Robotics Sets & My First Robot Support

App
After a successful firmware update (via the My First Robot App or Tinkerbots World App), I can no longer connect to my robot. It is also not possible to control my robot through the app. What can I do?

 

This problem can occur with some smartphones / tablets. The solution is simple. Turn off your robot, close the Tinkerbots app and disable Bluetooth on your smartphone / tablet. Then activate Bluetooth again and open the Tinkerbots app. Now follow the instructions in the app. The problem should now be resolved.

Why does the App not connect with the Powerbrain?

Make sure that you have built the model you have selected in the app menu, also make sure that the location service, as well as Bluetooth is activated on your mobile device. Only then can the app connects to the Powerbrain. If you’ve assembled the model correctly and you still cannot connect, it often helps to restart the Powerbrain. You can also try to turn on and off Bluetooth in the settings on your smartphone or tablet.

When connecting to my robot, the app will freeze in the "Bluetooth Connection" screen. What can I do?

This problem may be with a slow Internet connection. The solution is simple. Turn your Powerbrain off and on again and try to connect again. It should work fine on the second try.

I have unpacked my Tinkerbots kit and would like to connect it with the My First Robot App or the Tinkerbots World App on my iPhone / iPad / iPod. Unfortunately I cannot connect. What can I do?

Turn off the Powerbrain first. Then hold down the record button and at the same time plug the power supply into the DC socket on the Powerbrain. The status LED on the Powerbrain should now turn purple in color. Please make sure that the power adapter is connected to a power socket!

a) Are you the owner of a My First Robot Set? Then open the My First Robot App and select the Game Mode. The app now connects to your Powerbrain and performs a firmware update. This process can take a few minutes. After the successful update switch off your robot, close the Tinkerbots app and disable Bluetooth on your smartphone / tablet. Then activate Bluetooth again and open the Tinkerbots app. The problem should now be resolved.

b) Are you the owner of a Robotics series set (Robotics Starter Set, Advanced Robotics Set, Mega Robotics Set)? Then open the Tinkerbots World App and select a model to control. The app now connects to your Powerbrain and performs a firmware update. This process can take a few minutes. After the successful update switch off your robot, close the Tinkerbots app and disable Bluetooth on your smartphone / tablet. Then activate Bluetooth again and open the Tinkerbots app. The problem should now be resolved.

If I want to connect the app to my Powerbrain, the status LED flashes violet for a few minutes - What can I do?

A purple flashing status LED means: The firmware on your Powerbrain is being updated. Please follow the instructions in the app and DO NOT turn off your Powerbrain during this process. The update should normally take no longer than 3 minutes. After the update, your Powerbrain firmware is up to date and you’re ready to go.

Note: If the update was successful, the status LED on the Powerbrain will initially turn from purple to green and a tone will sound. Then the app automatically connects to the Powerbrain and the status LED changes from green to blue.

My Pivot, Twister, Motor module, Grabber flashes purple after a firmware update and does not work anymore. What can I do?

Apparently something failed during the firmware update. Please connect this module to your Powerbrain, turn on the Powerbrain and open the Tinkerbots World App or My First Robot App. Open the menu item “Settings” (gearwheel symbol) in the upper left corner and click on the item “Module Recovery”. The firmware will now be reinstalled on the module. (Note: Please always connect only 1 module to the Powerbrain!)

Why do I have to activate location service on my phone?

In order to establish a Bluetooth connection between your smartphone or tablet and your Powerbrain, the activation of the location service is mandatory. Android and iOS require the activation of this function in order to establish a Bluetooth connection. We can assure you that your location data will never be stored or shared online.

Is my smartphone / tablet compatible with the Tinkerbots app?

 

All smartphones and tablets supporting Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth LE, BLE, Bluetooth Smart) are compatible with our app. The Android operating system supports BLE version 4.4, Apple devices support BLE iOS 8 or higher.

 

Is my Windows Phone compatible with Tinkerbots?

