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ROBOTICS SETS & MY FIRST ROBOT SUPPORT

Shipping and exchange

After an order in our webshop it takes about 24 hours until your set is shipped. On weekends there is no shipping. Please also note the regional holidays in Brandenburg and the current information on the website.

The shipping itself takes between 24 – 48 hours depending on the country of destination.

We ship via UPS, because we have a good tracking possibility and the sets are delivered to you very fast worldwide.

Currently we deliver to all countries of the EU.

You have two weeks to return your Tinkerbots kit. We will only take the kit back if there are no signs of use. Your construction kit must be in its original packaging. To return it, please contact us at support@tinkerbots and give us your order number and the reason for the return. We will cover the shipping costs and refund you the money via Paypal or bank transfer within Europe.

General questions

The My First Robot set is suitable for children from 5 years of age. 

The Tinkerbots Robotics sets are suitable for children from 6 years of age. The series is discontinued and will no longer be sold after 2021.

The sets of the Tinkerbots Education Series are specially designed for the education market. The Education Basic Set is particularly suitable for secondary level I, the Education Expert Set for secondary level I + II as well as for vocational training.

In short: Yes. 

Some movements can be recorded and played back using the teach-in function, but the full potential of the products can only be exploited with a smartphone, tablet or computer and the corresponding app.

Yes, in our webshop you can also get single modules or small module sets with which you can expand your existing Tinkerbots Sets.

The My First Robot Set, the Tinkerbots Robotics Series and the Tinkerbots Education Series are compatible with each other.  

However, owners of the Tinkerbots Arduino Series (product discontinued in 2018) must be aware that this product is not compatible with these products.

Yes, due to the brick adapter plates and the cross axes/holes in the cubies and modules, our Tinkerbots are compatible with common brick systems.

Also Lego© Technic bricks can be connected with ours.

Yes and no!

It is possible to create a moving model using the Tinkerbots and Lego© Technic bricks. But it is not possible to combine a Tinkerbot motor with a Lego© Technic motor.

The Tinkerbots modules are manufactured, packed and shipped in a production facility in Bernau near Berlin. The parts for the construction come mainly from Germany (e.g. Saxony, Brandenburg and Berlin).

In this case just write us an e-mail to support@tinkerbots.com. We will gladly help you!

We usually answer all emails within 24 – 48 hours (on working days). Please check your spam folder and your spam settings.

My First Robot

As soon as you can start the Game Mode or Creative Mode in the app, a constant Bluetooth connection is established. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Open the app, start the Gaming Mode and press Start on the right side of the little robot. Then your My First Robot will move. 

This movement (e.g. 1 x forward) must now be reprogrammed using the existing function blocks. To do this, go to the blue area below.

If you have placed the blocks from the blue area correctly into the active area, you can check this by pressing the green question mark BEFORE the blocks. The app checks your input and gives you a picture hint if your program was correct.

Important: In Game Mode, the robot will NOT move AFTER you enter the blocks. It is played the other way round: First the robot pretends to move and then you ONLY DIGITALLY recreate these movements with the blocks in the app.

Note: The programming blocks are ordered by different categories. The more levels you complete, the more blocks will be added in each category, which you can also use in the creative area.

Blue: Simple movements

Orange: More complex movement sequences

Purple: Sounds.

Green: Start, loop, pause, faster or slower

In Creative mode, you can control the robot using a program.

To do this, first go to the green area at the bottom of the screen. 

You start with the Play button and move it to the free area first. Then switch back to the blue area at the bottom of the screen and add as many bricks as you like by dragging them next to the play button. When you are done, press the “Play” button and the robot will perform the movement you programmed.

The “Circular movement button” in the green area can be placed at the end of the row of blocks. The robot will then repeat the movements infinitely.

Have fun trying it out!

After level 90 in game mode is reached, the remote control mode is activated.

This mode is especially designed for teachers, educators, workshop providers etc. and offers the possibility to use all code blocks in the editor without having unlocked them in the game mode before.

Access to the Education Mode is only possible for accredited educational institutions or customers of the Tinkerbots Education Series! You can request the password at support@tinkerbots.com.

Yes you can reset your game progress via the settings menu (gear button in the main menu). Please note that all your code blocks, building instructions and videos will have to be unlocked again.

