JR Scientist: The Tumbling Robot

The Tumbling Robot from JR Scientist is an oldie but a goodie – DH has fond memories of it from way back when he was a kid so we decided it would be a cool project for G1 to work on (thanks to HappiKiddo for the JR Scientist Tumbling Robot kit!).

About JR. Scientist Tumbling Robot

This little robot is tough! Run using a single motor, he walks with a decidedly “angry” pace and if he falls over, he picks himself up again! An awesome design with an amazing gear mechanism, he will not quit! A big hit at the International Robot Exhibition, the Tumbling Robot is easy build and a great way to introduce young children to the mechanics of simple gears and motors.


  • Easy to build in less than 1 hour
  • Complex motions from a single motor
  • 3 modes: Fall and get up mode, dance mode, and somersault mode
  • High impact plastic construction
  • Requires 2 AA batteries (not included)
  • For ages 8 and up

Hazy days

Putting together the Tumbling Robot

The Tumbling Robot comes with detailed instructions for assembling the robot and is generally quite straigthforward. It is a little bit fiddly but if you follow the images in the instructions, you should be alright. G1 pointed out an error in the instructions where the instructions tell you to insert the “right” leg but the picture shows the “left” leg. There was also a fault in the construction of the arms but HappiKiddo was great in helping us get that sorted.

The video below demonstrates how the Tumbling Robot is assembled.

The Tumbling Robot in Action

You can also watch how the Tumbling Robot moves towards the end of the video above. We would have recorded our own video but G2 managed to lose one of the pins holding the hip joint in place within a couple of hours of us having the fully assembled robot and I haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement for the leg pin.

The Tumbling Robot moves around with a wildly exaggerated gait that causes it to lose its balance from time to time. It then moves through a sequence of actions to get back up to a standing position where it continues to walk again. The following diagram depicts what happens while the Tumbling Robot is in action…

Tumbling Robot 2

Tumbling Robot – the Learning Experience

The Tumbling Robot comes with an instruction manual that not only teaches you how to put your robot together, but it also includes explanations about how and why it can do what it does. There is also a brief explanation about how gears, belts, chains and cranks work – which is great for furthering your child’s understanding of simple mechanics.

Tumbling Robot 3

Interested children can also look up more about other robots and how they function.

Tumbling Robot 5

The Tumbling Robot Manual is also available online.

For a fun, learning experience, the Tumbling Robot provides all-round family entertainment. Just make sure your younger kids don’t lose any of the bits when they try to take it apart…

The Tumbling Robot is available from HappiKiddo.