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

My motion blocks do not scan properly. Are they mislabeled?

Motor with Green Dot

Motor with Green Dot

No. They are not mislabeled. Some of the very early shipment of KIBOs came with motors without green dots. The green dots are used to signal to the user the correct orientation of the motors.

If your motors do not come with the green dot, when scanning the motion blocks you might find that maybe the KIBO behaves erratically and not according to the instructions on the blocks. There is nothing wrong with the KIBOs or the motors. The issue is the orientation of the motors. You need to find the right one 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.