Troubleshooting

These are frequently asked questions by our customers. We hope you will find these answers helpful.

My KIBO spins or goes backward when it should move forward! Are my motion blocks mislabeled?

Motor with Green Dot

Motor with Green Dot

No. The blocks are not mislabeled; one or both of your motors may be inserted upside down!

On one side of each KIBO motor you will find a green dot sticker. The green dots are used to signal to the user the correct orientation of the motors. When the motor is inserted correctly, the green dot sticker will be visible through the clear bottom of the KIBO.

Some of the very early shipment of KIBOs came with motors without green dots. If your motors do not come with the green dot, you can determine the right orientation and mark it, so you do not forget it.

Green Dot Can Be Seen Through KIBO Body

Green Dot Can Be Seen Through KIBO Body

This is an opportunity to engage with your kids in simple debugging and problem solving. Try playing with the different orientation of the motors and scanning the motion blocks, once you figure out the right orientation, please use an indelible marker to make a green dot (or any color you want) in the motor so you can see it though the KIBO body.

If you would rather that we send you a new motor with an already set green dot, please email us. We will need you to return your motor, and upon receiving it, we will send you a replacement.


I put the last battery in but my KIBO doesn’t power up (or it powers up but the red scanning light doesn’t come on)?

It is possible that the batteries are not inserted in the correct orientation—with the button top of each battery oriented to the + symbol and the flat bottom of each batter oriented to the – symbol. Please check that first.

If the batteries are indeed oriented correctly, there is an obscure KIBO behavior that might be what you are experiencing–if so, it is easily corrected!

We discovered that our KIBO microprocessor has a special “debug mode” that is triggered if you hold down the triangular button at the same time as inserting the last of the four batteries. And we also discovered that on some small number of KIBOs, the triangular button sits a little higher than others–so if you put KIBO on its back on a table while inserting the last battery, you inadvertently press it and go into this “debug mode.”

Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Take out one battery
  2. Hold KIBO on your lap in a way that doesn’t press the triangular button
  3. Re-insert the last battery

KIBO should power up and work perfectly.


Does KIBO work with rechargeable batteries?

KIBO doesn’t come with any batteries, and sadly we must recommend that you don’t use rechargeable batteries. The reason for this is that rechargeables have different current and voltage characteristics, and we have found that they don’t work well with KIBO. We recommend using Alkaline or Lithium batteries. Do NOT use Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Metal Hydride batteries.