FULL DISCLOSURE : There was no gift for consideration or not in consideration of a review for this article. I purchased this product when shopping with my parents, for myself. In the past, I have received gifts not in consideration of a blog review from the company that distributes the product below, the Velleman Store USA. This review was not given in consideration of any gift or compensation whatsoever.
This is a slide show, click on the photo below to begin.
I have done the older counterpart of this project before and blogged about it. The bug was actually my third engineering project. I ended up getting a dud motor and ordered another one. I have done this project many times since then, and by many I mean 3. Fun fact – on my second attempt at the uncovered microbus i learned how to make a “shunt”. A shunt, if you don’t already know is a piece of wire you use if you contact comes off.when i saw Vellman was making a new version of the micro bug this time with a cover, I NEEDED IT!
This crawling microbug is different from old one because of its shell the shell covers the circuitry while on the old one the circuitry is open and uncovered. It also has longer knobs so it is easier to adjust the bug. The circuits are a little further apart in some places so it is also easier to solder. The rubber tube they give you for the feet already has a “core” inside it so you don’t need to stuff it with paper or wire anymore.
Some of the similarities of the two bugs arrrrreee….There both micro-buggs….. uhhhhhh. They’re the same shape. They have the same design and all the same parts, with the same mechanical flaws as before. Sometimes one motor is just weaker than the other, and the red-dot to indicate cathode on the motor is still reversed like in the old one.
One disadvantage to the new design is that you would have to unscrew case just to replace the batteries. Another problem is that adults like to see the insides and the circuitry when it’s finished, and you have to open it up to show them what you’ve completed.
There are some advantages to having a case. one of these advantages is it is much more durable. Also it is more of a toy you can actually play with it, you don’t leave it on your shelf like a trophy.
I really like this new version of the microbug. I give it a 3.5 stars because there are some down sides too. Bruce and team Velleman, if your reading this let me make a couple of suggestions, I think there should be a clear case so people you show can actually see your work. Another idea would be a door for the batteries in some way so you can replace them without taking off the case.
Velleman Covered Crawling Microbug
I have done [the first version of this] project many times since then, and by many I mean 3. Some design flaws were fixed, some remain the same. The shell has its advantages and its disadvantages. In all, this is a good early project for “intermediate” Makers. The sense of accomplishment from finishing this one is higher than most because you really get to play with it. A great gift choice for young makers who have already finished a kit or two.