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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine how cool it would be to have your own motorized robot hand. Well, stop imagining and turn that daydream into reality! Start out by designing and building a robot hand. The Science Buddies project shows you a simple way to make a robot hand with drinking straws, or you can design a robot hand from any other materials you think are suitable. Your hand design will need sewing threads, or some other mechanism, for motors to act on and move, causing the fingers to flex. See Figure 1… Read more
Robotics_p003
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Once the hand is assembled, adding the servo motors, connecting the microprocessor, and writing the code for the microprocessor will require familiarity with a hobbyist microprocessor board (like ones using [# ProjectGuide Name="ProjectGuide.Robotics.Arduino" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Arduino" #]TM, PIC®, or similar). The student should be comfortable with connecting, programming, and testing projects on these boards.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision is suggested for parts of this project. Use caution with sharp knives, glue, and soldering. Low voltage (from a battery or power supply) is involved.
Science Fair Project Idea
When you think of a machine, you probably think of computers or robots. But what if I told you that machines have been around for centuries? Would you believe me? Try this experiment to see which of these simple machines you use around your house. You might even use some of them everyday! Read more
ApMech_p018
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Music boxes, bicycles, and clocks all have one thing in common: GEARS! You might say that gears make the world turn, since they are in so many mechanical instruments. How do they work and how do you know which gears to use? Find out in this simple experiment. Read more
ApMech_p016
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Solar cells are devices that can be used as a source of power when there is light shining on them, but they stop producing energy when they are not in the light. One way to store the solar energy for later use is to use a solar cell to charge something called a capacitor. The capacitor stores the energy as an electric field, which can be tapped into at any time, in or out of light. In this electronics science project, you will use parts of a solar car to experiment with the energy storage… Read more
Elec_p063
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order the supercapacitor car online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair 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.
Science Fair 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
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever had several different design ideas for a project and not known which one to try first? Engineers use computer models of real-world objects called simulations to help them make decisions before they start building prototypes. This helps them save time and money, so they do not have to physically build and test each design they come up with. In this project, you will use a free physics simulation program called VoxCAD. VoxCAD has been used for research at NASA, MIT, and other… Read more
Robotics_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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 Water is an interesting thing. We drink it, swim in it, and wash ourselves with it. We can get energy from water by damming it and sending it through a turbine. But did you know that we can use the natural electrical charges present in water and a Kelvin electrostatic generator to create sparks? You can even use a Kelvin electrostatic generator to temporarily light a bulb! Now that is one bright idea! Read more
Elec_p069
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to visit your local hardware store to purchase plumbing items to build the Kelvin electrostatic generator. You will also need a hand saw, a drill, a heat gun, a digital scale, a fan, and a dehumidifier. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Cost of the project may be lower depending on what tools you already have available.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Parts of the Kelvin electrostatic generator require use of a hand saw and a drill. Wear safety goggles when using power tools. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever walked a dog on a leash? Depending on how well-behaved the dog is, it can be very easy or very difficult. It would be great if you could tell your dog exactly how to behave, right? With that in mind, in this project you will build a robotic dog using a LEGO® Mindstorms® kit that you can teach to "walk" using the beam from a flashlight as a virtual leash. But your robot dog will not know how to walk on a leash on its own — you will have to "train" it, just as you… Read more
Robotics_p011
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Experience building with LEGO pieces and programming with LEGO Mindstorms is required for this project.
Material Availability This project requires a LEGO Mindstorms 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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