Review: Herbie the Mousebot Kit by Solarbotics


I wanted a quick, easy to build robot kit to get back into electronics and robotics. I ask for a Herbie the Mouse Bot for Christmas and sure enough I got one. It was a fun kit to build and went together in a little over an hour.

You start off with a PC board…
Herbie the Mousebot by Solarbotics

… and a handful of components…

Herbie the Mousebot by Solarbotics

You break apart the PC board which serves as a PC board and a body for the mouse which, is pretty cool.

Herbie the Mousebot by Solarbotics

The PC boards join together via several solder joints. Tape is used to keep everything together until you are done soldering. A smaller board that holds the 9 volt battery connector helps keep the three main sides together. By the time you are done soldering all the joints it is a pretty sturdy little robot.

Herbie the Mousebot by Solarbotics
Herbie the Mousebot by Solarbotics

The whiskers and tail activate a relay when bumped so the mouse will backup to avoid getting stuck. I taped the relay down while I soldered it in.


Herbie with the photo diode “eyes” installed….


Herbie just about finished…


Herbie is an interesting robot because it uses a simple analog IC, the LM386, to do something you might think requires a much more complicated digital circuit or micro-controller/processor:

Herbie the Mousebot by Solarbotics

We don’t have much open bare floor in the house and it moves quite fast so it was a bit of a challenge to keep it under control without hitting too much:

The Herbie Kit is well engineered and fun to assemble. I give it five stars and recommend it as a good first robot kit.


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I was going to order a number of these for my grandsons. Are they still available Can’t find them

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