that it will need connections for the motors and power - if the shield uses and does not extend these IO pins you’ll need to rethink the wiring.
Q: Can you ship it to my country?
A: We are not currently selling the robot - when we have a product, we will certainly look at international shipping for it.
Q: If my robot is broken - can I fix it myself?
A: Yes - all the robots are user serviceable. They’re made of replaceable parts you put together yourself. It designed to be user maintainable and so you could repair or upgrade it.
Q: What is easy about it?
- Easy to build - No soldering needed
- Priced within your means
- Easy to program
- Easy to have fun with it, explore with it, expand it and do more than the basics.
- Did I say that there is no solder needed?
You can get your kids started on a robotics project for fun, or you can finally start your own robot project with grand ambitions. A uni student can get the basics off the ground in the first day, and spend the rest of an assignment extending the robot to do more.