Robots and Systems
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Why you shouldn't buy a Spykee Micro

David Buckley 31 August 2008

OK it is cheap.20, but not that cheap. For the same money you could get two servos (and modify them for continous rotation) plus a PicAxe (to control them) plus a battery box and a sheet of plywood to make a chassis.

The Remote Control Wall-E has tracks which actually work and is less than half the price, although similarly it only turns in reverse.

  • Spikee only has one motor and turns in reverse.
  • Spikee runs off three AAA cells.
  • Spikee is quite small, especially after the tracks and body have been removed.

    Every advertising photo shows the tracks BUT THEY ARE DUMMIES!!

    A possible scenario would be that Meccano decide they really ought to get into robotics since people screw them together, don't they. Hired a bright young thing just out of art college invested a lot of time and money in the appearance of Spikee and then discovered they couldn't get it to work.

    Too much effort has been expended on the tracks for them to have been Dummies from the start. The tracks are not as flexible as they could be and would consume a lot of motor power. Spikee is not very big and there is only enough room for one motor so I think they had to change their minds and put in wheels!

    The instruction for assembly leave everything to be desired but since there are only three user screws it is not too difficult.

    There are two clear plastic light pipes which plug into the base and lit from two blue LEDs in the base but you need to have the room in darkness for the LEDs to have any effect.
    One of the holes in the base was really too small and it was very difficult to get the pipe in at all. The other was too big and the pipe falls out.

    [Related -]

    The cable to the head is held to the back by the green/grey rubber piece which has lugs which go into a hole in the back.
    It is very difficult to get the lugs in and very easy for them to fall out.
    The light pipes going into their holes in the base.
    The four user screws and white brackets come pre-assembled.
    The body is held to the base by two screws which go into a plug which has to be pushed in first.
    The second screw.
    The head.
    Just a green LED and an IR sensor.
    The Big button is Forward and Turn-In-Reverse.

    The bottom button turns On/Off the green and Blue LEDs. The others do various light and sound effects.

    Three button cells.