Wenn du wirklich nicht weiterkommst, kann dir vielleicht unsere Lösungsdatei helfen. Hier kannst du die PDF-Datei herunterladen. 200_Gamelevels

The “strange movements” can occur when the My First Robot starts a program and is held in the hand. 

The solution: Restart the Powerbrain, place the robot on a level surface without shocks. With the first movement command the My First Robot calibrates itself.

Tinkerbots Blockly App

The “Tinkerbots Blockly” application can be used to control the following kits:

  • My First Robot Set
  • Robotics Starter Set
  • Advanced Robotics Set
  • Mega Robotics Set
  • Education Basic Set
  • Education Advanced Set
  • Education Expert Set

You can find all download links at https://www.tinkerbots.de/download/

  • Windows: Windows 7 or higher
  • mac OS: from High Sierra (10.13.6) or higher
  • iOs: iOs 11 or higher
  • Android: Android 5.0 or higher

The safest way is to note the fist letters of the MAC address, i.e. the displayed combination of numbers and letters on the powerbrain. 

In most cases you can assume that the signal strength of the next powerbrain is the highest.

For documentation, you can right-click (PC) or two fingers (Mac) on the blocks and select “Add comment” from the drop-down menu. This opens a free floating text window where comments can be added.

On the PC this can done by using the mouse wheel or similar functions. On Mac, iOs and Android you can use the two-finger zoom gesture.

In theory, yes, because the memory of the Powerbrain is limited. But we have not yet managed to exhaust the limit in practice.

Yes, if the Python view is open, there is the possibility to export the Python code. The export is only possible in one direction. Exported Python code cannot be converted back into blocks.

Yes! To do so, “advanced features” must be activated in the settings (gear wheel). You can copy a Python file with the file name “custom.py” to the Powerbrain by clicking on the “Files” icon. If you press the play button on the powerbrain, the program starts.

In the “if” block there is a small gear wheel. When you click on it, a small window appears. Here you can now configure your “if” queries by dragging the individual components from the left into the small workspace on the right. You only define the structure of your query here, the actual cases that will be queried will be added later.

When you are done, you simply click on the gear wheel again.

In learning level 1 this is not possible.

In learning level 3, there is access to the RGB values of the sensor. The ratios can be used to detect other colours, however rhe reliability of the detection depends very much on the environment and the accuracy of the colour information.

In programming mode, the motion modules cannot be moved manually as they are waiting for input from the powerbrain.

So they are in a constant state of anticipation, blocking their position until either the powerbrain sends new signals or the Bluetooth connection is disabled and the powerbrain releases the motion modules.

It happens sometimes that the powerbrain and the computer lose their connection, even though the status is displayed as if they were connected. In this case, the powerbrain does not react to the start button anymore although the LED is blue. If this happens, disconnect the powerbrain from the Bluetooth connection by clicking “disconnect” in the Blockly application and restart the powerbrain. It might be necessary to perform a RESET on the powerbrain. To do this, press and hold the “+” and “-” button for more than 15 seconds.

Press the + and – buttons on the powerbrain simultaneously for 10 seconds (RESET function). The powerbrain will then turn on. Then switch the powerbrain off and on again and the error should be corrected.

No, this function is not supported.

The line follower depends a lot on the environmental conditions: Lateral light or light from neon tubes, as well as reflective background material can considerably limit the recognition. Therefore, always make sure that there is good and even lighting and a strong contrast between line and background.

The infrared sensors 1 and 2 detect differences in brightness and therefore they can be used very well as line follower sensors due to their positioning. In general, the line must be in strong contrast to the background.

The template that is provided with our educational boxes works best. You can also find it online as a print template (https://www.tinkerbots.de/blockly-tutorial/). 

You can also create a line yourself with wide black fabric adhesive tape on a light background. The robot follows a line better if the curves are not too narrow and the line is not too narrow.

For an optimal result with the line follower, the black line should be about 2 cm thick.

Powerbrain

Probably the powerbrain has discharged during transport. Charge it for about 1h and then you can start the Tinkerbots kit.

Press the + and – button on the powerbrain simultaneously for 15 seconds (RESET function). The powerbrain will then switch off. After that, switch the powerbrain on again and the error should be corrected.

Press the + and – button on the powerbrain simultaneously for 15 seconds (RESET function). The powerbrain will then switch off. After that, switch the powerbrain on again and the error should be corrected.

