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!
Imagine how cool it would be to build a robot hand that could grasp a ball or pick up a toy. In this
robotics engineering project, you will learn how to use drinking straws, sewing thread, and a little
glue to make a remarkably lifelike and useful robot hand. What will you design your robot hand to do?
Pick up a can? Move around a ping pong ball? It is up to you! With these starting instructions, you can
design any type of hand. You will simulate human finger anatomy as the basis for a…
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…
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.
Science Buddies has several fun robotics projects, like the
Art Bot: Build a Wobbly Robot That Creates Art
Grasping with Straws: Make a Robot Hand Using Drinking Straws,
where you use arts and crafts materials to make part of a robot. Have you ever wanted to design a more-advanced, sturdier, or fancier looking robot? Then computer-aided design (CAD) and 3D printing might be for you; both are simpler than you think! The directions on this page will give you an introduction to these…
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.
Do you ever wish you could hire someone to guard your favorite toys, or keep certain people from coming into your room? What if you could make a robot to do it for you? This project will show you how to build a simple security robot controlled by a motion-detecting sensor. When someone comes near your valuables or enters the room, the robot will spring to life and (hopefully) scare them away!
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!
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!
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.
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!