 

No, the Tinkerbots app is only available for devices running the Android and iOS operating systems.

Why can I not find the app in the Play Store / App Store, or why can I not download it?

Please search for “Tinkerbots” in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. In the stores you will find next to the Tinkerbots Controls App the My First Robot App, as well as the Tinkerbots World App …

The Tinkerbots Controls app is suitable for use with the following kits:

  • Basic Wheeler Set
  • Advanced Builder Set
  • Sensoric Mega Set

The My First Robot app is suitable for use with the following kits:

  • My First Robot Set

The Tinkerbots World is suitable for use with the following kits:

  • Robotics Starter Set
  • Advanced Robotics Set
  • Mega Robotics Set

Pay attention to our system requirements: Bluetooth 4.0 & Android 5.0+ or ​​iOS 7+. If you have an outdated operating system on your smartphone or tablet, our apps may not appear in the app stores or you may not be able to download them. Another note for Apple users: The following devices have the necessary hardware requirements: iPod Touch 5th Gen., iPad 4th Gen., iPhone 4S.

Can I remotely control My First Robot remotely?

Currently there is no free remote control available in the My First Robot app. However, we are working to integrate other control options in the future. Until then, however, you can use the app’s built-in creative mode to remotely control your robot with codeblocks.

Does the My First Robot app actually only have 90 levels, or will more levels be added?

Yes, many exciting levels and new code blocks will be integrated into the app in the coming weeks.

Can I reset my score in the My First Robot app and start all over again?

Yes, you can reset your game progress via the settings menu (gear button in the main menu). Please note that afterwards all your code blocks, building instructions and videos must be re-unlocked.

Charging
How long does the battery last and how long does it take to recharge?

The battery life depends on how many modules you use on your Powerbrain. With 2 modules, the battery will last about 2 hours with continuous remote control under full load, and about 4 hours with 4 modules. It takes less than an hour to recharge your Powerbrain completely.

Why is my Powerbrain not charging?

The Powerbrain may not be properly connected to the supplied AC adapter. Please check whether the cable of the power supply is correctly plugged into the provided socket on the Powerbrain. When using the kit for the first time, you may need to use a little more force to insert the plug into the socket. When the battery is charged, the status LED on the Powerbrain flashes yellow. When the powerbrain is fully charged, the status LED will turn solid amber.

Why does the LED light on the Powerbrain not indicate the charging status?

The Powerbrain can only be charged with the original Tinkerbots power adapter. Please do not use other power supplies to charge the Powerbrains! If you use the supplied power adapter and the battery still does not charge, then please first check whether the plug is correctly plugged into the socket. In a few cases it can also happen that the Powerbrain is deeply discharged after prolonged storage (several months). Please try to charge the Powerbrain over a period of 3 – 4 hours in this case. Often the problem can be solved this way. If the battery of your Powerbrains still can not be charged, please contact our customer service.

Module
I just got my Tinkerbots kit and can not turn my Powerbrain on. Why is that?

In some cases you will find that the Powerbrain cannot be switched on after unpacking. In this case, please first charge the battery of the Powerbrain.

My Powerbrain does not react when it is switched on and I press any button. My Powerbrain froze. What do I have to do?

To reset your Powerbrain, press the “+” and “-” buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds. The Powerbrain then turns off. After restarting, there should no longer be an error condition.

My Powerbrain plays a continuous tone and does not respond to a keystroke. What do I have to do?

To reset your Powerbrain, press the “+” and “-” buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds. The powerbrain then turns off. After restarting, there should no longer be an error condition.

The record-and-play mode does not work after unpacking the Tinkerbots modules. What can I do?

When you purchase a Tinkerbots kit, the Tinkerbots modules are just a basic version of the Tinkerbots firmware. To use all the operating modes of the Tinkerbots modular system, download the My First Robot App or the Tinkerbots World App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Open the app and connect it to your Powerbrain or Motion Modules. Follow the instructions in the app. The first time you use it, the latest firmware version is downloaded and installed. After that you can use all operating modes of the Tinkerbots kit.

