Support - Get in touch with Tinkerbots about robot toys

Arduino Specials

DELIVERY
When will I receive my building kit?
We will deliver all building kits within 2 working days after receiving your order.
Which countries do you deliver to?
We deliver to all countries in the EU as well as the United States of America and Canada through our North-American shop available at http://tinkerbots.com.
What is the procedure to return a building kit?
If you wish to return your Tinkerbots building kit we offer you a 14 working days term during which you can pass back your unopened and undamaged kit in its original package. Please send us an email to hello@tinkerbots.com and state your order number. We will take charge of the shipping costs and proceed to refund your building kit.
MOBILE APP
Is my smartphone / tablet compatible with the Tinkerbots App?

If your phone or tablet uses Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth LE, BLE, Bluetooth Smart) then it is compatible. For Android you will need system version 4.3 and for Apple any version above 5 with the Core Bluetooth framework (introduced in October 2011).
If you use a Google Nexus 7 (version 2013) you may experience problems connecting to the powerbrain via bluetooth. We are working towards resolving this problem.

I cannot find the App in the App store.

Please search for “Tinkerbots Control”, which is the name of our Tinkerbots App. Should your device not fulfill the above mentioned requirements, it is possible that you will not be able to find the app in the store.

How can I connect the App with the Powerbrain?
Once you have rebuilt the exact model pictured in the app, you can connect it to the Powerbrain.
My iPad / iPhone / iPod freezes when I use the Play Button in the App. What can I do?
Please update your device to the newest system update (iOS 7+) to avoid this problem from occurring.
CHARGING
How long does a charged battery last and how long does it take to charge it?

The playtime of the battery depends on the number of modules you have connected to the Powerbrain. With 2 modules the battery will last up to 2 hours, with 4 modules it will last up to 1 hour. The Powerbrain’s battery needs less than an hour to recharge completely.

How come my Powerbrain is not charging?

It is possible that you did not correctly connect the cables. Please make sure that all cables are connected and that you are using only the cables that we have provided. If you have properly connected the Powerbrain and it is not charging, the USB cable or the charger might be out of order. Please contact us.

Why does the LED not show the right status?
The reasons for a wrong charging-status on the Powerbrain might be that the USB cable has not been connected correctly or that you are still using an older firmware version. Please update your modules according to our instructions to the latest version.
The LED light does not stop flashing (yellow) when charging. Is my Powerbrain still being re-charged?
Yes, the Powerbrain will fully charge. Normally the battery will be charged up to 99% within less than an hour. The LED will reliably stop flashing and turn off when the Powerbrain is fully charged after you installed our new firmware update. Please follow our instructions to carry out the update.
MODULES
Why can I not turn my new Tinkerbots kit on?

It is possible that the Powerbrain switches on during long travels and discharges the battery on the way. Connect the Powerbrain to our charger, adapter and USB cable for about an hour (the yellow light will flash) and after recharging you can start playing with your Tinkerbots kit.

My Powerbrain freezes. It does not react to the buttons or the App for controlling it remotely. What can I do?

Connect the Powerbrain (must be turned off) through the USB cable that is marked with a yellow flag to the charger and press the RESET button. The RESET button is a tiny hole on the adapter and you can use for example a straightened paper clip to press it. Then you can turn the Powerbrain on again.

Why do the modules not move when I connect them with the App?
Right now only the L3O, Racer, Roadster, Top Dog, Donnergugi, Grabber Base, Vision Car and Braitenberg models can be controlled. If you build a different model you cannot control it with the app right now. However, we are working on expanding the models controllable through the app to enhance the experience.
Why does one of my modules not move in the Play mode?
Please make sure that the modules are connected correctly and that there is no dirt or dust blocking the way between the modules. Clean the plugs carefully with a clean and dry cloth and be careful not to scratch the gold parts. On the modules (not Powerbrain) you can also press in the contact pins that will jump back out to you and thus take out any dust that might block the connection. If this does not solve the problem, please try a different plug or connect another module or reach out to us, if you have doubts.
How can I use my sensor modules?
As of now, you can apply our light and distance sensors. Actuators and sensors can be activated and configured by means of your smartphone or tablet. Please install our new firmware version and download our new app to take full advantage of all features.
In what languages can I program Tinkerbots?
The micro-controller in the Powerbrain is an Atmega 32u4 so that you can program the Powerbrain through the Arduino platform. We prepared a detailed documentation including a video tutorial that supports you with programming your robots. Furthermore you can download Arduino Libraries for all Tinkerbots modules.
RECORD AND PLAY MODE
Why does the motor-module not record motions in the Record and Playback mode?

