What is STEM? If you aren't educationally savvy, it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and is what you want your kids to learn if they want (or you want them) to have a career in the tech world when they graduate from school (or maybe even, like Steve Jobs, before). The Tenergy Odev Tomo is a STEM robot, which means that it will teach your kids all of those things. The science and technology parts should be obvious -- this is a robot, after all -- but the engineering part is where your child actually assembles the bot from the pieces that come in the box. (The mathematics part is probably where he or she adds up the pieces to figure out where that missing screw disappeared to.)
Tomo can be assembled in two different ways -- a tricycle and a dicycle -- both of which look like rolling carts but one of which has three wheels and one of which balances on two parallel wheels. (You can probably guess which form does which.) The bots can race and there's a sheet of plastic in the box with a track that the bot can actually follow, though mischievous and inventive children can try to stymy Tomo's racing style with obstacles that the canny automaton can maneuver its way through. Once the bot is in one piece, that tech wizard in your household (which hopefully will be the child you bought it for and not mom or dad) can program it using Google's open-source Blockly drag-and-drop programming language. The advantage of an open-source language is that there will be plenty of programs already floating around in Tenergy's cloud and you can upload your own when they're ready for prime time (or just to ask more experienced users why they don't work).
Tomo has a simple but lovable face with two large eyes that can be customized with a pair of nerdy-looking glasses. You'll need six AA batteries to make Tomo run and, not surprisingly, they aren't included. If you like Tomo but want to see what similar bots are out there, look at the EZ-Robot Roli Rover, the Sphero Ollie or the Meccano Meccanoid 2.0.
What a super cool toy! I bought this for my 9 year old who like anything science and building. My son loves it and I could be more happy with the product.
Motor in one of the wheels didn’t turn at the same speed as the other so it just went in a circle. Didn’t work properly. Will be returning it.