The Science Buddies Bluebot Kit contains parts to build four different robots:
A motion-activated robot that uses a passive infrared (PIR) sensor
A light-tracking robot that uses photoresistors
A line-following robot that uses infrared emitter-detectors
An obstacle-avoiding robot that uses bump sensors
However, in each project, the sensors are hard-wired to control the robot's motors. This allows the robot to steer left and right based on input from two sensors, but it does not allow…
Important Safety Information About Drones
Drones are a lot of fun to fly, but they can be dangerous if not used responsibly. Local, state, and federal regulations about recreational use of drones may vary based on your location or change over time. For example, you may be required to register your drone, or be prohibited from flying it in certain locations (like near an airport or over a crowd of people). Before you do a science project with a drone, ask an adult to help you find out…
Humans cannot see infrared light, but robots can! At least, they can when they use special infrared light sensors. These sensors can help robots detect nearby objects to avoid collisions and even help them avoid driving off edges. In this project you will build your own Arduino robot that uses infrared sensors to avoid driving off the edge of a table.
Have you ever heard of the NASA Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity? How about the "bomb squad" robots that police and the military use? These are places that are hard for us to reach (Mars), or dangerous for us to be near (explosives). Because the human operators are usually far away from the robot, driving one is different from driving a car. Operators rely on information sent back from the robot, including pictures and video. In this project, you will build your own simple…
What do you consider creepy? Clowns? Zombies? Video game characters with jerky movement? In 1970, a roboticist by the
name of Masahiro Mori suggested that people are "creeped out" by robots that are almost, but not exactly, humanlike.
He called this phenomena the uncanny valley. But researchers are still exploring and defining the uncanny valley.
In this science project, you can do your own exploration—just try not to creep your friends out too badly!
If you have seen any of the "Star Wars" movies, then you probably remember when Jedi knights like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi used "The Force" to push, pull, and even throw objects — including some helpless battle droids. Have you ever wished you could do that in real life? In this robotics project, you will build and program a LEGO® robot that you can push and pull using an "invisible force" — almost like a real Jedi! We make no promise that you will be taking down the…
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…
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.
What do an octopus, an elephant's trunk, and an earthworm have in common? They are all squishy, bendable and flexible because they do not have any bones inside. You might not typically think of robots as "squishy," but scientists are increasingly trying to create soft robots that look and move like animals. In this project you will use a "soft robot simulator" to design and race your own squishy robots. Can you come up with the fastest design?
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!