This happens if you have no motion modules connected to your powerbrain. As soon as you reconnect motion modules to your powerbrain, you can activate Record and Playback mode and record or play back motion.

Battery life depends entirely on how many modules you use on your powerbrain. With 2 modules, the battery will last about 2 hours under full load with continuous movements, and about 1 hour with 4 modules. It takes less than an hour to fully recharge your powerbrain.

When the LED on the powerbrain turns solid yellow, the charging process is complete and the battery is fully charged.

It is possible that the powerbrain is not connected properly to the AC adapter supplied. Please check that the power supply cable is plugged into the correct socket on the powerbrain. When using the kit for the first time, you may need to apply a little more force to insert the plug into the socket. 

When the battery is charging, the status LED on the powerbrain will flash yellow. When the powerbrain is fully charged, the Status LED will be solid yellow.

The powerbrain can only be charged using the AC adapter supplied. Please do not use any other power adapter to charge the powerbrain! If you are using the supplied power adapter and the battery is still not charging, first check that the plug is properly inserted into the wall socket. In a few cases, the powerbrain may also be deeply discharged after a long period of storage (several months). In this case, please try to charge the powerbrain over a period of 3 – 4 hours. Often the problem can be solved this way. If the battery of your Powerbrain still does not charge, please contact our customer service at support@tinkerbots.com.

You may have stored your Tinkerbots kit for many months (>8) without charging it. Furthermore, the battery was almost empty the last time you used it before storage. Due to the long storage in an empty state, the battery can be deeply discharged. Please try to charge the Powerbrain in this case over a period of 3 – 4 hours. Often the problem can be solved this way. 

If the powerbrain cannot be charged at all, please send the defective powerbrain including an error description and contact details to the following address: Kinematics GmbH, Customer Support, Spreeallee 2, 16321 Bernau.

Force your powerbrain into the bootloader (how to do this: see below) and perform a firmware update with a Tinkerbots app. You may have to update all modules individually afterwards. 

To force your powerbrain into bootloader mode, switch it off. If necessary, use the Reset function (press + and – for at least 10 seconds). Then hold down the Record button and plug the powerbrain into the charger plug.

During normal charging, the powerbrain has 2 display modes:

  • Blinking yellow: charging.
  • Yellow continuous: charging completed

Purple and yellow are not officially available as a colour combination. However, in rare cases it can happen that a different colour flashes on power brains with a defective charging socket. In this case please contact the customer support at support@tinkerbots.com.

In very rare cases, the buttons on my powerbrain may not work reliably. Over time, the snap domes underneath the keyboard become slightly softer and can be pressed more easily. Often, it helps if you initially press the keys with your fingertip and use stronger pressure.

Perfect storage conditions let your powerbrain last longer and protect the battery. Therefore you should store your powerbrain in a dry and cool place (15-20°C). Store the Powerbrain with at least 50-70% battery charge and fully recharge it every 3 months.

Modules

Probably the connection is not sending power or data correctly.

Please check whether the module is correctly engaged in the connector and whether the contact surfaces of the connector are dirty. If so, clean them carefully with a clean and dry cloth, taking care not to scratch the gold surfaces. You can also carefully push the four spring-loaded contact pins on each module in and let them spring out again, or gently tap them on a hard surface. Note: If this does not solve the problem, please try to reposition the modules and use other connectors.

If the module lights up purple, the module recovery mode in the Tinkerbots Blockly App must be used. You can find it there under settings (gear icon), module recovery.

If the module doesn’t work when using the Tinkerbots Blockly App, or the program doesn’t start at all, this may be due to the LED assignment of the modules. In this case, an exclamation mark appears next to the corresponding blocks in your program. Change the color of the LEDs in the corresponding blocks to match the colors displayed on your modules.

Yes, since summer 2019, you can buy our multisensor (it is already included in the Education Series sets). The Multisensor can be combined with the other modules using the Blockly application and combines the following functions:

  • Line follower
  • Colour recognition
  • Gesture recognition
  • Distance sensor
  • Light sensor

With this 5in1 multi-sensor you can make your robot even smarter and go deeper into programming and sensor technology.

No, unfortunately not. You can mechanically connect white and gray modules, but the modules will not be able to communicate or work together.

Please download the latest Tinkerbots App (Tinkerbots Blockly App or My First Robot App). Connect to the robot. After the connection between app and robot via Bluetooth is established, an automatic firmware update will be installed on your Tinkerbots modules. After the update, you should be able to record and play back movements of the motor module.

