This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Mobile STEM Labs|
|Genre||STEM Education Products|
|Headquarters||San Diego, California, United States|
The Rokenbok Toy Company was founded in 1995 by Paul Eichen in the United States to create an heirloom quality toy system. The first Rokenbok toys debuted at the 1997 American International Toy Fair in New York City. In 2010 the company made a substantial push researching the effect of media, like Rokenbok, on developing minds. In 2015 the company transitioned into a 501(c)(3) and completed the development of their first 4 classroom specific products called Mobile STEM Labs. Since then, Rokenbok Education has placed Mobile STEM Labs in over 22 states across the country.
Rokenbok makes STEM education more fun and meaningful for students, easier for teachers, and more cost effective for schools and youth programs. Rokenbok Education has focused on developing applied technology and engineering learning experiences for K-8 students. They produce affordable Mobile STEM Labs and curriculum for Schools and Youth Service Organizations. They also provide free or subsidized Rokenbok Education programs to schools and youth organizations serving underserved children. Much of Rokenbok's work is focused on designing professional development tools that allow teachers and youth services providers to become confident STEM mentors.
Rokenbok is an educational toy that combines a modular construction system with interactive infrared controlled vehicles. The system is expandable and can be added to and changed. Certain surfaces and platforms used in the Rokenbok constructions have a round-stud surface, making the toy compatible with Lego.
Rokenbok features multiplayer; up to four players can operate any of up to eight vehicles simultaneously. There are many different manufactured vehicles. Players can operate a vehicle by themselves. Control of the vehicles use a controller similar to those of video game consoles with a D-pad for directional control and special function buttons and shoulder buttons for other functions. Rokenbok is non-violent by reinforcing cooperative play patterns that engage children in a positive way. Rokenbok does not use licensed characters or cartoons.
Rokenbok vehicles include the RC TransGripper & Trailer, RC Tower Crane, RC Police Defender, RC Fire & Rescue, Rokenbok RC Dozer, RC Forklift, RC Monorail Freighter, RC Power Sweeper, RC Skip Track, RC Elevator, and RC Emergency Speedster.
The Power ROK-Lift is a Rokenbok accessory which is used to take a large load of ROKs up at to a high point of a Rokenbok build. The ROK-Lift has a plate on the front as a button to operate an elevating mechanism similar to the RC Elevator. The mechanism contains gears which ride along a Rokenbok piece called "Elevator Racks" with grooved edges designed for the ROK Lift and the RC Elevator. An RC vehicle dumps ROKs into a storage bin on either side of the lift module, then bumps into the button to start the elevating motion; once the module reaches a cap piece, the bins automatically dump into a receiving container or chute, and the module returns to the bottom.
Night Shift Trailer
The Night Shift Trailer is a trailer which can be hitched on by any Rokenbok vehicle, and driven to the desired location. The trailer is related to a highway construction sign, meant to direct RC vehicles out of the way of the construction site. The sign features two LED flood-lights, and two LED direction lights, pointing right, left, or both ways. The LED lights are activated by hand.
The Motorized Conveyor is a motorized device which carries ROKs up. The Motorized Conveyor is 12 inches by 4" in diameter. The Motorized Conveyor uses an optical sensor to detect when ROKs are in the bottom of the lift. There is a spinning wheel with grooves which pushes the ROKs so that they do not get stuck, and so they can be fed into the lift. The original Conveyor belt came in the A/C plug version, where a command deck was needed with an "accessory" port for plugging in the motorized conveyor accessory. Soon after, Rokenbok created a battery operated Motorized Conveyor to eliminate wires and save electricity. The current Conveyors come in orange and brown, and red and yellow.
The Action Sorter was used to direct ROKs in four directions. One sorted them by color, one led to a tipple underneath, and two merged and let to an output for custom chutes to be built.
The Silo was the top of the Pump Station Start Set, as well as the Piston Plan for those who already own a different start set. The silo used a vehicle driving back and forth to push a hanging arm which would raise and lower bins above. These bins would move ROKs from ramp to ramp in two different paths. One path would dump the ROKs to a fast chute below, one would slowly release ROKs at one corner.
Beams and blocks
The construction system features beams and blocks that interlock to create structures. There are two lengths of beams, one seven blocks long the other three blocks long. These have tabs on the ends that connect to the blocks. Because beams are like blocks, but longer, it is possible to connect a beam at any interval down the beam.
ROK and chute systems
Rokenbok contains a user-constructed chute system. This includes the ROK Motorized Conveyor, hoppers, sorting chutes, trap door chutes, along with many other curve pieces. Hoppers will sort the ROK balls in one of two directions depending on where the balls fall. Sorting chutes will force the red ROK balls to fall through a hole that the blue ROKs can't go through. Trap door chutes have a hinged door that you can open or close, then deciding if the ROKs will move on or not.
Monorail train system
The monorail system, introduced in 2000, uses beams and blocks just like the regular building system. There are curved and "s" beams as well to create turns or sloped (for ascending and descending) track. Rokenbok makes riser beams which are two blocks long with tabs on only one end to support the track since the monorail train itself hangs down over the sides of the track for balance and blocks the side connection holes on the beams.
The Rokenbok vehicles, crane, and elevator are controlled through up to four control pads using the RC unit, and unlimited controllers using ROK Star controllers. The control pads, which are similar in design to a video game control pad, consist of three sections, the left contains the four-way directional pad, or D-pad, that controls the movement of the vehicles. On the center of each control pad is a button which the player presses to cycle through available units and vehicles that can be controlled (up to eight, chosen by setting a LED light on a number 1-8, presented in a circular fashion, each corresponding to the numbered radio keys in each vehicle on the Classic RC base, or on the ROK star controller, there is a large "R" button the operator presses and holds and then points at a ROK star vehicle to select it). On the right section, there are four function buttons: A, B, X, and Y. They have different functions for each vehicle. The ROK star controller also has some buttons to sound a siren (and change its pitch) and sound back-up alarms. Above each handle, at the top of the control pad, are two shoulder buttons. The left-hand shoulder button will switch to the last vehicle the player used; the right-hand shoulder button will slow the vehicle down. The D-pad and shoulder buttons provide the same function for each vehicle.
- Gustke, Constance. "No Business Too Small to Be Hacked". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- Foster, Matthew. "How Can Small Businesses Achieve YouTube Success?". Business2community.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.