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Others Like “X Marks the Spot: Build a Robot to Protect Your Treasures”

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you ever rode in a cable car, ski lift, or gondola, you know they make moving over obstacles like lakes, valleys, rivers, or even up steep mountains seem easy. Though it would be pretty difficult to build a full-size cable car in your home, if you have a Mindstorms® kit, you can build a working-model cable car of your own. The engineering challenge is to build a LEGO® cable car that can travel across a string you have suspended somewhere in your house (between two pieces of… Read more
Robotics_p008
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You should be familiar with programming for LEGO Mindstorms to do this project.
Material Availability This project requires a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit (available from [# Link Name="Amazon.EV3" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]) or a LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Make sure your cable car string is securely attached to a heavy object (like a table or large chair) at both ends. The Mindstorms bricks are heavy, and could fall and damage your LEGOs or other objects if the string is not securely attached.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you think it is possible to build a robot you can steer, without programming a computer to tell the robot what to do? Believe it or not, it is! In this engineering project, you will build a robot using a simple electronic circuit that steers the robot left or right to make it follow a bright light. Then you will make some adjustments to the robot to see if you can improve its steering. How well will you be able to control your robot? Read more
Robotics_p022
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites While no previous electronics or robotics experience is required to do this project, it will be helpful if you are familiar with basic circuit concepts and with using a breadboard. The Bibliography section in the Background tab has many tutorials you can use to get started.
Material Availability This project requires specific circuit components from an electronics vendor. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to avoid short circuits when building your robot. See the Procedure for more information.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Electronic devices can be designed to detect dangerous fumes or other hazards, such as smoke or carbon monoxide. In this electronics project, you will build another potentially life-saving detector—a radon detector. Radon gas is radioactive and can pose a hazard to your health if you live in an area where it leaks from the ground. In this electronics science project, you will learn how to collect radon with an ordinary dusting cloth mounted on the intake of a fan, and then measure its… Read more
Elec_p064
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Since the goal of this science project is to measure radon gas, you should have access to an area that has previously tested positive for radon with a commercial radon detection system. See the Experimental Procedure section for details. This is an advanced science project that will require creative problem solving on your part.
Material Availability While most of the parts for this science project are readily available, you might need to be creative about finding or making some of the parts.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Wear safety goggles when drilling and soldering. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You have probably heard about using renewable energy sources like wind and solar power to provide electricity to homes and buildings, as well as hybrid or fully electric cars that use less (or zero) gasoline. But what about solar-powered robots? As robots become more common, it is increasingly important to use "green" energy sources to power them. In this project, you will build and test a popular robot called a bristlebot — a tiny robot made using toothbrushes—that can operate on… Read more
Robotics_p026
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit containing all the electronics parts needed for this project can be found in the [# Link Name="Robotics_p026.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Sometimes engineers get ideas to build robots from animals in nature. There are robot dogs, robot snakes, robot birds, robot cheetahs, and even tiny robotic insects! In this science project, you will build a robot insect of your own. The robot will automatically drive toward a light source, mimicking a behavior called phototaxis, seen in some insects. You will build your own robot and then make adjustments so it can reliably drive toward a light. Read more
Robotics_p012
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a breadboard to build a circuit will be helpful, but is not required for this project. If you want to start out with a simpler robotics project, check out the Make It Your Own section.
Material Availability A kit containing all the electronics parts needed for this project can be found in the [# Link Name="Robotics_p026.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair 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 similar 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.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wanted to build your very own robot from scratch? Bristlebots are a cheap, easy, and fun-to-build robot made from the head of a toothbrush, a battery, and a small motor. Once completed, they buzz along the top of a table like bugs. How can you make a bristlebot go faster? In this project, you will build bristlebots from two different types of toothbrushes, and race them against each other to find out. Read more
Robotics_p010
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Motors and batteries to do this project are available in a kit from Science Buddies. The kit can also be used to do several other robotics projects. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Estimated project time includes time to ship the kit.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when cutting the head off a toothbrush.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail How does a helicopter generate enough lift to fly? How does a speedboat get moving fast enough to pull someone on water skis? Here's a project on designing propellers to do the job. Read more
Aero_p018
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Previous experience with aerodynamic design (e.g., model airplanes, gliders) is suggested.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When you think of a motor, you may immediately think of a car, but you actually encounter other motors in your home every day. That's right, if you put on clean clothes from the washing machine, ate food from the fridge, or used a fan, you used an electric motor. In this electronics science project, you will make a simple electric motor with two magnets that "talk" to each other. As they interact, they will alternate between "liking" each other (pulling together), and "disliking" each other… Read more
Elec_p051
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be able to coil wire neatly (or find someone who can show you how) in order to make your electric motor work.
Material Availability Specialty items are required for this science project, and are available as a Science Buddies kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety

Never try to use a wall socket as power source for your motor.

Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The makers of sports drinks spend tens to hundreds of millions of dollars advertising their products each year. Among the benefits often featured in these ads are the beverages' high level of electrolytes, which your body loses as you sweat. In this science project, you will compare the amount of electrolytes in a sports drink with those in orange juice to find out which has more electrolytes to replenish the ones you lose as you work out or play sports. When you are finished, you might even… Read more
Chem_p053
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need a digital multimeter for this science fair project. See the Materials and Equipment list for more details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
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