First, I want to say very good job on the kit in general. The packing is quite nicely done! I received my kit at around October 25, 2020.
I'm really looking forward to continuing with this, but I've run across several things that are very different than all of the instructions I've found so far. I'm referring to a mix of Youtube videos and docs.petoi.com.
A lot of the CAD-based drawings and animations are extremely helpful - thanks!
Please - If I am missing something point it out!
Now, on to some issues/helpful hints:
1) SHOULDERS - there is a discrepancy with the drawings and photos for these parts. The photo on page "Open the Box" shows the shoulder pieces with small holes under oval slots (where the spine would connect). My parts have no such holes. I only have an oval slot at the 'top' and a small round hole and the 'bottom'. It's not an issue until you try to attach the tail (and rivet) and find there is no screw hole to mount it. I will drill my own hole, so this is mostly for anyone who also has seen this problem. I do NOT recommend trying to screw the tail into the shoulder without first drilling a hole - the wood will splinter.
Has anyone else found this problem?
2) Generally speaking, it would be nice to have an updated picture for the "Open the Box" page as I assume the parts I received are current and what is on the page is not.
Referring back to the photo, this is what appears to have changed:
* Screws - A are now black and not silver, B does not exist and should be replaced with C (as noted on the doc page)
* Spring G (small, strong) does not exist - instead there are two H
* Servo Arms - only two shapes are included - 1 for the tail, the rest are all the same plus-sign shaped and need to be trimmed. I used a regular pair of wire cutters. Jewelry style are probably too small for this.
* Servos - as mentioned in the docs, there are no longer blue or black servos, only black. Be sure to sort by long and short cables before attempting assembly. The docs clearly state which should be used in each location, so this is primarily another reminder.
3) RUBBER TOE - I'm glad there was an extra in the kit, but I would suggest 2 or 3 extras - these tear very easily! And I'm pretty sure they are quite inexpensive...
4) BATTERIES - I found this to be VERY confusing. There are a lot of posts about batteries and replacement options. There are a lot of places to buy batteries too, especially in the US. I ended up buying an EBL brand charger and battery combo from Walmart EBL 4-Pack 3.7V 800mAh 14500 Battery + Battery Charger. I read a post that indicated this would work - I have not yet tried it though.
5) TOOLS - It's not really noted anywhere, but you will need the following tools:
* A small/mid size phillips head screwdriver. A narrow neck and smaller handle will be helpful.
* Soldering iron - not required unless you want to add the ultrasound sensor for future use (I did)
* Regular wire cutters or hot knife - to trim the servo arms. Some soldering irons have a blade attachment that might work too.
* Small wire cutters - to trim the leads after soldering the ultrasound sensor. Jewelry size cutters work well as regular sized one are too big to cut precisely.
* Magnifying glass - even if your eyes are better than mine, it helps! The kind on a stand is even better than hand-held.
* Small sharp knife - I recommend an X-Acto as the blades are very thin and can get into the gap when cutting parts out of the baseboard. You can use a mat knife/box cutter but the blades are really too thick - I do not recommend this.
* Drill with a very small bit - see my #1 above.
6) ADVICE - Lastly, a few pieces of advice:
* DON'T RUSH - take your time, particularly because the wood pieces are more fragile than you think. You can easily flake off one of the outer layers - It happened to me several times when assembling the shoulders.
* Practice assembling - yes, practice. Try putting the components together a few times, without screws, to understand how they fit. I had to sand down several edges to get things to fit well - mostly when it came to pushing the servos through an opening. The servos are molded plastic and sometimes have extra ridges which makes them 'fatter' than the slot they fit into. Sand them down, or carefully trim the extra plastic with the X-Acto knife.
* Read the instructions a lot! I recommend using an IPAD or similar device next to you. Since all of the instructions are digital (and videos of course) I recommend a good, large, display device to keep with you while you work. My iPhone is ok, but really too small - a bigger display is really helpful.
I'm going to stop here as I have not yet started on the electronic part of this, plus my batteries have not yet arrived! I will update this later as I continue.