FAQs


What's the suggested age for the Hummingbird Kit?

Adult supervision is required for anyone 13 and under making with Hummingbird, especially during construction of a robot. Hummingbird robots have been programmed by children as young as 8. Care should also be taken to correctly connect components to the Hummingbird controller as it is possible to damage the Hummingbird or kit electronics if they're incorrectly connected. See our tutorial on connecting kit electronics to the Hummingbird controller for more information.


Where is Hummingbird used?

Hummingbirds are used in 3rd grade to 12th grade arts, science, engineering, and history classes; in homes; in makerspaces & libraries; and in after school or summer arts & robotics camps.


My Hummingbird is acting up, how do I debug it?

Check out our troubleshooting guide.


What's a good ratio of Hummingbird boards to students in a class/workshop setting?

We suggest one Hummingbird controller and enough parts to build a robot for every 2-3 students. This way students can specialize on programming, construction, and wiring. Each team also needs access to a computer for programming. 


Are the kit components reusable?

Short answer: Yes, though it takes a little bit of work. Long answer: Typically, building robots with Hummingbird involves hot-gluing or otherwise attaching components in the kit (LEDs, motors, and sensors) to cardboard, foamcore, or other building materials. This doesn't mean the kit can't be reused, just that the someone will need to take apart a Hummingbird kit-built robot and clean the components. If glue was used, some components, like the LEDs, may not come completely clean, though this isn't typically a major issue. We sell additional LEDs, motors, and sensors a la carte in the event that a kit component gets too deeply embedded in a robot to remove.


Can I hook up non-kit items to the Hummingbird?

Yes, but read the datasheets in our hardware description to make sure you do not go over the maximum ratings for any of the connectors. Connecting non-kit components can damage your Hummingbird, so do not do so unless you have some expertise with electronics.


Is there a way to use Hummingbird without a computer?

The Hummingbird Duo can be programmed to run independently of a computer using Arduino, Ardublock, or the export feature of the CREATE Lab Visual Programmer. The original Hummingbird board must be plugged into a computer or Raspberry Pi while running a program. 


Is there a way to power Hummingbird's motors and servos with batteries instead of the auxiliary power supply?

Yes! All you need is an appropriate battery source. You can buy one here.


What types of computers work with Hummingbird?

All Hummingbird programming environments work on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 and Mac OS 10.6 and later. We also have limited support for Linux-based computers and Chromebooks. iPad support is in development, contact us for more information or to help us test! Android Tablets are not currently supported.