The motor module cannot be operated when in Record and Playback mode.

My Record and Playback recordings were ended automatically and the LED shows a red light. What happened?

It might be that you have exceeded the recording time of 40 seconds. Try to start it again and record the movements in a shorter time.

The motions I recorded in Record and Playback mode are not saved. What happened?
Did you reset the Powerbrain? If you reset the Powerbrain you reactive the standard motions and your robot forgets the new movements that you have taught him.
Why does one of my modules not move in the Play mode?
Please make sure that the modules are connected correctly and that there is no dirt or dust blocking the way between the modules. Clean the plugs carefully with a clean and dry cloth and be careful not to scratch the gold parts. On the modules (not Powerbrain) you can also press in the contact pins that will jump back out to you and thus take out any dust that might block the connection. If this does not solve the problem, please try a different plug or connect another module or reach out to us, if you have doubts.
My Powerbrain does not change to Record and Playback mode. What happened?
Probably you haven’t connected any movement module to your Powerbrain yet. After attaching a motion module you can record and play back motion sequences.
CUBIES, BRICK ADAPTORS & WHEELS
It is hard to disconnect the cubies or brick adapters. What can I do?

Since your toy is still very new, it might be hard to disconnect the different bricks. The longer you play with them the easier it will get. You can also build yourself a tool to make it easier to disconnect two bricks. Here you can find our instructions: To the instructions!

FIRMWARE UPDATE
Why do I need the firmware update application?

Our latest update released on 19 October 2016 enables you to apply our light and distance sensors to built robots that avoid obstacles or follow a light source for example. Please install our new firmware version and download our new app to take advantage of various software improvements.

Do I need to update the firmware on the modules?
Yes, even if your Tinkerbots kit doesn’t contain any sensors we strongly recommend you to install the new firmware and download the latest app version. There are several enhancements like an optimized charging process or an automatic power-off after 10 minutes of inactivity that you can benefit from. Just follow our instructions to carry out the update.
The firmware update application does not recognize my Powerbrain. What can I do?
Your computer only connects to the Powerbrain via the USB cable marked with a purple flag that we have provided. If you use another USB cable with the same plugs (USB A to mini B) your Powerbrain can also connect through USB 3.0. Our video tutorial helps you to choose the right cable. If this does not solve your problem, please re-install the USB drivers separately. This method also might be of help to you:
1. Turn off your Powerbrain.
2. Press the Record button and keep it pressed.
3. Connect the Powerbrain to your computer using our cable, keep the button pressed.
4. Wait for some seconds while you still press the button until the LED flashes purple.
5. Now you can release the button.
6. Start the Firmware Update Application.
7. Click to start the installation and follow the instructions on the screen.
After installing the update my modules aren't recognized any more. What can I do?
When your modules are detected incorrectly or aren’t recognized at all after you performed the update, it is necessary to recover them. Please follow the instructions in our recover mode video. After recovering your modules one after another, you need to install the new firmware again, our update video tutorial guides you through this process. Then you can play with your modules again as usual.
After updating my modules I get an error message, has the installation really failed?
In some cases, an error message appears although the installation has been successfully completed. Please connect your Powerbrain and the previously updated module again to your computer. If you now receive the message that your firmware’s version is already up to date, everything went well. Furthermore you can check the module’s LED display after disconnecting the Powerbrain from your computer. If the LED does not flash purple and the module regularly performs movements in the Play mode, the update was carried out successfully.
TROUBLESHOOTING
I have a technical problem with my Tinkerbots that is not listet here. What can I do?