Why are none of my modules moving?

The connector may not pass power or data.
Troubleshooting: Please check if the module is correctly locked in the plug connection and if the contact surfaces of the plug connection is dirty. If so, gently clean it with a clean and dry cloth, being careful not to scratch the gold surfaces. In addition, you can gently press the four springy contact pins on each module and let it rebound again or tap gently on a hard surface.

Are there any sensors that I can use to supplement my Tinkerbots kit?

Currently we are working on a completely new sensor module. This will be available soon. When exactly, you will find out soon by checking our website or through our social media channels.

Are the new Tinkerbots kits (Model: TB1701 - white modules) compatible with the first generation kits (Model: TB1501 - gray modules)?

No, unfortunately not. Although you can mechanically interconnect white and gray modules, the modules will not be able to communicate with each other.

RECORD & PLAYBACK MODE
My "Record and Play" recording ended on its own and the status LED of the Powerbrain lights solid red. What happened?

The maximum recording time is about 40 seconds If it has been exceeded you will need to start the recording process again.

My recorded motion in "Record and Play" mode was not saved. What happened?

You probably restarted the Powerbrain unintentionally, enabling the default movement. After each restart of the Powerbrain recorded movements are deleted.

My Powerbrain does not switch to "Record" mode when I press the record button. What's happening?

This case occurs if you have no motion modules connected to your Powerbrain. Once you plug movement modules back into the Powerbrain, you can use the “Record and Play” mode to record or play movements. With any new Tinkerbots set it can sometimes happen that the buttons on the Powerbrain are still a bit sluggish. Please press the “Record” button down firmly. This helps in some cases to solve the problem.

I cannot record any movements with my motor module (motor module / double motor module). What can I do?

Please download the latest Tinkerbots App (Tinkerbots World App or My First Robot App). Connect to your the robot. Once the connection between app and robot has been established via Bluetooth, an automatic firmware update will be installed on your Tinkerbots modules. After the update movements should also be recorded and played back on the engine module.

FIRMWARE UPDATE
Do I have to update the firmware on my modules?

Since we are constantly improving the firmware of the Tinkerbots products, it is worth updating the firmware on all your modules.  A firmware update will automatically be installed on any connected module as soon as you connect the My First Robot App or the Tinkerbots World App to your Powerbrain.

My modules are no longer work after the firmware update. What can I do?

Apparently something went wrong with an automatic software update. Please download the My First Robot App or the Tinkerbots World App from the Play Store or App Store and install it on your smartphone or tablet. Now turn on your Powerbrain and insert the faulty module to your Powerbrain and start the module recovery via the settings menu of the respective app (gear button in the main menu). Now the new firmware will be installed on your module.

Note: Please do not disconnect the module from the Powerbrain during the update. The update process runs as long as the status LED on the movement module flashes violet!

TROUBLESHOOTING
I have a technical problem with my Tinkerbots kit, which is not listed here.

Just drop us an email at support@tinkerbots.com. We are glad to help you!

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

Important for customers of Barnes & Nobles in the US
I would like to connect the Powerbrain with the ‚My First Robot’ or ‚Tinkerbots World’ App but they are not communicating. What can I do?

The answer is easy! First, turn off your Powerbrain and disconnect the provided charger from the Powerbrain. Then press the Record button (button 2), keep it pressed and connect the charger again (6). Now the LED light on the Powerbrain (5) illuminates in pink and the Tinkerbots Apps connect to the Powerbrain.

If the LED light does not illuminate you might not have connected the charger to an outlet. Connect your Powerbrain to a power outlet and try it again.

