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Robotics Science Projects (31 results)

Robots are made to go and do what humans either can not, or do not want to do. They are used in hundreds of ways from exploring Mars, to working tirelessly on a manufacturing line, to providing companionship. Not to mention they make great movie characters! Try your hand at building a robot with one of our robotics science and engineering projects.

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Science Buddies Original
Science Fair Project Idea
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
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Tinkering
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.
Science Buddies Original
Science Fair Project Idea
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
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Tinkering
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 Buddies Original
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen a cat chase a laser pointer or a flashlight beam? What if you could make a robot do that? In this project, you will build a robot that can automatically drive toward a bright light source. The robot uses a simple electronic circuit to track light, so there is no computer programming required! You can also do three other robotics projects using the same kit of parts, so this is a great way to get started with robotics before moving on to more advanced projects. Read more
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Tinkering
Prerequisites You will need to know how to use a breadboard to do this project. See the Science Buddies reference How to Use a Breadboard if you have not used a breadboard before.
Material Availability A kit is available from our partner Home Science Tools.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to follow the directions in the Procedure in order to avoid short circuits when building your robot.
Science Buddies Original
Science Fair Project Idea
In our introductory VoxCAD project, you were challenged to use the VoxCAD software to design the fastest possible robot using different materials. However, we did not ask you to think about one big thing — efficiency. It is great to design a robot that is very fast, but what if it also consumes a lot of energy? Engineers must consider this when designing robots in the real world — robots that use more energy to move will drain their batteries faster, which can be a problem. This is… Read more
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Tinkering
Prerequisites Familiarity with VoxCAD software — we recommend completing our introductory VoxCAD project first. Basic knowledge of the concepts of energy consumption and power, or a willingness to learn them.
Material Availability This project requires the free VoxCAD software and a computer running Microsoft® Windows®.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Buddies Original
Science Fair Project Idea
In the mid-20th century, people thought of robots as futuristic tools. But in the 21st century, robots are not a figment of our imaginations, but are a part of our reality. Robots even perform tasks that humans can't do. In this engineering science fair project, you will use LEGO Mindstorms to build a robot that is fast, lightweight, and stable. Who knows? You might end up building a robot that does housework or even your homework! Read more
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Tinkering
Prerequisites Experience with LEGO Mindstorms is useful but not required.
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
Science Buddies Original
Science Fair Project Idea
A simple circuit and a servo motor are all you need to turn any work of art into an interactive moving creation that is happy to see you. Light sensors see your shadow as you walk past your artwork and make a servo motor move back and forth. Waving arms? Turning heads? It is all up to you! Read more
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Tinkering
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Depending on the crafting you do for your sculpture, the project may require craft knives or other items that should be used carefully and with supervision, as needed.
Science Buddies Original
Science Fair Project Idea
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
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Tinkering
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 Buddies Original
Science Fair Project Idea
How easy is it for you to walk along and follow a line that is painted on the ground? Simple, right? You might be able to follow a line without giving it much thought, but how could a robot do that? In this project, you will build your own automatic line-following robot that can race around a track that you create. This technology has plenty of real-world applications—maybe one day you could help design self-driving cars! Read more
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Tinkering
Prerequisites You will need to know how to use a breadboard to do this project. See the Science Buddies reference How to Use a Breadboard if you have not used a breadboard before.
Material Availability A kit for this project is available from our partner Home Science Tools.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to follow the directions in the Procedure in order to avoid short circuits when building your robot.
Science Buddies Original
Science Fair Project Idea
In the animal kingdom, many different critters use whiskers to help them find their way around in the dark, through murky waters, or even to help them hunt prey. Whiskers can be very useful when the animals cannot rely on sight. Did you know that you can also build a robot that uses "whiskers" to find its way around? This project will show you how to build a simple robot that uses whiskers as "bump sensors" to help the robot detect when it is about to bump into an obstacle, so it can turn… Read more
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Tinkering
Prerequisites You will need to know how to use a breadboard to do this project. See the Science Buddies reference How to Use a Breadboard if you have not used a breadboard before.
Material Availability A kit is available from our partner Home Science Tools.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
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 Buddies Original
Science Fair Project Idea
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 Grasping With Straws: Make a Robot Hand Using Drinking Straws 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… Read more
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Tinkering
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 ArduinoTM, 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.
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