Gadgets for humans

Video: I commuted on a DIY electric kid’s vehicle – and survived

As you would’ve gathered from the video, Infento creates a kit that lets children build fully-functional vehicles. In other words, it’s like a souped-up version of LEGO or Meccano.

Being the mature, respectable, and well-adjusted adult you see before you, I had to give it a go.

This meant not only building a vehicle, but also driving around in one. Sometimes, life is hard.

Firstly, Infento?

The company is the brainchild of two Dutch designers, Spencer Rotting and Sander Letema. The company‘s first product, an educational kit for schools, was released back in 2012.

It proved so popular among parents and students that Rotting and Letema decided to expand. So, they turned to crowdfunding. After some successful campaigns and a fair amount of fanfare, they got the investment they needed and now Infento ships to 45 countries.

How does it work?

Simply put, the company sells a range of kits that let you build different vehicles. Each has a suggested age-range (up to 14 years old), which informs the type of ride you can construct.

For example, the Big Snow Kit lets you build rides that, surprisingly, work on snow. While the Junior Kit is aimed at… well, you get the picture.

On top of the standard kits, Infento also offers a range of add-ons and upgrades. The former are additions to vehicles, such as LED strips. The latter are a selection of parts that lets owners transition between kits.

This means that as a child grows, you can buy extra parts to upgrade to a bigger kit, instead of buying an entirely new one.

What’s it like building one?

Honestly, a mixture of fun and irritating.

This is the kit

The kit was well-organized and included clearly-labeled parts. Each vehicle requires slightly different tools, but all I needed were some allen keys (which were included) and a tape measure (which wasn’t).

One annoying part of the process was the instructions, as the kit didn’t come with a hard copy. It sounds minor, but looking at a phone screen during construction was so frustrating I had to go and print them out myself. And that was without an energetic child around.

Smell the jubilence

The shortest build-time for an Infento vehicle is 60 minutes, which was obviously the one I chose to make. Some of the other vehicles took substantially longer.

While the instructions were clear, there was a lot fiddly work. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just be aware you’ll have to be around during construction, as many children won’t be able to build this themselves.

What are the vehicles like?

Super, duper cool.

A selection of sick wheels

I tried a range of Infento vehicles and had a blast on all of them. Each seemed solid, safe, and sturdy, even when someone twice the size of an average 14-year-old was using them.

Still, I feel I need to drop an obvious disclaimer: combining kids and vehicles can be dangerous. Yes, this is the ultimate in common sense, but it needs to be said.

And could an adult commute on it?

You tell me:

How much does it cost?

The Infento range is great, but it doesn’t come cheap. The least expensive kit is around $150, but they go up to almost $700.

Still, when it comes to vehicles that your kids ride around in, you probably want them to be high quality. Right? I mean, unless you hate your kids.

Who are the Infento kits for?

Aside from adults looking to get to work?

Yes

Anyone who wants a fun project with their kids. And, you know, has some spare cash.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time building and riding around in the vehicles. I only have two questions about Infento:

  1. Why didn’t I have this as a kid?
  2. Where’s the adult-specific version?

Published October 15, 2018 — 14:35 UTC