Please send us an email to hello@tinkerbots.com and we will be glad to help you.

My email to you was left unanswered.

Usually, we reply to you within 24 hours on working days. If you didn’t receive our answer, please check your spam folder and spam settings.

Robotics Sets & My First Robot Support

Delivery
Is my smartphone / tablet compatible with the Tinkerbots App?
If your phone or tablet uses Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth LE, BLE, Bluetooth Smart) then it is compatible. For Android you will need system version 4.3 and for Apple any version above 5 with the Core Bluetooth framework (introduced in October 2011).
If you use a Google Nexus 7 (version 2013) you may experience problems connecting to the powerbrain via bluetooth. We are working towards resolving this problem.
In which countries do you deliver and is it possible to return the building kit after purchase?
We currently deliver to all countries within the European Union, to the United States of America and Canada. If you want to return your building kit you have two weeks to do so. However, for us to be able to accept returns, the building kit has to be un-used meaning that the plastic bags with the individual pieces shall not be opened and no signs of usage shall be visible. The building kit has to be in the original packaging and not used. To process a return, please contact us here, mention your order number and tell us a bit about why you wish to return your product. We will take charge of the shipping costs and will wire the refund via bank transfer to you (within the EU).
App
Is my smartphone / tablet compatible with the Tinkerbots Apps?
All smartphones and tablets that use standardized Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth LE, BLE, Bluetooth Smart) are compatible with our Apps. For Android this is the case for versions 4.3 or higher and for iOS 5 and higher (CoreBluetooth Framework, released in October 2011).
Can I use my Windows phone with the Tinkerbots Apps?

No, the Tinkerbots Apps are only compatible with Android and iOS.

How come I cannot find the App on the App store? How come I cannot download it?

Search in the Google Play Store and in the Apple App Store for „Tinkerbots“. You will find three different Apps:

The “Tinkerbots Control” App is for controlling robots you built with these kits:

Basic Wheeler Set
Advanced Builder Set
Sensoric Mega Set

The “My First Robot“ App is our visual programming App compatible with:

My First Robot Set

The “Tinkerbots World“ is for controlling robots you built with :

Robotics Starter Set
Advanced Robotics Set
Mega Robotics Set

Please also check that your smartphone or tablet’s software is updated. To run smoothly our Apps require Android 5.0+ and iOS7+ and Bluetooth 4.0 (for iOS this ist he case with iPod Touch 5+, iPad 4+ and iPhone 4s+). If you are using an older operating system you might not be able to see the Apps in the App store or you might not be able to download it.

Why does the App not connect with the Powerbrain?

For the App to recognize your robot you must re-build the exact same model that you select on the App Menu and it is important you activate your location on your phone. Then your App is able to connect to the Powerbrain. If you have put together the robot model correctly and still cannot connect to the App, try to reset the Powerbrain as well as your mobile device.

 

My smart device freezes when I use the Play Button in the App. What shall I do?

This problem might appear with older versions of iOS. We recommend to update your software and try it again.

Charging
How long does the battery last and how long until it is fully charged?

The playtime of the battery depends on the number of modules you connect to the Powerbrain. With 2 modules the battery will last up to 2 hours, with 4 modules it will last up to 1 hour. The Powerbrain’s battery needs less than an hour to recharge completely.

Why is my Powerbrain not charging?

Is it possible that you did not correctly connect the cables and the charger? Please check that the power connecter and AC adapter are correctly connected.

Why does the LED-light on the Powerbrain not indicate the charging status?

The Powerbrain can only be charged with the charger provided. Please don’t connect any other chargers or adaptors.

Module
I have just received my Tinkerbots building kit but cannot turn on the Powerbrain.

While designing the packaging we placed special attention on a safe transport of the different modules. However, on the most strenuous or long journeys it might happen that the Powerbrain turns on and thus uses up its charge of energy. When you unpack your product you might have to connect the Powerbrain to the charger to start to play. Your Powerbrain fully recharges within an hour so you don’t have to be too patient.

My Powerbrain froze and does not react. What shall I do?

Press the + and – button at the same time for 10 seconds to reset your Powerbrain. Turn it back on and the problem should be solved.