Arduino Specials

DELIVERY
When will I receive my building kit?
We will deliver all building kits within 2 working days after receiving your order.
Which countries do you deliver to?
We deliver to all countries in the EU as well as the United States of America and Canada through our North-American shop available at http://tinkerbots.com.
What is the procedure to return a building kit?
If you wish to return your Tinkerbots building kit we offer you a 14 working days term during which you can pass back your unopened and undamaged kit in its original package. Please send us an email to hello@tinkerbots.com and state your order number. We will take charge of the shipping costs and proceed to refund your building kit.
MOBILE APP
Is my smartphone / tablet compatible with the Tinkerbots App?

If your phone or tablet uses Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth LE, BLE, Bluetooth Smart) then it is compatible. For Android you will need system version 4.3 and for Apple any version above 5 with the Core Bluetooth framework (introduced in October 2011).
If you use a Google Nexus 7 (version 2013) you may experience problems connecting to the powerbrain via bluetooth. We are working towards resolving this problem.

I cannot find the App in the App store.

Please search for “Tinkerbots Control”, which is the name of our Tinkerbots App. Should your device not fulfill the above mentioned requirements, it is possible that you will not be able to find the app in the store.

How can I connect the App with the Powerbrain?
Once you have rebuilt the exact model pictured in the app, you can connect it to the Powerbrain.
My iPad / iPhone / iPod freezes when I use the Play Button in the App. What can I do?
Please update your device to the newest system update (iOS 7+) to avoid this problem from occurring.
CHARGING
How long does a charged battery last and how long does it take to charge it?

The playtime of the battery depends on the number of modules you have connected to the Powerbrain. With 2 modules the battery will last up to 2 hours, with 4 modules it will last up to 1 hour. The Powerbrain’s battery needs less than an hour to recharge completely.

How come my Powerbrain is not charging?

It is possible that you did not correctly connect the cables. Please make sure that all cables are connected and that you are using only the cables that we have provided. If you have properly connected the Powerbrain and it is not charging, the USB cable or the charger might be out of order. Please contact us.

Why does the LED not show the right status?
The reasons for a wrong charging-status on the Powerbrain might be that the USB cable has not been connected correctly or that you are still using an older firmware version. Please update your modules according to our instructions to the latest version.
The LED light does not stop flashing (yellow) when charging. Is my Powerbrain still being re-charged?
Yes, the Powerbrain will fully charge. Normally the battery will be charged up to 99% within less than an hour. The LED will reliably stop flashing and turn off when the Powerbrain is fully charged after you installed our new firmware update. Please follow our instructions to carry out the update.
MODULES
Why can I not turn my new Tinkerbots kit on?

It is possible that the Powerbrain switches on during long travels and discharges the battery on the way. Connect the Powerbrain to our charger, adapter and USB cable for about an hour (the yellow light will flash) and after recharging you can start playing with your Tinkerbots kit.

My Powerbrain freezes. It does not react to the buttons or the App for controlling it remotely. What can I do?

Connect the Powerbrain (must be turned off) through the USB cable that is marked with a yellow flag to the charger and press the RESET button. The RESET button is a tiny hole on the adapter and you can use for example a straightened paper clip to press it. Then you can turn the Powerbrain on again.

Why do the modules not move when I connect them with the App?
Right now only the L3O, Racer, Roadster, Top Dog, Donnergugi, Grabber Base, Vision Car and Braitenberg models can be controlled. If you build a different model you cannot control it with the app right now. However, we are working on expanding the models controllable through the app to enhance the experience.
Why does one of my modules not move in the Play mode?
Please make sure that the modules are connected correctly and that there is no dirt or dust blocking the way between the modules. Clean the plugs carefully with a clean and dry cloth and be careful not to scratch the gold parts. On the modules (not Powerbrain) you can also press in the contact pins that will jump back out to you and thus take out any dust that might block the connection. If this does not solve the problem, please try a different plug or connect another module or reach out to us, if you have doubts.
How can I use my sensor modules?
As of now, you can apply our light and distance sensors. Actuators and sensors can be activated and configured by means of your smartphone or tablet. Please install our new firmware version and download our new app to take full advantage of all features.
In what languages can I program Tinkerbots?
The micro-controller in the Powerbrain is an Atmega 32u4 so that you can program the Powerbrain through the Arduino platform. We prepared a detailed documentation including a video tutorial that supports you with programming your robots. Furthermore you can download Arduino Libraries for all Tinkerbots modules.
RECORD AND PLAY MODE
Why does the motor-module not record motions in the Record and Playback mode?

