Request for improved documentation


#1

Hi there,

I am incredibly happy with my son’s new mBot2/mBot Neo. It is an incredibly capable little robot, and the mBlock software is equally amazing and capable.

If I could make one suggestion, it would be to simplify and improve the documentation. For instance, the quick-start guide that’s included in the mBot2 box should include charging the robot, connecting it to phone/PC/Mac, updating the firmware and basic troubleshooting.

I would ALSO advocate for a SINGLE instruction manual (I found two different manuals for the mBot2) that has detailed walk-throughs for basic set-up and commands, more advanced features for phone/PC/Mac, more advanced troubleshooting, etc. As I’m writing this I’m looking through the manual on yuque.com, and it has a lot of this, but it took me a while to realize where to find it.

A final instruction would be to provide challenges/ideas for kids and their parents to walk through to get familiar with the capabilities of the robot. Most of my learning nowadays is “need based” when I’m trying to solve a specific problem, so it would be lots of fun to work through different problems with my son to learn more about Robotics. I have a feeling this already exists, so maybe just having links to them would be helpful. I tried using the “courses” portion, but it was difficult to find stuff that was applicable. Perhaps if it was a little more organized (e.g. having a “start here” course, followed by courses covering the very basics, etc)

IMO, this is the single biggest downside compared to Lego Boost. In every other way, it’s superior. I’m still glad I went with MakeBlock, but I did appreciate just how “dummy proof” Lego Boost was for set-up and get started.

Thanks again!


#2

Hi AskMyDog,

I have a lot of Makeblock product and really love the products. However, the strength of Makeblock is also their greatest weakness. They are so innovative with their products that they don’t have the time to upgrade all of their products for documentation.

There are learning applications but depending on the product, the level will be more or less present. Even so, the big difference between LEGO and Makeblock is the approach. LEGO is a closed product while Makeblock is open. You can just use the product or you can develop extensions and even add your own materials. It is even possible to ask very technical questions through the support.

For your observation, LEGO is ahead of supporting children BUT the product is smaller and older. Your MBot2 product with its CyberPI controller is quite new and the documentation will improve with the community. When your child has taken the tour of his mBot2, he will always be able to go further. Much further …

Now Makeblock should go further … The forum is correct, we haven’t published much but it’s not great … There should be some kind of MOODLE built into mBlock … Challenges and even free projects.

In the end, if we criticize Makeblock, it’s because we love it and we want the best for the future.


#3

I absolutely agree with everything you just said. MakeBlock and mBot are amazing products, and you’re right, they are innovating so much that it’s probably hard to keep up with the documentation. Because of how complex it is, there’s a relatively higher bar to entry for parents and children, and my hope is that bar would be lower with more “hand-holding” for the initial stages, but then so much more capable in the long-run


#4

Hi:

Thank you very much for your feedback,we’ll send it to our PM to imporve this problem and thank you for your appreciation of our products, Makeblock will continue to improve product services to provide users with a better experience.

Best Regard


#5

Hello AskMyDog,

You write that the mBot is a very good product (also compared to LEGO Boost). In terms of hardware and capabilities, I fully agree with you there. And you miss a reasonable documentation. This seems to me to be an age-old deficiency with Makeblock.
I’ve tried to follow up on this by providing some instructions in a blog for the second step after first getting to know it.
You can check it out here: http://www.prof-horst-guenther.de/mbot. However, it is written in my native language, which is German.
I have added a machine translation into English: http://www.prof-horst-guenther.de/mbot/?English_Version.
Unfortunately, I can’t judge the quality of the translation and haven’t received any feedback on it yet. I would be happy if a native speaker would take the trouble to improve the generated English and make the result available here.
I have received very little feedback on the content of my contribution. But it was always very positive.


#6

Absolutely! I will give it my best. As someone else who has developed documentation for mBot, @CommandeR may also be interested in taking a look at your work (hopefully he sees this mention). Thank you!