GEARS Invention & Design System


"In my Intro to Engineering class, we began using the GEARS IDS kits as soon as we got them: from teaching students the importance of inventory control and quality control with the interchangeable parts all the way to the fundamentals of mechanical design and remote control theory. With all the help and support from the GEARS company, we are able to hold a robotics competition between groups much like the MIT challenge. These kits are very user friendly with all the documentation, and they challenge the students adequately to stir up the desire to continue in the study of robotics and the associated fields of electronics and mechanical design. These kits are GREAT!"

Mr. Brame
Millbrook High School, VA

"In my first year teaching a high school robotics class, I have found the materials and equipment provided by the GEARS IDS kits and the support provided by their staff to be superb. The included curriculum and instructional materials made it easy for me, someone with only a basic knowledge of electronics and pneumatics, to plan out lessons and teach myself how to use the materials to build robotic systems. Any questions or concerns I had that I was unable to solve using the support materials included with the kits was expeditiously handled through emails or phone calls to GEARS."

Rick Strid
Instructor Technology Education
Fairfield Ludlowe High School, CT

"For the last 4 Years, our program has been utilizing your Invention and Design GEARS system and I wanted to thank you for putting together a solid design platform that performs year after year. Until I discovered your system, I had not found any system that would allow the flexibility in design I was looking for as well as the durability and engineering standards I required. This product has allowed our students to compete in numerous robotics contests, study engineering principles through hands-on application, and build working mechanical models to simulate real-life construction. Your website has also provided a plethora of resources for me as an instructor and is used widely by my students for reference material.

Thanks for developing and standing by a great engineering product for the classroom!"

Kevin Pace
Electronics/Robotics Instructor
Virginia Beach, VA

"Gears kits have provided our Robotics Engineering program with the hardware to efficiently teach basic hands-on mechanical, electrical, and pneumatic engineering systems."

Chris Hipskind
Robotics Engineering Teacher
White Salmon, WA

"The Fairmont State University STEM Innovation Center uses the Gears EDS platform to engage and interest high school students in science and engineering. The basic platform has allowed us to encourage creativity and give the students a feel for a more industrial-like platform. When working with the Gears platform, they do not feel as if they are playing with toys, but with a device that has the look and feel of something much more robust with industrial strength materials. We have used the Gears platform for our Engineering and Science Challenge, which is a one day program that gives high school student the opportunity to work through a difficult design task to produce a working device that solves a problem. We have also used the Gears platform with grade school and middle school students. When connected to a remote control or a microcontroller to give the platform a degree of autonomy, the students cannot ever seem to get enough time with the projects.

A recent exercise with an engineering technology student involved the platform with a microcontroller and infrared sensors and a preprogrammed routine. As we tested it in the main lobby of the Engineering Technology building, a crowd of students began to gather and interact with the platform, completely impressed with its movements. Again and again we get asked, 'Where do I sign up for a class that builds and uses this thing?' It appears that we are playing and having fun and no one ever suspects that we are learning that 'hard' engineering and science stuff."

R. Gene Turchin
STEM Director
FSU STEM Innovation Center

"Students in my classes and the design academies use math, science, and technological information they have learned to problem solve and conceptualize solutions and then are able to use the Gears kits to actually build or prototype their designs. The Gears kits are great at giving students an opportunity to see how mechanical, electrical, and pneumatics systems function and how the different systems interact."

Todd Kapsner
Technology Education Teacher
Stillwater Area High School, MN
Lead Teacher for Summer Robotics Academies
Advisor to FIRST Robotics Team

“My perspective on the GEARS Invention and Design System is that it was a unit that really challenged students. Many kids were definitely out of their comfort zone and were a bit overwhelmed with the tasks; yet the feeling of success when they successfully controlled a robot that they had created themselves was awesome. There was much learning going on during this unit, from the science of electricity, motors, pneumatics, etc. to the math of the parabolic arc needed to successfully launch a ping pong ball into a bucket from a set location. In addition, kids learned how to work together, how to compromise, how to work through problems and find solutions, and how to learn from mistakes."