The motor module cannot be operated when in Record and Playback mode.

My Record and Playback recordings were ended automatically and the LED shows a red light. What happened?

It might be that you have exceeded the recording time of 40 seconds. Try to start it again and record the movements in a shorter time.

The motions I recorded in Record and Playback mode are not saved. What happened?
Did you reset the Powerbrain? If you reset the Powerbrain you reactive the standard motions and your robot forgets the new movements that you have taught him.
Why does one of my modules not move in the Play mode?
Please make sure that the modules are connected correctly and that there is no dirt or dust blocking the way between the modules. Clean the plugs carefully with a clean and dry cloth and be careful not to scratch the gold parts. On the modules (not Powerbrain) you can also press in the contact pins that will jump back out to you and thus take out any dust that might block the connection. If this does not solve the problem, please try a different plug or connect another module or reach out to us, if you have doubts.
My Powerbrain does not change to Record and Playback mode. What happened?
Probably you haven’t connected any movement module to your Powerbrain yet. After attaching a motion module you can record and play back motion sequences.
CUBIES, BRICK ADAPTORS & WHEELS
It is hard to disconnect the cubies or brick adapters. What can I do?

Since your toy is still very new, it might be hard to disconnect the different bricks. The longer you play with them the easier it will get. You can also build yourself a tool to make it easier to disconnect two bricks. Here you can find our instructions: To the instructions!

FIRMWARE UPDATE
Why do I need the firmware update application?

Our latest update released on 19 October 2016 enables you to apply our light and distance sensors to built robots that avoid obstacles or follow a light source for example. Please install our new firmware version and download our new app to take advantage of various software improvements.

Do I need to update the firmware on the modules?
Yes, even if your Tinkerbots kit doesn’t contain any sensors we strongly recommend you to install the new firmware and download the latest app version. There are several enhancements like an optimized charging process or an automatic power-off after 10 minutes of inactivity that you can benefit from. Just follow our instructions to carry out the update.
The firmware update application does not recognize my Powerbrain. What can I do?
Your computer only connects to the Powerbrain via the USB cable marked with a purple flag that we have provided. If you use another USB cable with the same plugs (USB A to mini B) your Powerbrain can also connect through USB 3.0. Our video tutorial helps you to choose the right cable. If this does not solve your problem, please re-install the USB drivers separately. This method also might be of help to you:
1. Turn off your Powerbrain.
2. Press the Record button and keep it pressed.
3. Connect the Powerbrain to your computer using our cable, keep the button pressed.
4. Wait for some seconds while you still press the button until the LED flashes purple.
5. Now you can release the button.
6. Start the Firmware Update Application.
7. Click to start the installation and follow the instructions on the screen.
After installing the update my modules aren't recognized any more. What can I do?
When your modules are detected incorrectly or aren’t recognized at all after you performed the update, it is necessary to recover them. Please follow the instructions in our recover mode video. After recovering your modules one after another, you need to install the new firmware again, our update video tutorial guides you through this process. Then you can play with your modules again as usual.
After updating my modules I get an error message, has the installation really failed?
In some cases, an error message appears although the installation has been successfully completed. Please connect your Powerbrain and the previously updated module again to your computer. If you now receive the message that your firmware’s version is already up to date, everything went well. Furthermore you can check the module’s LED display after disconnecting the Powerbrain from your computer. If the LED does not flash purple and the module regularly performs movements in the Play mode, the update was carried out successfully.
TROUBLESHOOTING
I have a technical problem with my Tinkerbots that is not listet here. What can I do?

Please send us an email to hello@tinkerbots.com and we will be glad to help you.

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