A bit disappointed so far


#1

I must say, I’m a bit disappointed in the GoBox so far. It was advertised as a GoPiGo + 12 monthly missions, each with a new sensor.

However, “Mission 1” was simply “assemble the GoPiGo”, no sensor, and not even a basic movement or programming tutorial, just “build it”.

“Mission 2” arrived, again, no sensor, just a couple of stickers and a 3D printed Dexter logo. The mission at least was about basic movement, but frankly, that is something that should have been included out of the box, not really a mission (in other words, we’re still not beyond what you get if you simply had purchased a GoPiGo by itself).

“Mission 3” was delayed and ended up shipping bundled with “Mission 4”. Those have finally arrived, and now we’re actually starting to get somewhere, as we have a light sensor (Mission 3) and a sound sensor (Mission 4). The missions involving these items are well written and the extras included are nice to help trigger imaginations. However, both of these sensors connect to the A1 port of the GoPiGo, and thus cannot be used together.

Factor in that I backed at the “GoBox Advanced” level and thus received the servo + camera package, only to find out that the ribbon cable shipped with the camera won’t reach the port on the Raspberry Pi in the standard configuration, and it’s been a fairly frustrating start. I still hold out hope that the remaining 8 missions will all include a new sensor, and that we’ll also be able to use these sensors together to enable relatively complex behaviors, but thus far I am underwhelmed.


#2

Hello cezero, thanks for the post and thanks for your patience. I wanted to take some time to think about an appropriate response.

First, again, thanks for the feedback on this. We’re trying to make a great product, and we want folks to be happy with it. We appreciate the feedback. We developed the GoBox to be a great set of projects for beginners with little to no experience in programming; each one is meant as a project you can do for an hour or two with you kid on a weekend – and just getting started takes a little time for most beginners.

As far as the comment about the sensors being used on the same port: this was a design decision. I don’t want to sound defensive, but just to explain our design decision: we wanted to make programming in Scratch as simple as possible. The sensors can be used on various ports, but in Scratch, they have a designated port they can use. The idea was to cut down on confusion and make a simple product; sometimes (like you might see with Apple products) you try to limit versatility to make ti easier for a wider audience.

Finally, I think you might be confused about the ribbon and the camera. Karan answered your other post separately about this, but the ribbon and the parts fit together neatly. We have a video showing how to assemble it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7BlvxPCll4).

Again, thanks for your candid feedback about the product and what we’ve delivered. It sounds like you might be a more advanced user, and since you’ve backed the “Advanced” package, you have a lot of the parts necessary to move forward and explore other projects outside of the GoBox framework with more advanced programming languages such as Python or C. Please don’t feel like you have to wait for more missions to explore more with the GoPiGo.

Best, John (Founder of Dexter Industries and the guy where the buck stops with the GoBox)


#3

Yes, the ribbon / camera issue has been resolved, thank you very much!

I’ve been doing research on ways to leverage additional ports for the sensors, as my daughter and I are using Python, not Scratch, to do the projects. I’m sure we’ll be able to figure it out.

I get that this is meant to be an introductory experience building step-by-step, and I think you have done a good job with that.

That said, the kickstarter page clearly states:
The first month, you’ll get the GoPiGo robot car, and every month after that you will be assigned a mission to accomplish! Each month, your GoBox will include a new sensor and step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish a mission – complete with illustrations and links to helpful videos.

Thus, mission two should have included a sensor, and it did not. Hopefully all future missions will include a sensor as promised, and you might consider including an extra sensor in a future mission to bring the sensor total up to 11 as promised by the kickstarter page. To me, a key value of this project is getting a bunch of different sensors for my daughter to experiment with. To be honest, I was quite torn between simply investing in a GoPiGo and buying sensors a la carte versus backing the GoBox. I was really beginning to regret the decision to back the GoBox after receiving mission two as, at that time, it felt like my money would have been better spent on simply getting a GoPiGo. Adding in the delay before getting Missions three and fou, it really wasn’t a very positive initial experience.

That said, I am optimistic about the rest of the missions. My daughter is excitedly experimenting with the sensors included in missions three and four and is enjoying using the googly eyes and pipe cleaners to transform her robot into a wheeled shark :slight_smile: After what I consider to be a rough start, things are certainly looking up and we are anxiously awaiting mission five!


#4

Again, thanks for the feedback. We think that most of the value is provided in the instruction, and that’s how we tried to portray it in the Kickstarter. Not being professional lawyers or marketers, we might not have done that as effectively as we should have. Thanks for pointing out our errors.

In the future, we’ll be more careful about the language we use so that we’re not leaving backers feeling mislead.

Kindest regards, John


#5

Just received Mission 5: Service Animals, and I am very pleased. Not only did it include a very interesting mission, but it also included the Ultrasonic Sensor, at a perfect time when we’re attempting to build more complex navigation capabilities into the robot. I was hopeful it would be one of the sensors included as part of the GoBox series. I wasn’t sure, since it is the sensor included in the GoPiGo starter kit, and I knew some of the backer levels were “just the missions” for folks who already owned a GoPiGo.

Good job, and frankly, I am beginning to feel a little silly for my initial post.


#6

Hey cezero,
Great to hear that you likes Mission 5. Hope you like the other missions that are going to come in the next few months too.

-Karan


#7

Hey cezero, thanks so much for the followup! Glad to hear the M5 was exciting and engaging, that’s fantastic. It’s really helpful for us to hear about this, please keep letting us know how you feel about the missions.

Best, John