I have the GEN one and use them all the time. They solve some problems for me that could not be solved otherwise except with some very expensive rewiring that would also void the warranty on the original nonnetworked devices. So I’m quite happy with them.
That said, at this point I would only buy the Gen two just because they have a lot of improvements over the GEN one.
Other things to note: the original Amazon reviews of GEN one were horrible because the software was horrible. Just getting everything set up and running the first time was a huge challenge. However, they fixed that right around the beginning of 2017, and after that the reviews got much better.
The other issue that caused people to give it a one star review was that when they originally started shipping them to the US, it didn’t come with a US plug. It does have a USB connection, but it requires a 2.5A transformer and people either had to buy an extra one or search around for it. The company then realize their mistake and you could buy the correct transformer for one dollar once they identified you as one of the affected customers, but then you had to wait a couple weeks for it to be shipped from South Korea. Many people were understandably very annoyed by that whole process. But once you got the right power accessory, it worked fine.
As for the GEN one devices themselves, I originally got a set of three microbots and the prota bridge. One of the Microbots was defective. Customer service had me make a video of the problem, and then immediately approved sending me a replacement, and that one worked fine.
So I’ve now had mine for almost a year, use them almost every day, and I’m planning to buy a set of the Gen two to try them but haven’t done so yet.
Still, mine are pretty low use. Using them once a day means literally one actuation of the microbot. Based on the description of the improvements to the gen two, It looks like some of the GEN one wore out physically After about 2,000 uses if they were in a high resistance use case.
MicroBot’s gears are now stronger and quieter while lasting longer. Its internal structure have been redesigned to fully realize all useful features including touchscreens support and a more stable wireless connectivity.
Now as to connectivity…The device is Bluetooth to the bridge and then Wi-Fi to the Internet. There are some reviews complaining about the connectivity between the microbot in the bridge. I personally haven’t had any issues, but I made some decisions about placement when I set it up in order to reduce Wi-Fi interference. My guess would be that those who had problems also have boosted Wi-Fi. That’s something you would just have to try and see.
If you buy it, it will either be sold from Amazon directly Or fulfilled by Amazon and their usual customer service policy should apply. So I’m confused about the person who said they couldn’t get a replacement. They must’ve bought from a third-party seller.
The fact that Amazon is directly stocking the second GEN microbots seems to be a good sign with regard to expected reliability.
All of that said, when I bought this I didn’t expect any individual microbot to last more than 18 months and maybe only 12. So I took that into account in budget planning and I didn’t go crazy and buy a whole bunch of them. But for some specific use cases, they solve a Retrofitting use case much more easily than any of the other options.
So I’m happy with my purchase, but I think this is always going to be a product that has some five star reviews and some one star reviews.