iBOTZ MR-1004 Hydrazoid

via Pololu

The iBOTZ MR-1004 Hydrazoid has been discontinued. Please consider one of our other robot kits.

Hydrazoid Overview

The iBOTZ Hydrazoid is a good beginner robot kit that features the basic robotic action of sound detection. The Hydrazoid robot has four spindly legs and fiber-optic antennas that give this sound-detecting robot a unique, extra-terrestrial look. When the Hydrazoid "hears" a sound with its condenser microphone, its single DC motor activates, and the robot walks forward for about 12 seconds and then stops until it hears another sound. By assembling the Hydrazoid robot kit, you will learn one way to build a four-legged robot powered by a single motor, and become more familiar with basic sensors, gearboxes, and electronics.

Kit Contents and Packaging

The Hydrazoid kit comes in a sturdy, colorful box with English text. The kit includes all the parts you need to put it together, including a pre-soldered circuit board, one DC motor, and high-quality, durable plastic parts that snap and screw together nicely. Though there are only a few large parts, there are many small pieces of hardware.

The smaller parts come packaged in a separate plastic tray. The small hardware is packaged in labeled bags, which is a big help in identifying one part from another. The instructions recommend applying grease to the gearboxes, but none is included in the kit. We found that the robot works fine without grease, though it might be a little louder and wear out a bit sooner.

Assembling the Hydrazoid

Because the printed circuit board is pre-assembled, putting the Hydrazoid together is largely a mechanical project. All you will need are a small phillips screwdriver and wire cutters. There are many small pieces of hardware used to get all of the spacings between the moving parts correct, which makes the Hydrazoid a bit more challenging to assemble than other beginner robot kits.

The instructions are generally easy to understand, although we would like to see better identification of the small hardware. All of the hardware is tagged with letters in the parts list at the beginning of the instructions (e.g. "Screw A" is M3 x 28), and the individual assembly steps refer only to those letter designations. We recommend that you separate and label your hardware before you begin to prevent any confusion and to avoid having to flip back to the parts list page over and over.

Letting it Loose!

Like most small walking robot toys, the Hydrazoid performs best on a fairly smooth surface, but we were able to run it without problems even on a carpet of medium thickness. The sound sensor is a condenser microphone, and you can adjust its sensitivity; without making it too sensitive to every small sound, we could get the robot to respond to a clap from several feet away. When the Hydrazoid detects a sound, its motor activates for about 12 seconds, and a pair of green LEDs and a red LED also turn on for the duration of the robot’s walk.

The iBOTZ Hydrazoid is a good robot kit for anyone as young as 10 who wants to get into robotics. The robot is not as easy to assemble as the easiest beginner kits, but even those with no experience building kits can complete this project in an evening. The sound-detecting robot is one of the most simple out there, but the Hydrazoid distinguishes itself through its unique look, which is accentuated with its fiber-optic eye stalks. Through construction of the robot, you will gain valuable skills that will help you with more advanced projects in the future.

Note: The iBOTZ Hydrazoid robot is a kit; assembly is required. Two AA alkaline batteries battery are required but not included.

iBOTZ MR-1004 Hydrazoid Specifications
  • Features:
    • Adjustable sound sensor (walks for 12 seconds when it "hears" a sound)
    • Four-legged walking with a single motor
    • Fiber-optic antennas
  • Actuators: One DC motor
  • Power supply: 2 AA alkaline batteries (batteries not included)
  • Current consumption: 5 mA when motor on standby, 120 mA while operating motor.
  • Dimensions: 155 × 125 × 195 mm (L x W x H)