COMMENTARY: Solar-Powered Toys Let Kids Harness the Power of the Sun

The best way to learn is hands-on, and there are lots of great toys that let kids learn about the world around them—while having fun at the same time! With solar-powered toys, kids come to understand how the sun provides energy and how to harness it for their use.


OWI’s 14-in 1-Educational Solar Robot Kit, recipient of Best Green Products Award 2013, is a solar-powered robot that transforms into 14 different robot modes. Kids can easily change from a tail-wagging dog to a running beetle, a walking crab to a surfer, a speedster to a zombie chaser, and others. The robot kit provides unique accessories and parts that allow the robot to move on land and in water. It moves in direct sunlight and allows kids to create and use their imagination. There are two levels in building the robot kit. Level one includes Turtle-bot, Beetle-bot, Quadru-bot, Boat-bot, Walker-bot, Dog-bot, and Wheel-bot. Level two includes Roly Poly-bot, Auto-bot, Slither-bot, Surf-bot, Zombie-bot, Crab-bot, and Row-bot. Additional features include adjustable polarity on the solar panel to change direction of motor rotation, a retractable robot head which can be quickly stored in the upper body and can be installed in the front, top, or rear of the gearbox, and a transparent housing so kids can see the movements of the gears. [Read more...]

Robotics for the Next Generation

OWI’s Robotic Arm

For kids and adults who are interested in robotics, Owi Robotics has developed the Robotic Arm Edge Kit. Each kit gives robot lovers total command of the robotic arm at the “wrist,” with its five-switch wired controller, five motors, and five joints. Users can also connect the Robotic Arm Edge to a PC using the optional USB Interface Kit.

After it is assembled, the user can command the arm’s gripper to open and close, its “wrist” moves 120 degrees, and its “elbow” moves 300 degrees. The arm has a vertical reach of 15 inches, a horizontal reach of 12.6 inches, and a lift capacity of 100g.

The arm is also equipped for night-time play with a switchable light mounted on the gripper. While in operation, an audible safety gear indicator on the gearbox can help prevent gear breakage or potential injury.

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