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Others Like “I Like to Move It: Motorizing a Robot Hand”

Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine how cool it would be to build a robot hand that could grasp a ball or pick up a toy. In this robotics engineering project, you will learn how to use drinking straws, sewing thread, and a little glue to make a remarkably lifelike and useful robot hand. What will you design your robot hand to do? Pick up a can? Move around a ping pong ball? It is up to you! With these starting instructions, you can design any type of hand. You will simulate human finger anatomy as the basis for a… Read more
Robotics_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is suggested for parts of this project. Use caution with sharp knives and glue.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen moths buzzing around bright lights at night? What about animals that always crawl into dark places, under rocks or furniture? This type of behavior is called phototaxis — movement toward (or away from) a light source. In this project you will build your own biologically inspired robot critter that mimics this behavior. Basing your design on the popular and simple BristleBot robot, you will make a robot with two light sensors for "eyes" and two motors that help it steer… Read more
Robotics_p012
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some familiarity with electronic circuits and using breadboards will be very helpful, though not required, for this project. Using a soldering iron is also helpful but a work-around is offered in the Procedure.
Material Availability This project requires certain parts from an electronics store or online retailer. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety If you use a soldering iron for this project remember that soldering irons get extremely hot and can cause burns if they touch your skin. They can also become a fire hazard if left unattended. Science Buddies recommends using lead-free solder, especially in homes with pets or small children.
Project Idea
thumbnail Are you an artist, or do you enjoy the process of making art? What kind of art do you create? Do only humans make art? Not all the time. Robots can create art, too. Robots can be programmed and "taught" to do all kinds of things, such as delivering medications to hospital patients or putting together a car on an assembly line. The Vangobot™, shown in the video below, paints pictures with brushes and paint, and in a distinct, unique style - just like a human artist. Watch… Read more
Robotics_p007
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Programming experience is needed to do this project.
Material Availability

This robotics engineering project requires that you purchase VEX® robotics materials. See the Materials tab for a suggestion of some VEX® parts to use. With a little problem-solving, you may be able to substitute another robotics platform.

The RobotC software needed to program the VEX system is Windows based. If you are using an Apple computer you will need to use visualization software such as VirtualBox or VMware®.

Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Use caution with tools when assembling the robot. Minor injury is possible.
Project Idea
thumbnail Are you an artist, or do you enjoy the process of making art? What kind of art do you create? Do only humans make art? Not always. Robots can create art, too. Robots can be programmed and "taught" to do all kinds of things, such as delivering medications to hospital patients or putting together a car on an assembly line. The Vangobot™, shown in the video below, paints pictures with brushes and paint, and in a distinct, unique style - just like a human artist. Watch this… Read more
Robotics_p006
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A basic familiarity with programming is needed to do this project.
Material Availability

This robotics engineering project requires that you purchase VEX® robotics materials. See the Materials tab for a suggestion of some VEX® parts to use. With a little problem-solving, you may be able to substitute another robotics platform.

The RobotC software needed to program the VEX system is Windows based. If you are using an Apple computer you will need to use visualization software such as VirtualBox or VMware®.

Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Use caution with tools when assembling the robot. Minor injury is possible.
Project Idea
thumbnail Are you artistic? Do you enjoy creating art? Some may think that art is something only humans can make, but what about robots: can they be artistic? They can if you build them that way. In this robotics engineering project, you will build a robot that creates art. And who knows? Someday your robot art may be worth millions! Read more
Robotics_p005
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This robotics engineering project requires you to purchase VEX® robotics materials. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. With a little problem-solving, you may be able to substitute another robotics platform.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Use caution with tools when assembling the robot. Minor injury is possible.
Project Idea
thumbnail The world's oceans are home to the most strange and amazing creatures. What do scientists know about these deep-sea animals and how can they study them easily? One way to learn about these animals in their homes is to use underwater robots. Underwater robots can record data that would be difficult for humans to gather. But what are robots and how are they made? In this robotics engineering project, you will discover what makes up a simple robot and build and test your own underwater robot. Read more
Robotics_p002
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability To build an underwater robot you will need a motor and a model boat propeller. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You will need glue and epoxy to waterproof the motor for the robot. Follow the instructions that come with the glue and epoxy and always work in a well-ventilated area. If you have a latex allergy, you will have to exercise great caution with the balloon and ask a volunteer to help you. Keep fingers away from the spinning propeller to prevent injury. Do not test the robot in saltwater.
Project Idea
thumbnail From traffic safety lights to neon signs, lights have a way of getting peoples’ attention. So it makes sense that if a person wants to get attention, wearing clothing with built-in lights might help. These types of clothing, called electronic textiles (or e-textiles for short) already exist. Instead of using hard surfaces for circuits (like inside your computer or cell phone), e-textiles weave electrical parts like batteries, wires, and lights directly into wearable clothing so it can do… Read more
Elec_p076
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with basic electronics concepts like positive and negative terminals as well as open and closed circuits will be helpful for this science project. Students with no experience building circuits may want to try the simpler but thematically simlar project: [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p077" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Material Availability This science project requires special LEDs designed for use with e-textiles, and it will be much easier to do with a soldering iron. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Soldering irons can get extremely hot and burn your skin if you touch them accidentally. They can also cause fires if left unattended. Adult supervision is required when using a soldering iron, especially if you are not familiar with using one. Science Buddies recommends using lead-free solder, especially in homes with pets and small children.
Project Idea
thumbnail It would be fun to have a friend robot that helps you create art, right? In this project you will create your own Art Bot, a robot with markers for legs that wobbles across a piece of paper, generating markings with its "feet" as it moves. The creature's motion comes from a spinning motor with an off-center weight, which causes the robot to vibrate. You can change the size and location of this weight, which will affect how the robot moves, and change how it draws. Then you get to decide which… Read more
Robotics_p014
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires a DC motor and battery pack in addition to arts and crafts supplies. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision required. Glue guns can get very hot and cause burns. The robot's motor and attachments can spin very fast — keep hands and fingers away from the attachments when the motor is spinning.
Project Idea
thumbnail You have secret treasure that you need to keep safe from thieves. How do you keep guard 24 hours a day without skipping school and the rest of your important activities? You build a guard robot and have it do the hard work! You can build a guard robot using a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® set and the instructions in this project to guide your efforts. And do not worry: your secret is safe with your robot. Read more
Robotics_p004
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT 2.0 kit and a computer. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever tried to ride your bike up a flight of stairs? Vehicles with wheels are great at traveling on paved roads or flat ground, but when it comes to stairs or uneven ground in the woods, wheels are not always such a great option. Inspired by real-life all-terrain robots, in this engineering project you will design and build a LEGO® robot that can travel over bumpy ground, through your yard, or even up a stack of textbooks — and almost anything else you can think of! Read more
Robotics_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Experience building with LEGO® and programming for LEGO® Mindstorms® is required for this project.
Material Availability This project requires a LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT kit and compatible programming software. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues
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