My Powerbrain makes a sound and does not react. What shall I do?

Press the + and – button at the same time for 10 seconds to reset your Powerbrain. Turn it back on and the problem should be solved.

The Record & Playback Function does not seem to work upon receiving my Tinkerbots building kit. What shall I do?

Your Tinkerbots Sets come with a basis version of our firmware. To fully use all functions of your building kit, download the ‚My First Robot’ App or ‚Tinkerbots World’ App and open it. As soon as you connect the App with the Powerbrain or the motion modules you will see that the App updates the firmware on the Powerbrain automatically. Now all functions are available to you.

Why are the modules not moving in the Play Mode?

It is possible that the module is not receiving energy or data.

Please make sure that the module is correctly connected to the Powerbrain or another module. Also check whether the surface of the plug connection is clean as any dirt might interrupt the connection. If you see a bit of dust, take a clean and dry towel and clean the connection carefully. Do not scratch or scrape as you could damage it. On the modules (not the Powerbrain) you can also try to press in the contact pins that will jump back out and thus take out any dust that might block the connection.

If this does not solve the problem, please try a different plug or connect another module and reach out to us, if you have doubts.

Are there any sensors to add to my Tinkerbots building kit?

We are currently working on a new distance sensor which will be available soon. We’ll keep you updated on our website.

Are the new Tinkerbots building kits (white modules) compatible with the 1st generation of building kits (grey modules)?

No. Even though you can connect the white and grey modules they won’t be able to communicate and transmit data and energy.

We have chosen new colors for the modules introduced in 2017 (white and red) to make the distinction between our 1st generation from 2015 easier.

RECORD & PLAYBACK MODE
The sequence I recorded in the Record & Playback mode was stopped and the LED light on the Powerbrain keeps blinking in red. What happened?

Most likely you tried to record a sequence longer than 40 seconds. Try to record the same motions again but keep the sequence a bit shorter. Your Powerbrain and other modules can remember up to 40 seconds of motions.

The sequence I recorded in the Record & Playback mode was not saved. What happened?

Most likely you restarted the Powerbrain and thus activated the standard motions. Your Powerbrain can only remember the sequence you taught it if you don’t turn it off.

Whenever you restart your Powerbrain it goes back to the standard mode. If you recorded a sequence of motion in the Record  & Playback mode your Powerbrain can only remember this until you turn it off. Once turned off it forgets everything 😉

My Powerbrain does not go into Record mode when I press record. What is going on?

This happens when you did not connect any motion modules to your Powerbrain. Take the Powerbrain, connect a Pivot or any other motion module, press Record and now you are good to go.

FIRMWARE UPDATE
Do I need to update the firmware on the modules?

We are constantly improving the firmware on our Tinkerbots products. As soon as you connect the ‚My First Robot’ or ‚Tinkerbots World’ App with your Powerbrain, the firmware is updated automatically. It might take a few seconds but then you will be able to use your modules as before.

After a firmware update my modules are not recognized anymore. What can I do?

If your modules are not recognized correctly or not at all, you will have to repeat the firmware update. Turn off the App, turn off the Powerbrain and turn both back on again. Now the firmware is updated again automatically and you should be able to use your modules as before.

Important for customers of Barnes & Nobles in the US
I would like to connect the Powerbrain with the ‚My First Robot’ or ‚Tinkerbots World’ App but they are not communicating. What can I do?

The answer is easy! First, turn off your Powerbrain and disconnect the provided charger from the Powerbrain. Then press the Record button (button 2), keep it pressed and connect the charger again (6). Now the LED light on the Powerbrain (5) illuminates in pink and the Tinkerbots Apps connect to the Powerbrain.

If the LED light does not illuminate you might not have connected the charger to an outlet. Connect your Powerbrain to a power outlet and try it again.

TROUBLESHOOTING
I have a technical problem that is not listed here.

Please contact us here and we’ll do our best to help you.

I sent you an email but I did not get a response.

We work hard to answer all your questions within 24 hours. Please check your Spam filter and Spam settings in case you have not heard from us yet.