A few days back, I was offered something rather unusual for review — a Lego-style DIY kit from Xiaomi, à la the Xiaomi Mitu DIY robot. Needless to say, I took it up and am rather happy I did so!
The Mitu kit, I’m told, is 100% Lego compatible. It comes in a kit with a load of parts (978 to be precise), and is certainly not meant for persons under 14 (according to the manufacturer) and 16 (according to me).
You can get one for yourself from GearBest.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the various aspects of this kit in the full Xiaomi Mitu DIY Robot review right here!
Xiaomi Mitu DIY Robot Review
The Mitu DIY robot is a fun piece of kit in a few different ways. It comes with a STM32-based CPU which allows the bot to get balancing abilities and more, as you shall see.
Here are the different features of the robot (once built):
- Phone controllable
- Route Planning (basic path following)
- Programming (via blocks; beginner-friendly)
That said, the most fun you’ll ever have with the kit is when you’ll be building it! It’s absolutely engrossing and very satisfactory as the kit starts taking shape.
Putting it together
You are certainly going to get a bit overwhelmed when you’re greeted with the 978 pieces as you open up the retail box. Like me, give yourself a Saturday night (miss the party for once) and some patience before you embark on this fun experience.
In my case, it took around 4-5 hours to put it all together. Remember to do the following things to ensure you don’t end up frustrated and/or with a sore back:
- Empty the different packets (containing similar pieces) into separate boxes/bowls.
- Keep changing your seating posture.
- Keep the battery charged before you finish the build.
I failed to follow #2, and did have a bit of a hard time. But well worth it in the end!
The instruction manual that comes with the kit is extremely detailed and contains all info you’ll need to put it together. I’m actually surprised how we’ll they’ve made use of isometrics to help users build the robot.
As good practise, double-check each piece that you build to ensure you don’t face issues later.
Once it takes shape
Once the ‘thing’ you’re building starts taking shape, you can start to visualize how it’s all going to fall in place. That’s probably the point you’ll start getting impatient!
When built, the Mitu DIY robot looks very futuristic and majestic. It makes for a great showpiece too! That aside, it can do a few neat little tricks as you will read in the next section.
Tricks it can pull off
It does take time getting used to seeing something with two (parallel) wheels balance itself, but it’s a lot of fun — especially if you have kids/nieces/nephews around!
You can, very easily, control the fully-built robot with your smartphone. The controls are similar to those you see on very basic RC cars. There’s a forward/backward stick on the left, and a left/right one on the right.
Route Planning and Programming
The Mitu Builder app features very basic Route Planning. What’s a bummer is the fact that the Route Planning feature on the app provides no scale whatsoever, so when you draw a straight line 1cm long, you don’t know how long the robot will actually go.
You can draw basic shapes on the screen and hit the play button, and the robot will attempt to follow the path.
The Mitu Builder app also comes with a programming feature that some might find useful. Similar to the MIT App Inventor, the Mitu Builder app allows you to use very simple blocks in order to program the robot. There are also some tutorials that you can follow to get a hang of it. It does make for a very nice learning experience.
Xiaomi Mitu DIY Robot Review
The Xiaomi Mitu DIY Robot is definitely a lot of fun. Make no mistake, building the robot will require a lot of patience, but it’s well worth it in the end.
You can purchase the Xiaomi Mitu DIY Robot for around the $130 (which I think is a really good price to pay) mark from GearBest. Check current pricing via the button below.