Kathy Meyer
Math Teacher
Stillwater Junior High School, MN
Finalist for Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Here are a few student quotes from Kathy Meyer's class . . .

  • Favorite part was getting out of the textbooks, being creative, and constructing robots and learning while doing it.
  • It gave me a great look at how math and science can be applied in real-world situations; it gave me a look at how I can use skills in math and science; and it taught me that you can have fun using math.
  • Great experience this year. I had a lot of fun joining with the other class to do different experiments with the robots. We got to not only learn about formulas and theories, but also got to test many of them.
  • Really enjoyed working with the GEARS kits and in the lab because it was more fun to actually apply what we were learning and learn how it’s used in real life. I also liked how it was challenging and yet still super fun!
  • Learned a ton. There were some very important pieces of info we learned about circuitry, electricity, and electronics. We also learned about gravity, momentum, and acceleration.
  • I learned that everything is not perfect, which is something I wouldn’t have learned in a normal classroom. Sometimes when you do experiments, they don’t fit calculations perfectly, and that’s life. Also, we had to use trial and error all the time to make decisions.
  • Learned a lot more from an engineering and physics standpoint. The robots helped me understand how wiring worked and if the smallest thing was wrong, the robot didn’t work.
  • Learned about acceleration and gravity. Also learned that it is better for a student to have a hands-on experience with something to really learn about it.

And here is what a student from New Jersey has to say . . .

Hi. I am a High School senior and I have a great educational experience to share with you about the Gears Educational System robot kit. I was always interested in electronics. When my teacher bought a robot kit, I got really excited to know I could start learning about engineering now.

Gears Educational System has allowed me to build a robot from scratch. One of the things that I liked the most was the amount of help this kit provided. It supplied me with two extremely helpful manuals that allowed me to understand exactly how to assemble the robot. For example, it had detailed explanations and color pictures along with it. To see for yourself check the website, it has tons of information about their other products.

In order to get very deep into engineering, it will help to make a model sketch of it using the SolidWorks software. Gears website provided the design for the parts of the robot in SolidWorks. The parts are on the web site to download and save into your computer. The design was easier to make because most of the parts are provided in the website. Not all the CAD parts were provided, so I had to improvise. With the use of a caliper, a caliper is like a ruler but is more precise; I measured the parts and designed them in CAD. When all the parts were designed, I made an assembly; put all the parts together in a single file. The parts I made and the parts provided with Gears fit perfectly in the assembly. When I see the parts I made and the ones of a professional fit together in the right place, this gives me confidence that one day I could design my own robot.

The product is really nice. The mechanical parts of the robot are well-built and they are adjustable so you can change the original design and create your own. The kit comes with a remote control, the remote control gives you the opportunity to control it manually. I drove it once in school and people got shocked in the hallway because they didn’t have any idea where it came from. There is an air tank filled with air and when you trigger the button on the remote control the air moves from the air tank into an arm. Bang, the arm shoots tennis balls. This operating system is call pneumatics.

Another positive trait of Gears is that there is quality help provided directly from the owner, not from a phone operator as opposed to other companies. This is very important because a human being is more capable of understanding what you truly need than a machine. Any time we needed help, we contacted the owner of the company and he emailed information or formulas on how to design the parts.

Memorial High School
Robotics and Alternative Fuel Student
West New York, NJ

Trebuchet ClasspackTotally Trebuchet Engineering Challenge

"My comments on using GEARS Totally Trebuchet program in the Honors Engineering Physics at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.

From an ease and flexibility of implementation, GEARS curriculum provides a considerable amount of teacher resources including, lesson plans, work sheets, and a trebuchet computer simulator. Given an excellent construction manual, the actual trebuchet assembles quite easily. The simulator affords students not only the opportunity to experience the world of computer simulation, but to engineer and test new design variations."

Tony Svozil
Physics/Honors Engineering Physics
Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School District #233