I have been on a robotic button pusher kick lately testing the Switchbot and the Microbot Push. I was very excited about getting my hands on the Microbot Push as it includes a handle little button in case you want to manually trigger your automated button pusher and on paper the hardware seems better than the Switchbot. But alas I was wrong to be excited as the Microbot Push vastly underwhelmed me in actual operation.
By design I really like the look of the Microbot Push. While it is larger than the Switchbot I really do like the look and feel of it. The plunger that is actually meant to push the button seems very sturdy and I love the fact that it has a push button on it so you can manually trigger it as needed. The Microbot Push also comes with a small rubber pad for its arm which enables it to push buttons on touchscreen devices which works very well. Another huge plus for the Microbot Push is that it is rechargeable and even has multiple mounting plates for height adjustments. A lit of thought appears to have gone into the design ascetics of the Microbot Push, unfortunately that same thought does not appear to have gone into the functionality and actual real-world application of it.
Now one big complaint I have it that the charging port for the Microbot Push is completely covered by the mounting so if you have an application where you do not need to use any of the height adjusting mounting plates you will have to completely remove the adhesive to charge it. Additionally, on the lines of mounting the Microbot Push the adhesive pads they give you are next too useless as they do not stick very well and do not even have a cut out in them for the charging port. This is a huge design flaw in my opinion and one that needs to be addressed. Microbot really seems to be pushing Sugru mold-able glue as a preferred mounting method which is fine if that is what was included with your Microbot Push but it is not and realistically even if it was there really is no way of using Sugru in an application that is visible because it makes a mess and looks like something a child mount make.
I do like the pushing force of the Microbot Push and feel that is an advantage that it has over the Switchbot however this force does come at a price because the motor in the Microbot Push is loud. Now for my applications this was not an issue, but I can see this being a concern for others. I also like the size of the pushing head of the Microbot Push but I did have some trouble with it on smaller buttons because of the size of it. This was especially evident when you need to mount the Microbot Push at an kind of angle. On my coffee maker for example the pushing head would hit the plastic around my brew button which would stop it from pressing the brew button because it had to sit at a slight angle. In this case the Switchbot worked fine.
Now the Microbot Push can also pull something light a light switch as needed but this is also very hard to accomplish with the supplied adhesive. They send you small Velcro dots that you are supposed to use that come apart with next to no pulling force making them useless. pulling function is yet another area where the Switchbot is vastly superior to the Microbot Push.
Overall while I like the design and fit and finish of the physical Microbot Push I feel there is still a long way for this product to go before it is really something that is usable. Perhaps in a future hardware revision we will have everything the the Microbot Push claims to provide.
Anyone out there using a Microbot Push? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.