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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 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.
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. In this project, you will build assorted BristleBots with different types of toothbrushes and race them against each other. Read more
Robotics_p010
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order several parts from an online vendor or hobby store. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult assistance is required to snip off the head from a toothbrush using scissors or wire cutters.
Science Fair 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.
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 Do you want to trick friends and visitors with an amazing optical illusion? In this engineering design project you will learn how to build an infinity mirror,with built-in lights that make the mirror look like a deep tunnel with no end. But pick the mirror up and look behind it, and you will see that it is only a couple of inches thick! Read this project to find out not only how this illusion works, but how to design and build your very own infinity mirror from scratch. Read more
Elec_p080
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project will require some specialty materials from hardware and arts and craft stores. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using any sharp cutting tools or power tools to cut plexiglass. Always wear safety glasses or goggles when cutting brittle materials such as plexiglass. Some tools (in particular, hot glue guns and soldering irons) can cause serious burns. Use these carefully and with adult supervision.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Build model bridges and then deliberately destroy them? Who'd be crazy enough to try that? Read more
CE_p011
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Most items can be obtained locally but may require visiting multiple stores.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When you think about robots, chances are they are contraptions that you have seen on TV, in movies, or even in real life — and they are usually made of metal. What if you could make a soft robot that could bend, twist, or squirm like an octopus or an earthworm? Researchers at Harvard University have done exactly that, developing soft robots made of rubber and powered by air instead of electricity. In this project you will use their designs to build a soft robotic gripper of your own. Read more
Robotics_p020
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires some specialty materials. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Note: "Time required" includes shipping for specialty materials. The experiment itself can be done in 1-2 days.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Prolonged exposure to the silicone rubber used in this project can cause mild skin irritation. Disposable gloves are required for this project. Using a toaster oven (optional) requires adult supervision.
Science Fair 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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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.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you like playing with squishy play dough or modeling clay? Wouldn't it be cool if you could add lights, sound, or even motion to your play dough creations? In this science project, you will make play dough that conducts electricity, which will allow you to connect lights, motors, and buzzers! This science project is the first in a three-part series on "squishy circuits," which can all be done with the same materials. We recommend doing the science projects in order. Read more
Elec_p073
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a Squishy Circuits Kit and ingredients to make conductive and insulating play dough. See the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Ask for an adult's help when using the stove to make the conductive play dough. Never connect the battery pack's terminals directly to each other; this is called a short circuit and can make the batteries and wires get very hot. Do not connect the LEDs directly to the battery pack without using play dough; this will burn out the LEDs.
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