‘create-a-critter robot kit,’ Developed for Use in NHK Enterprise’s Elementary Kids RoboCon, Now Available to Everyone

2019/10/1 News

Yukai Engineering is pleased to announce “create-a-critter robot kit” is now available for purchase. Developed by Yukai for use in NHK Enterprise’s “Elementary Kids RoboCon” scheduled for March 2020, the kit is designed to help young children learn how to build robots in an infinite variety of ways from their imaginations. Contest applicants may use the kit to create their submissions for prequalification, which process has just begun.


▼create-a-critter robot kit can be ordered at the following site:


Founded in 1988, NHK Enterprise’s RoboCon is a competition series in which children of all ages can show off their ingenuity in creating unique robots. The series offers several different types of competitions, including High School RoboCon, NHK Students’ RoboCon and ABU RoboCon. Yukai’s new kit will be used in “Elementary Kids RoboCon,” a highly anticipated new contest set to begin in March 2020. In this contest, children will tackle three candy box-themed challenges to vie for trophies in the Speed and Ideas categories. Yukai Engineering is providing support for the tournament, as well as for the prequalification process in which applicants are required to submit their work for the “Candy Creatures Robotic Race.”

Starting in 2020, all elementary schools in Japan will be required to provide programming education. We created the kit so robot-making would be as easy and enjoyable for elementary-age children as craft-making. We hope the kit will be used in all types of educational settings – including schools and children’s programming workshops – to help youngsters unleash their inner engineers and create innovative robots from their original ideas.


For details about how to participate in the “Elementary Kids RoboCon,” please visit the following site:


In advance of the kit’s market release, we held several events this past summer, featuring “create-a-critter robot kit,” including workshops as part of the Science Museum in Tokyo’s “RoboCon Experience Museum Season 3” (sponsored by NHK Enterprise), as well as the workshop titled, “Lets Make Creatures!” at Mercedes me Tokyo NEXT DOOR. We had a capacity audience at all of the workshops and received wonderful feedback from the participants!


Check out this video to see how create-a-critter robot kit works!


Story behind ‘create-a-critter robot kit’
The new robotic kit reflects our wish to spark an interest in children to make things with their own hands and from their original ideas. We wanted to create a kit with easy-to-handle components, such as switches, so young children can understand how robots are made. We hope this kit will help children imagine what’s possible with robotics.

In the process of developing the kit, we paid extra-attention to the following:

  1. Robot made with cable ties?
    You can use cable ties to create a robot’s arms and legs. To encourage children to use the most basic items to create a robot, we intentionally excluded tires from the kit. Once children have learned how to make a robot that walks by simply wrapping cable ties around a motor, they can apply the knowledge to create their original robots.
  2. Simple structure!
    When using this kit, you’ll be making a circuit with only three components: a motor, battery and switch. This enables children to apply what they learned in their science classes for robot making. This way, children can explore their ideas more freely.
  3. Room for originality!
    There is no right or wrong in making robotic creatures. While using the same components in the kit, two children could end up with two vastly different robots. We designed the kit with this “room for originality” in mind.


In Their Own Words
Yoshihisa Wada
Yoshihisa is a member of Yukai’s Engineering Team that developed the kit. While attending a technical high school in 2012, he won a RoboCon’s grandprix.

“Since I was a little kid, I’ve always liked making things and dreamed about participating in RoboCons that I watched on TV. My dream came true when I competed in the Technical High School RoboCon in 2012. Now that I work as a professional robotic engineer, I hope many children will become interested in robotics and engineering just as I was. I developed the kit with that in mind. With this kit, you will be making robots that are structurally simple, but by creatively using the tie bands and other materials you would see in your everyday life, you can make lots of different robots. I encourage all children to explore their creativity and enjoy robot-making!”