The module can only play back movements that are as fast as the motor is able to rotate. So you have probably recorded movements that are too fast for the motor module. Record the movement again more slowly and the error is fixed.

Apparently something has failed with the firmware update. Please connect this module to your powerbrain, switch on the powerbrain and open the Tinkerbots World App, My First Robot App or the Tinkerbots Blockly App. Open the menu item “Settings” (gear icon) and click on the item module restore. The firmware will now be reinstalled on the module. (Note: In this case, please plug only one motion module onto the powerbrain!)

Your module has had a problem logging on to the powerbrain. Try to unplug it and plug it in again. If the problem persists, check the plug connection and the small golden contacts. These should move freely. If necessary, clean them carefully with a lint-free dry cloth. You may also be able to use the recovery mode of the Tinkerbots World App or the My First Robot App (see above).

The Double Motor Module (Double Motor) has a red and a blue side.

If a motor is not turnin, it is often enough to help the module with the first turns: Mount a big wheel on the Double Motor and turn it a little bit by hand or push the wheel over the floor.

By using 2 independent motors, the movement may not be completely even. This is due to the fact that there are always small differences between 2 motors that receive the same signals. Also different surfaces between both wheels cause a small difference.

With our Tinkerbots Blockly application you can compensate this difference by using different percentage-values in the programming blocks. 

With the block “drive straight ahead” the drive is automatically controlled by the gyro sensor and differences between the motors are compensated. Attention! The regulation only works properly if the motor drives at least 0.5s in one direction. For loops with fast control you should therefore use the block with percentage values.

If a motor module jerks when playing back recorded movements, this can either be due to unfavourable ground or because the module has been taught faster than it can perform during playback. Try it again more slowly!

When buying a Tinkerbots Set, only a basic version of the Tinkerbots firmware is available on the Tinkerbots Modules. To use all operating modes of the Tinkerbots Modular System, download the My First Robot App or the Tinkerbots Blockly App from one of the App Stores. Open the app and connect it to your powerbrain or motion modules. Then follow the instructions in the app. The first time you use the Tinkerbots App, it will download the latest firmware version and automatically install it on your powerbrain. After that, you can use all operating modes of your Tinkerbots kit.

Open Tinkerbots World App, My First Robot App or Tinkerbots Blocky App, select the Settings menu and choose the Recovery Mode, then follow the instructions.

The module has probably been tilted a little bit. Try to control the movement electrically, i.e. by pressing the + or – button on the powerbrain and at the same time mechanically supporting the Grabber. Often it also helps to push the Grabber in the “wrong direction”.

Technical questions

Yes! We are constantly improving the firmware of Tinkerbots products. To reduce errors, a firmware update will be automatically applied to your modules when you connect the “My First Robot” app, the “Tinkerbots World” app or the Tinkerbots Blockly app to your modules. The update process will take about 2-3 minutes. After that you can use your modules as usual.

If your modules are recognized incorrectly or not at all after the update, it is necessary to repeat the update. To do so, please switch off and on the app and your powerbrain. After that, the update will be repeated automatically. Afterwards you can use your modules as usual.

Possible cause: The maximum recording time of 60 seconds has expired. Start a new recording and finish it in under 60 seconds.

Possible cause: You accidentally restarted the powerbrain and deleted the recording, but as long as the powerbrain is turned on, the recorded movement will be saved until you start a new recording or turn the powerbrain off.

Nearly all smartphones and tablets that support the Bluetooth 4.0 standard (Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth LE, BLE) are compatible with our app. The operating system Android supports BLE from version 5 and Apple’s operating system iOS from version 11 is supported.

No, we do not offer Apps for Windows Phone.

Please search the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store for “Tinkerbots”. In the App Store you will find the Tinkerbots “My First Robot” app, the “Tinkerbots World” app and the Tinkerbots Blockly app next to the “Tinkerbots Control” app.

You may not see the app in the App Stores if your smartphone / tablet is not compatible with the devices (operating system outdated). If your device has a newer built date than 2016, this should not be the case.

Please make sure that you always have built the model you selected in the app menu and that your location is activated on your smartphone. Only then the app will connect to the powerbrain. If you have built the model correctly and you still can’t connect, restarting your powerbrain, smartphone or tablet will often help.